AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Deval Patrick took steps to make drinking water cleaner here in western Massachusetts. The governor came to UMass Amherst on Monday afternoon to announce grants for water research at the university.
Governor Deval Patrick met with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center on Monday to announce a $4.1 million research grant to UMass Amherst. The EPA grant will fund the UMass Amherst Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems, which creates advanced, low cost methods to create cleaner drinking water systems.
Environmental engineering professor David Reckhow will run the center.
“It’s all one water as the American Waterworks Association likes to say,” Reckhow told 22News. “It’s all interrelated, so we have to look at the big picture too. We have to look at waste water and figure out better ways of improving waste water so it can be reused.”
The money will help the center discover what technology can be created and used to improve more than 10,000 small water systems in the state.
The grant is part of governor Patrick’s bill that he signed last summer authorizing about 1.5 billion dollars for environmental projects throughout the state. The idea is to bring companies together which work with water technology make the state a water hub.
“But they haven’t in the last few years acted as a hub, acted as a cluster”, Governor Deval Patrick told 22News. “And there’s real power in that acceleration and indeed today’s announcement is about that very thing.”
The center plans to test the technology they create in different water systems, and share what they learn with other communities in the country. More than 90% of America’s public water supply systems are small systems.