Leaders gather in Tucson to discuss water challenges and opportunities at University of Arizona’s WEST Center
In the race to secure a sustainable water future, leaders from The Dow Chemical Company, NASCAR, Richard Childress Racing (RCR), the University of Arizona and Pima County Wastewater Reclamation met in Tucson to discuss local water challenges and solutions to effectively address water scarcity.
Coinciding with World Water Day, which takes place March 22, the event brought together industry, business, government and academic representatives to explore how alliances and collaborations can further advance technology, processes and strategies that conserve, reclaim and renew resources. Attendees toured the University of Arizona’s Water and Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center after hearing speeches by prominent national and local figures. They then met with researchers, professors and graduate students in a range of interactive research, analytic, character, sensory and wet labs.
“Innovation and collaboration are key to finding sustainable paths forward for society,” remarked Neil Hawkins, corporate vice president and chief sustainability officer at Dow. “Water in the Southwest is a great example of a significant challenge, but one where win-win-win solutions are possible if all the right stakeholders come together with a commitment to collaboration. Dow is pleased to work with University of Arizona, local leaders, and the NASCAR team to help deliver a more sustainable society.”
Austin Dillon, 2-time NASCAR champion, welcomed the crowd with an invigorating speech on water conservation. As an avid sportsman and outdoorsman, Dillon stressed the importance of water resources to individuals and communities alike – whether it be used to light up our cities, manufacture automobiles, and power our own bodies. He then unveiled the No. 3 Dow Chevrolet’s new World Water Day paint scheme. The car will compete in the Camping World 500 in Phoenix on March 19.
“I have always loved fishing, boating and being outdoors near the water,” said Dillon. “World Water Day reminds us that we need to do our part to conserve and recycle resources so that everyone can enjoy it.”
Providing the foundation for the event, the WEST Center brings together diverse groups to address the nation’s growing water and energy needs through research and technology. Dr. Kimberly Espy, senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona noted, “Since its inception, the WEST Center has been a hub for expert researchers across academia, government, and industry to collaboratively address a diverse set of grand challenges in sustainability. Through synergies with world-class companies, such as Dow, we’re able to tackle the water challenges in arid environments like our own Sonoran Desert and beyond.”
Co-located with the Pima County Water Reclamation Facility and adjacent to reclaimed water recharge basins and constructed wetlands, the WEST Center develops, evaluates, and demonstrates technologies that advance sustainable solutions, while also facilitating technology transfer between public utilities and the private sector.
Representatives from Pima County Wastewater Reclamation also spoke on their efforts to steward water resources throughout the community, and highlighted examples of technological advancements already being implemented.
“The Water Campus and WEST Center are truly unique facilities dedicated to making significant advancements in the water industry,” said Jackson Jenkins, regional wastewater reclamation department director. “We have created the ideal incubator for water technologies through high level collaborations with academia and industry partners, like Dow. Living in a desert environment we know all too well how precious water can be and these partnerships will help ensure that the highest water quality is readily available when needed.”
About Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals
Dow has embarked on the third stage of our sustainability journey with our ambitious 2025 Sustainability Goals. Through these Goals, we are collaborating with like-minded partners to advance the well-being of humanity by helping lead the transition to sustainable planet and society.
Dow combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48B and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. For more information, visit www.dow.com.
About Richard Childress Racing
Richard Childress Racing is a renowned, performance-driven racing, marketing and manufacturing organization. RCR has earned more than 200 victories and 15 championships, including six in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt. RCR was the first organization to win championships in the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Its 2017 Cup Series lineup includes two-time NASCAR champion Austin Dillon (No. 3 Dow/American Ethanol/AAA Chevrolet), 2011 Brickyard 400 champion Paul Menard (No. 27 Menards Chevrolet) and 2008 Daytona 500 champion and 2013 Brickyard 400 winner Ryan Newman (No. 31 Caterpillar/Grainger Chevrolet). Its XFINITY Series program includes a multi-driver lineup with Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ben Kennedy (No. 2 Rheem/Menards Chevrolet), a multi-driver lineup with Ty Dillon and others (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Rheem/Red Kap Chevrolet), Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet), Brandon Jones (No. 33 Menards/Nexteer Chevrolet) and Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino/U.S. Cellular Chevrolet). For more information, visit rcrracing.com.
About The University of Arizona
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona (UA), the state’s super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Student Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $580M in research investment each year, and ranking 19th among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3B annually.
About Pima County Reclamation
The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) provides management, operations and maintenance, and design services of the sanitary sewer system, including the conveyance and treatment infrastructure, which includes more than 3,400 miles of sewer conveyance piping, 29 pump stations, two metropolitan water reclamation facilities and seven sub-regional facilities.
SOURCE: The Dow Chemical Company