blue wave of water

Mitigating the Effects of Water Scarcity

Water scarcity and quality problems occur in many regions of the world, particularly in areas with semi-arid to arid climates.  Combined pressures of population growth, economic development, and climate variability expose such regions to water scarcity and are inspiring exploration of alternative sources and conservation strategies.

Blue Gold refers to the availability of fresh water and the health of watersheds that are inextricably linked and increasingly tied to issues of energy and technology as human population, societal demand, and climate change intensify.

The San Diego and US-Mexico Border region provides a natural laboratory for studying water resources in the context of scarcity and change.  This area is prone to challenges such urban water supply, agricultural water management, and international water conflict and cooperation that are mirrored in many other regions.  Research questions, methods, and findings generated in our region are likely to have global implications. 

Blue Gold is one of three SDSU Areas of Excellence Initiatives that was approved in 2015. The initiative supports new tenure-track faculty positions that are allocated to advance existing and future areas of scholarly excellence, and to foster interdisciplinary collaborations in research and creative endeavors.

News and Events

aerial view of proposed Misson Valley site

SDSU to build One Water Living Learning Laboratory at SDSU Mission Valley River Park

A $2 million grant from San Diego River Conservancy will fund a workforce training facility tackling water issues with innovative technologies. 

The new laboratory will allow SDSU students hands–on experience with cutting-edge technologies for studying water quality, stormwater treatment and wastewater reuse.   It will also have spaces for family-friendly exploration of water issues and learning opportunities designed for K-12 students.

Read the press coverage featuring Natalie Mladenov and other SDSU researchers on: SDSU NewsCenter | Times of San Diego | FOX 5/KSWB and KUSI News

Hassan Davani (right) and Kian Bagheri, a graduate student in Davani’s lab, collect shallow groundwater table data around vulnerable sewer infrastructure

Sea Level Rise Imperils South San Diego County Sewers

SDSU engineers tackle the impact of climate change on sewer systems in Imperial Beach and other underserved coastal communities.

Sewage overflows from Tijuana have been contaminating Imperial Beach for many decades. The problem recently reached crisis levels, with city leaders calling on the state and federal governments for more funds to fix the aging sewage infrastructure on both sides of the border.

Read the full stoy featuring Hassan Davani and other SDSU researchers on SDSU NewsCenter.