Water and energy are two of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. It's no secret that clean, abundant supplies of energy and water are needed to both avoid economic scarcity and to safeguard the environment. Yet the direct relationship between water and energy -- the water-energy nexus -- cannot be understated. 


Rice will apply its world-class expertise in energy policy, nanotechnology, materials science, energy humanities, water treatment, and more to create a center of excellence to focus on the water-energy nexus. Research areas include: 

  • Improving development of reserves (for example, reservoir souring and corrosion).
  • Safety in use, reuse, and treatment.
  • Increasing challenges and costs of water acquisition, treatment, and desalination.
  • Regulatory uncertainty and requirements.
  • Market mechanisms to drive conservation.
  • Beneficial disposition of produced waters.
  • Public understanding and education.

Rice is poised to create the means and methods for minimizing the water footprint of energy and vice versa. Our vision is to enable sustainable water management and on-site treatment and reuse, including zero-liquid discharge, in ways that are safe, reliable, modular, versatile, and cost-effective.

To learn more, please contact the Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) and our experts Qilin Li, Mason Tomson, and Pedro Alvarez.