Over the past 2,500 years, three technological revolutions have made it possible to quench the thirst of cities, control waterborne diseases and eliminate the pollutants that fouled urban waterways. Continued urbanization and a changing climate are creating the need for a fourth revolution.
David Sedlak will describe the coming urban water revolution detailed in his book, “Water 4.0”. The first stage of the revolution, which is already underway in water-scarce cities, involves the replacement of imported water with local sources obtained by treatment of municipal wastewater, urban runoff and seawater. In the future, application of these technologies at the building or neighborhood scale could transform cities by eliminating a need for centralized water infrastructure.
David L. Sedlak, Ph.D., is Malozemoff Professor in Mineral Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering/ University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on fate of chemical contaminants, with the long-term goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and sustainable systems to manage water resources.
In addition to his laboratory and field research, David L. Sedlak is interested in the developing new approaches for managing the urban water cycle. He pursues these efforts as Co-Director of the Berkeley Water Center and through research coordinated through the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for Reinventing the Nation's Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). He also is the author of "Water 4.0", a book that examines the ways in which we can gain insight into current water issues by understanding the history of urban water systems (Yale University Press 2015).
Since 2015 David L. Sedlak is editor-in-chief of the journals Environmental Science & Technology and Environmental Science & Technology Letters and has received numerous awards.