2019 World Water Day:
KAUST Water Research Awareness
On Thursday, March 21st, the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) welcomed thirty grade 5 students from The KAUST Schools (TKS) to participate in fun lab experiments and learn about the latest research at the center, as a way of celebrating the World Water Day.
World Water Day is an annual UN observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
The students were divided into two groups taking turns with the presentation and lab experiments.
Paul Buijs, WDRC Liaison Officer gave a presentation which talked about water needs and water use and how to reduce the amount of water that is wasted. He also discussed what to do with the huge amount of salt that is now pumped back into the sea.
Chengyan Zhao and Ali Imran, Lab manager showed how charcoal could filter simple wastewater such as tea to produce clean water then proceeded to explain how more complex wastewater would need to be filtered by other materials such as membranes.
Andreia Farinha showcased Prof. Himanshu Mishra’s latest research, the 'hydrophobic sand' with a simple experiment showing how the blue liquid could not penetrate the sand when spilled on it. The hydrophobic sand could reduce the amount of water being used in the irrigation of plants by preventing evaporation. Tests so far have shown that plants are producing 70% more crops while using the same amount of water with the help of ‘hydrophobic sands’.
The students showed a lot of enthusiasm and asked a lot of questions especially those who will tackle water reuse and wastewater at their upcoming exhibition at TKS.