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WVU researchers thirsty for reducing fresh water use by power plants

Power plants across the country utilize more than four times as much water as all U.S. homes and account for 41 percent of total water withdrawals, according to federal data. 

Now, with the aid of a $400,000-Department of Energy grant, West Virginia University researchers are seeking ways to quench the thirst of the nation’s power plants in a more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly fashion. 

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Ziemkiewicz briefs Congressional committee on extracting rare earth elements from acid mine drainage

Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the Water Research Institute at West Virginia University’s Energy Institute, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Tuesday, May 14, on recent research advances on the development of a domestic source of rare earth elements.

RREs, the minerals that make electronic devices work, are essential to the economy and national security.  Currently, the primary source of these minerals worldwide is China.  

Read Full Article: Ziemkiewicz briefs Congressional committee on extracting rare earth elements from acid mine drainage

WVU Art Exhibit Celebrates Water and the Women Who Protect It

A collaborative art exhibit at West Virginia University focuses on one of the state’s most abundant resources -- water. It also celebrates the many women who protect it. 

 Featuring brightly colored panels covering wide swaths of the downtown campus library’s walls, “WATER: Exploring the Significance, Power and Play of Life’s Critical Resource” explores the state’s rivers and wetland ecosystems, celebrates the art and recreation opportunities afforded by water, and explores challenges and solutions facing the state’s water resources. 

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WVU water experts warn: when it rains, polluted mine drainage can pour

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – February has been exceptionally wet, dumping more than one-and-three-quarters-inches greater-than-average rainfall during what is normally the driest month of the year, according to The Weather Channel. Unusually wet weather is a recipe for mine drainage overflows that can pollute nearby streams, warned Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at West Virginia University. Expect abandoned mines’ treatment systems to clog and fail or the mines themselves to blow out during the spring, he said.

Recent news by the Associated Press has drawn attention to the “50M gallons of polluted water [that] pours daily from 42 mine sites” in western states. 

Read Full Article: WVU water experts warn: when it rains, polluted mine drainage can pour

WRI part of WVU team advancing technolgy and transparency to shale gas at new MSEEL site

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— Improving shale energy productivity and reducing the environmental footprint of the natural gas industry are the goals of a West Virginia University partnership at a second Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Lab to be located in western Monongalia County.

WVU researchers from multidisciplinary departments, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, will use the advanced models they develop for this project, continuing to address complex technical, environmental and social issues surrounding unconventional energy development. The researchers will use best practices in environmentally responsible shale development as they undertake subsurface scientific investigations.

Read Full Article: WRI part of WVU team advancing technolgy and transparency to shale gas at new MSEEL site

WVU state water conference to highlight flooding and pipelines

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia often feels the ravages of hurricanes and tropical storms that hit U.S. coasts hundreds of miles away like Florence did last weekend in North Carolina. Even if the hurricane drops as little as two-to-four inches of rain, flooding concerns remain in parts of West Virginia.

“This region is particularly susceptible to large amounts of rain from intense storms, including remnants of hurricanes such as Florence,” said Mike Strager, professor of resource economics and management at West Virginia University. He and researchers Jacquelyn Strager and Nicolas Zegre have been studying ways to better understand and map the region to identify specific areas in West Virginia that are more susceptible than others to such storms.

Read Full Article: WVU state water conference to highlight flooding and pipelines