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The 2018 NWRI Clarke Prize will be held

October 26, 2018 in Orange County, CA!

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2016 NWRI Clarke Prize Conference


"Research and Innovations in Urban Water Sustainability"


Click here to Download the 2016 Clarke Prize Lecture:


Innovations to Achieve Microbiologically Safe and Sustainable Water by Treatment Processes and Detection Methods (PDF 0.5 MB)



Click here to download a PDF of the Clarke Prize Conference Program.

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Conference Presentations (PDFs of PowerPoint Slides)


To download PDFs of the slides please click on their respective links below. 

Conference Welcome

Jeff Mosher, National Water Research Institute and Water Environment and Reuse Foundation, and Doug Owen, Water Environment and Reuse Foundation



Session 1:  Emerging Issues in Urban Water Quality 



Legionella and the Revolution in Water Distribution Microbiology

Joan Rose, Ph.D., Michigan State University



Antibiotics … Resistance is Futile! Presence, Impact, and Treatment and Removal of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Water

Walter Jakubowski, M.S., WaltJay Consulting, and Ryan Reinke, Ph.D., Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts



Session 2: Addressing the Challenges of Urban Water Sustainability


The Fifth Water Revolution 

David Sedlak, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley



Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment: A Vision to Enable Decentralized Water Treatment and Reuse

Pedro J.J. Alvarez, Ph.D., P.E., Rice University



Public Health Guidance on Implementing Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems 
Sybil Sharvelle, Ph.D., Colorado State University


Keynote Address: USEPA Drinking Water Research in 2017 and Beyond 

Christopher A. Impellitteri, Ph.D., National Risk Management Research Laboratory



Session 3: New Methods to Assess Water Quality


Advances in Methods to Assess Microbial Water Quality
Channah Rock, Ph.D., University of Arizona


Water Quality Assessment for Direct Potable Reuse

Rhodes Trussell, Ph.D., Trussell Technologies, Inc.


Application of Bioassays for Monitoring Chemicals in Water from a Human Health Standpoint

Daniel Schlenk, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Mark Sobsey, Ph.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received the 2016 Clarke Prize for excellence in water research. 


2016 Clarke Prize  Lecture:

Water for Everything and the Transformative Technologies to Improve Water Sustainability

Mark D. Sobsey, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




About the Conference


The 2016 NWRI Clarke Prize Conference brought together scientists and experts from across the water community to discuss the most innovative research and technology developments happening today in urban water sustainability.


Held on November 4, 2016, in Newport Beach, California, the conference featured presentations by the NWRI Clarke Prize Laureates, representatives from local water and wastewater utilities, and academics from various universities. The talks focused on managing and advancing sustainable water treatment technologies.


The result was an extended discussion on water resources that included theoretical concepts, basic science research, practical applications, and case studies. The highlight of the event was the Clarke Prize Award Ceremony and Lecture in honor of Mark Sobsey, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and the twenty-third recipient of the NWRI Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize for excellence in water research.


With a career spanning over 45 years, Sobsey has been an international leader and pioneer in the fields of public health microbiology and environmental virology, with a focus on water, sanitation, food, and hygiene. Early on, he developed an innovative filtration technique to selectively concentrate viruses from water. Known as the MDS filter, it was found to be more effective than conventional filters (which involved extensive, complex procedures to filter and coagulate microbes from large volumes of water) and, ultimately, helped develop a better understanding of the occurrence, concentration, and public health significance of viruses in the environment. The results of his research led to the development of the EPA's Groundwater Treatment Rule, which standardized practices in the U.S. to detect and control the presence of microbial pathogens (particularly viruses) in well water. Prior to this rule, the leading cause of waterborne disease was outbreaks from groundwater. His work on the development of filter techniques to concentrate and examine viruses in groundwater has become the standard for the water industry.


More than 120 people attended the conference, representing universities, consulting firms, government agencies, manufacturing firms, water and wastewater utilities, and others.


Clarke Prize Supporters


The Clarke Prize Conference would not be possible without the support of our NWRI Member Agencies, Corporate Associates, and Clarke Prize Sponsors.  We gratefully recognize:


Julian Villa and Serge Haddad of Los Angeles Water and Power (LADWP) chat during a break between water science presentations.

NWRI Member Agencies



NWRI Corporate Associates

Conference Planning Committee






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