UCI civil & environmental engineer Stanley Grant and his group have been selected by the National Science Foundation to spearhead a $4.8 million collaboration between Australian and southwestern U.S. partners to find low-energy methods of turning wastewater into drinking water. Climate change, drought and global population growth demand creative ways to augment decreasing supplies, Grant said. The project links five universities in two water-stressed regions of the world that have unique and complementary expertise in the development and deployment of rainwater tanks, biofilters and waste stabilization ponds for potable substitution and watershed protection. “It’s an absolute dream to be given this opportunity by the National Science Foundation,” Grant said. “The southwestern U.S. has much to learn from Australia on how to thrive in the face of dwindling freshwater supplies.” The goal of the project is to translate the Australian experience into practical steps California and other states can take to improve water productivity.