The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) and Southern California Salinity Coalition (SCSC) are pleased to announce that the 2018 NWRI-SCSC Fellowship has been awarded to Amninder Singh of the University of California, Riverside (UCR). The fellowship provides $10,000 (USD) a year for up to two years to support graduate student research that addresses the critical need to remove or reduce salts from water supplies and to preserve water resources in Southern California.
Singh is a first-year PhD student at UCR, pursuing a degree in environmental science. His research project focuses on using smart irrigation technologies to optimize recycled water application for turfgrass irrigation, with the goal of conserving water, maintaining turf quality and sustaining soil health.
Research areas supported by SCSC include engineering sciences, physical and chemical sciences, biological sciences, health sciences, political sciences, and planning and public policy. For more information about the fellowship, please visit the website.
Vartanian to retire
After serving 20 years as the ‘Voice of NWRI,’ Gina Melin Vartanian is leaving the National Water Research Institute (NWRI) to spend more time with her young family. NWRI is a nonprofit organization devoted to addressing water quality and supply challenges.
Vartanian, NWRI’s Communication Manager, joined NWRI after graduating from the University of Southern California. She was hired by NWRI’s first Executive Director, Ronald B. Linsky, who was an advocate of supporting young professionals and Vartanian’s first mentor in the water industry. With Linsky, she partnered with Dr. Chittaranjan Ray to co-edit of the first textbook of its kind, Riverbank Filtration: Improving Source Water Quality, published by Kluwer in 2003. During this time, she also served as Editor of Ultraviolet Disinfection Guidelines for Drinking Water and Reuse, an oft-cited NWRI document that has set standards in the water industry for the use of UV technology to treat pathogens in water.
Vartanian also worked with the State of California’s Expert Panel on Surface Water Augmentation and Direct Potable Reuse, and served as Editor of the 420‐page document entitled Expert Panel Final Report: Evaluation of the Feasibility of Developing Uniform Water Recycling Criteria for Direct Potable Reuse, published in August 2016. The report was used as the basis for State’s own report to the Legislature, submitted in December 2016.
Other influential reports that Vartanian edited include Potable Reuse Research Compilation: Synthesis of Findings (with co-editors Dr. George Tchobanoglous and Jeff Mosher) and Risk-Based Framework for the Development of Public Health Guidance for Decentralized Non-Potable Water Systems, both of which were cited as the top two reports in 2017 out of 79 published by the Water Environment and Research Foundation (WE&RF) and Water Research Foundation (WRF). Her most recent report, which she co-wrote with Mosher, was Guidance Framework for Direct Potable Reuse in Arizona. It was published for WateReuse Arizona and the Arizona Water Association, and is being used by the State of Arizona to help develop regulatory criteria for DPR.
Known for her high-quality and personable support, Vartanian was a true asset to NWRI and its member agencies. Altogether, she managed the development of newsletters, reports, summaries and other communication materials for the benefit of NWRI’s member agencies and corporate associates. Vartanian also assisted with many other duties, such as overseeing the NWRI’s Clarke Prize selection process and providing support to the Clarke Prize recipients as they prepared the lectures given at the award ceremony. Her last day of service at NWRI was Friday.