Dr. Peter Fiske

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Dr. Peter S. Fiske is the Executive Director of NAWI – the National Alliance for Water Innovation headquartered at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab running the Department of Energy’s Desalination Hub, a 5-year, $110M research program to radically cut the cost and energy consumption for water treatment in a variety of applications including ocean desalination, inland brackish water treatment, industrial water reuse and produced water treatment. Fiske is also the Director of the Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute (WERRI) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to joining LBNL, Fiske was the Chief Executive Officer of PAX Water Technologies, Inc. from 2008 until January, 2017 when it was acquired by UGSI Inc. in an all-cash transaction. PAX Water pioneered the use of biomimicry to develop innovative and energy efficient technologies for the water industry. PAX also led the industry in advanced manufacturing processes and approaches and successfully in-sourced manufacturing operations from abroad while lowering cost and improving quality and speeding innovation cycles. PAX Water won a number of national water industry awards and its iconic Lily impeller technology was featured in a major design exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2008.

Distributed Water Treatment and Reuse: The NAWI Vision

The world is experiencing an inexorable shift to a hotter, dryer future. The water supply and distribution systems build in the 20th century and reliant largely on freshwater sources are not only unable to adapt to this change but are themselves reaching the end of their service life in many countries. The NAWI vision is to enable a much larger fraction of “non-traditional” water sources (wastewater, brackish and impaired groundwater, ocean water) to be treated, used and reused as a marginal water supply that augments our 20th century freshwater-based water supplies. Funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy for 5 years, NAWI’s goal is to invest in early-stage applied research that lowers the cost of small-scale water treatment, desalination and reuse systems. I will highlight some of the key areas of research investment including modular, electrically-driven pretreatment systems that enable faster and more efficient suspended solids removal, as well as some of the emerging frontiers of research on brine waste management and valorization.