Marshall to partner in clean water initiative

Marshall University will be partnering with the Charleston Area Alliance and others to create a center of innovation for water cleanliness and sustainability at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.

The mission of the new West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute will be to develop and commercialize innovative technologies to maintain, improve and protect water supplies throughout the state.

Dr. John Maher, vice president for research, said the university is pleased to join the effort.

“The ultimate goal of the West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute is to harness the research assets of all the partners to make our water supply cleaner and safer, and to help industry innovate and create technologies that will support high-value jobs and investments right here in West Virginia,” he said. “We have an active water research program already in place at Marshall with scientists who are studying how to detect contaminants in water, predict their toxicity and understand how to remove them from the environment. This new center will give us an opportunity to directly use that work to help protect our community and create a better regional economy.”

Maher said formation of the center is still in its early stages but that the institute will support the following types of research:

  • Commercializing technologies that reduce hazards to freshwater sources;
  • Commercializing technologies for rapid identification of water contamination;
  • Developing custom solutions to water quality and quantity issues;
  • Testing and evaluating technologies that maintain the integrity of the entire water distribution system; and
  • Providing independent assessments and reviews of potential hazards, technologies, contingency plans and related water quality issues.

In addition to Marshall and the Charleston Area Alliance, the partners in the initiative include the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Chemical Alliance Zone, the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, West Virginia State University and the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC). Over the next several months, these groups will be working with government leaders, private supporters and the business community to get the institute up and running.

For more information about water research at Marshall, visit