U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld has presented Fresno State’s Claude Laval Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center with the Pacific Southwest Region’s 2012 Efficient Water Infrastructure Award.

The region encompasses California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific islands and tribal lands.

Accepting the award Tuesday, Oct. 16, was Dr. David Zoldoske, director of the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State, water policy adviser for the California State University system and instrumental in the development of the WET Center.

The award presentation followed signing of a memorandum of understanding for a partnership between the federal agency and university to open new research, internship and other opportunities for Fresno State students and faculty and for the EPA http://www.fresnostatenews.com/2012/10/epa-fresno-state-partner-to-lead-students-into-environmental-careers/.  

“EPA applauds Fresno State’s WET Center for serving as a research and development lab for efficient water technology,” Blumenfeld said, adding that he was impressed by the center’s work on a visit several months earlier.

“This center demonstrates that academia and business can collaborate to develop and promote practical applications of new technologies,” Blumenfeld said. His hope is that the award will call attention to what’s happening at Fresno State and provide inspiration for others to follow the university’s lead or partner to work together.

In accepting the award, Zoldoske pointed out that EPA funding was important in establishing the WET Center, which opened in 2006. The center and much of Fresno State’s water research and academic programs are housed in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

The WET Center includes a business incubator and is home to the testing facilities of the International Center for Water Technology. The WET Center is a cornerstone in fully realizing Blue Tech Valley led by Fresno State, with its faculty, students, research, academic curriculum, hands-on training and partnerships with agencies and industry.

The plan targets sectors aligned with the WET Center: water technology, clean/renewable energy, air quality solutions and agriculture technology with a goal of making the region a world center of water and energy technology research, innovation and application.

For more information, contact Michael Ardito of the EPA, 415.972.3081 or ardito.michael@epa.gov, or Zoldoske of Fresno State, 559.278.2066 or davidzo@csufresno.edu.