In 2009, President Obama and former Chinese President Hu Jintao introduced the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) to create an efficient, low-carbon economy to offset climate change. UC Irvine along with UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, UCLA, and the Stockholm Environmental Institute will join together for a five year, $50 million research collaboration dedicated to the water-energy track (WET) of the CERC. The objectives of the research include:
- Water use reduction at thermoelectric plants
- Alternative water treatment sources
- Improved hydropower design and operations
- Climate impact modeling
- Improved understanding of energy and water systems
- Data and analysis to inform planning and policy
UC Berkeley's Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor, Ashok Gadgil, will be the principal investigator while the Advanced Power and Energy Program's (APEP) Director, Scott Samuelsen, and Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth System's Science Professor Soroosh Sorooshian will be co-leaders. Along with these distinguished professors, the WET program will work with stakeholders from the UC Office of the President, the Office of California Governor Jerry Brown, the Energy Foundation, GE Power and Water, the Bay Area Council, the California-China Office of Trade and Investment, the Institute of Sea Water, Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company.