2016 Idea Lab: Drinking water

How can we ensure a safe, sustainable, and affordable future in the United States?

Why Water?

Aging infrastructure, droughts, and environmental contaminants are stressing water systems everywhere. Moreover, the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan is a reminder that we can’t take our water for granted. It is imperative to plan for a future of safe, sustainable and affordable drinking water.

Why collaborate?

A practical water future requires balancing tradeoffs between social, economic, environmental, and health factors. Insights from many fields can help inform the balance of these factors. Effective implementation demands collaboration among stakeholders with different perspectives and interests.


We are uniquely poised to tap expertise from multiple campuses and communities to identify opportunities for innovation in water systems. Our National Forum Series will identify key trends, opportunities and challenges and lead to a series of proposals at both the local and national levels.

We've finished our third year! Read about all that we've accomplished this past year.

Quotes that inspire us

ELISS is a pilot program hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a 501(c)3 scientific society in Washington, D.C. and publisher of Science magazine.