Former President and CEO of El Paso Water Utilities Ed Archuleta will join The University of Texas at El Paso this fall as Director of Water Initiatives. In the position, Archuleta will work chiefly with the Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM), the Center for Inland Desalination Systems (CIDS), and the College of Engineering.
Archuleta is considered one of the country’s top experts and strategic managers of water policy. During his 24-year tenure as head of El Paso Water Utilities, he is credited with positioning El Paso as a leading city for innovative strategies to ensure water supply, including building the nation’s largest inland desalination plant.
“We are extremely pleased that Ed Archuleta will be joining the University this fall,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “We have made significant investments in water-related research and education programs over the past few years, including the establishment of the Center for Inland Desalination Systems with joint funding from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The addition of Ed’s expertise and extensive experience and his international reputation in water management issues positions UTEP to become a nationally recognized resource for water-based education and research programs.”
Archuleta’s appointment, which begins on Sept. 1, will enable him to work with faculty across the UTEP campus through:
• Participation in campus sustainability initiatives, especially those involving water management, treatment, re-use, and associated green technologies.
• Leadership in the design and implementation of a professional master’s degree program in water resource management.
• Leadership in identifying sources of funding and developing proposals to secure grants and contracts to support water-related research and education activities.
“Mr. Archuleta will bring a new depth to our research, education and outreach efforts in water treatment, conservation and quality,” said Bill Hargrove, Ph.D., director of CERM.
Some of UTEP’s current water initiatives include creating a wastewater treatment process to remove hormone-disrupting contaminants in reclaimed and drinking water; studying factors relating to the feasibility and sustainability of water filtration devices in colonias in the border region to help people gain access to clean, healthy drinking water; and conducting a health impact assessment on proposed water and sanitation improvement projects in Vinton, Texas – a city that relies on several water systems and is exposed to a range of contaminants in current water supplies.
In addition to years of technical experience, Archuleta brings a network of regional, national and international contacts including many of the leaders in water resources management.
“Mr. Archuleta’s appointment and UTEP’s renewed commitment to water research and education come at a time when the region is particularly challenged by drought and reduced flows in the Rio Grande,” Hargrove added.
“I look forward to working on attracting research grants, and developing initiatives and partnerships that will make UTEP a leading university in water policy,” Archuleta said of his new role. “We are kind of a living laboratory because of our location geographically, and because of the resources we have that can be shared with other states as well as the international community.
“El Paso and UTEP together have an opportunity to turn what has been viewed as a problem in terms of water scarcity into a learning and teaching environment in which we develop master’s and Ph.D. programs in water resource management, and discuss and solve water policy, water planning and trans-boundary issues.”