CONSERVE hosts half-day workshops throughout Maryland on Water Reuse for Agriculture: What Growers need to know

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CONSERVE is hosting a series of half-day workshops throughout MD on Water Reuse for Agriculture: What Growers need to know. Join us to see demonstrations and learn about water reuse research and regulation updates from University of Maryland researchers. Free lunch provided at every workshop! Please register at:

All workshops will be held from 8:00AM - 1:00PM.

Workshop dates and locations:


9501 Crain Highway, Box 1

Bel Alton, MD 20611


Eastern Shore Hospital Center

English Hall

5262 Woods Road

Cambridge, MD 21613


Frederick County Extension Office

330 Montevue Lane

Frederick, MD 21702

CONSERVE Team Member Contributes to Maryland Graywater Regulation Development

Dr. Masoud Negahban-Azar

Dr. Masoud Negahban-Azar

Dr. Masoud Negahban-Azar, a University of maryland researcher and co-PD of CONSERVE, has been invited to serve on Maryland's Residential Graywater Advisory Committee. The Committee is helping the Maryland Department of Environment develop regulations to implement a State graywater law adopted in 2018 (SB 496). Typical graywater sources include bathroom sinks, showers/bathtubs and laundry washing.

Among his varied interests in systems-level water and environmental management, Dr. Negahban-Azar has conducted research into irrigation using graywater, and published multiple papers on this topic. His work related to CONSERVE includes characterizing the quantity of nontraditional irrigation water sources (e.g., wastewater treatment plant effluent, vegetable processing plant effluent etc.) available in Arizona (AZ), California (CA), Delaware (DE) and Maryland (MD) through the development of a user-friendly geospatial (GIS) platform. He has also developed a decision support system to identify hotspots for use of recycled water for agricultural irrigation. 

View more about Maryland’s Residential Graywater Advisory Committee here, including a short video introduction to graywater:

Team CONSERVE at Maryland Day 2019!

On a beautiful (but windy) April 27, CONSERVE Scholars highlighted CONSERVE research education and extension at the annual Maryland Day. This year, the CONSERVE team joined together with the new UMD Global STEWARDS (global to engage visitors in water filtration experiments, a food waste calculator, and other fun activities.

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CONSERVE Scholars learn about food, energy, and water systems in Israel & the West Bank

In January 2019, a group of 9 interdisciplinary scholars from the University of Maryland College Park and Baltimore campuses and the University of Arizona embarked on a journey of learning and cross-cultural exchange. Co-led by Dr. Sarah Allard, Assistant Program Manager for CONSERVE (, Bill Piermattei, Managing Director for UMB’s Environmental Law program, and Dr. Clive Lipchin, a CONSERVE Collaborator, the group traveled throughout Israel and the West Bank, where they studied the region’s diverse approaches to water reuse for agriculture. The tour took them from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to Palestinian villages in the West Bank to a Kibbutz and a Bedouin community in the Negev desert. Along the way, the scholars encountered the many challenges agricultural communities face as well as successful projects managing a limited and precious resource: water. Post by Dr. Sarah Allard


October 8-9, 2018, Global Water Reuse, Food and Health Workshop

Israel leads the world in agricultural water reuse and has been successfully using recycled water for irrigation of food crops for more than 30 years. Since Israel has a severely limited supply of both water and arable land, it has developed innovative agricultural methods and technologies, such as combining the use of recycled water with drip irrigation and intensive greenhouse agriculture. As a result, the agricultural output of Israel has flourished, effectively solving one of the world’s most dramatic regional water crises. 

The October 8-9, 2018 Global Water Reuse, Food and Health Workshop, funded by a grant from the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD), aimed to encourage and promote a binational, interdisciplinary scientific network focused on the global urgency to enable safe water reuse for food crop irrigation worldwide, providing science- and technology-based solutions to advance agriculture and protect public health. At the Global Water Reuse, Food and Health Workshop, attendees collaborated to define directions and opportunities for actionable science that establishes new, sustainable on-farm water treatment solutions and production technologies that enable farmers to safely reuse water for the successful irrigation and growth of food crops that are safe to eat. Participants from around the world agreed that the workshop: 1) promoted increased contact between Israeli and U.S. scientists who work in academic, agricultural and industrial settings across all perspectives along the water-soil-plant-human continuum (“farm-to-fork”); and 2) included the participation of graduate students and early career researchers in research lightning rounds. The U.S. and Israeli organizers of this workshop, Dr. Amy R. Sapkota (University of Maryland), Dr. Yael Mishael (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Dr. Erick Bandala (Desert Research Institute, Nevada), and Dr. Clive Lipchin (Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Israel), have collaborations in agricultural water reuse. Moreover, several of the other speakers have begun to engage in binational research effortsBringing together, in-person, a diverse, interdisciplinary, binational group of scientists, engaged in all perspectives relating to successful water reuse for food crop irrigation, is key to fostering future team science and systems-based approaches that can ultimately support local-to-global solutions.


Team CONSERVE at Maryland Day 2018!

The CONSERVE team had a table at Maryland Day 2018 held at the University of Maryland campus on April 28th. We conducted surveys on consumer perceptions of food safety, made bead bracelets with kids to learn about the water cycle, had a cool water filtration experiment and gave out tons of awesome CONSERVE swag. We even had some help from Testudo! Thanks to all our hard-working volunteers who made the day a success. 

CONSERVE Co-PD at The University of Arizona receives USDA NIFA grant


Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar, CONSERVE Co-Project Director at The University of Arizona, is part of a team of seven institutions that received a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture NIFA to produce safer melons that do not harbor harmful bacteria while also improving smell and taste of the fruit. Congrats to Dr. Ravishankar her team! 


Sadhana Ravishankar, left, looks at biofilms displayed by Aishwarya Rao, a research analyst, at the University of Arizona.

Sadhana Ravishankar, left, looks at biofilms displayed by Aishwarya Rao, a research analyst, at the University of Arizona.

UMD School of Public Health Seminar, April 11, 2018, 2-3 PM EST


UMD School of Public Health Seminar, April 11, 2018, 2-3 PM EST

Prof. Benny Chefetz (Dean of the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem) 

Title: Irrigation with Reclaimed Wastewater: New Source of Water or Emerging problem?

Location: Room 2236 in the School of Public Health

Meeting number (access code): 736 359 925 Host key: 937691
Meeting password: Sp3fbQ44
JOIN BY PHONE +1-415-655-0002 

Synopsis:Fresh water scarcity has led to increased use of treated wastewater as an alternative source for crop irrigation. Concerns have been raised regarding pharmaceutical exposure via treated wastewater. In our recent work, we demonstrated that active pharmaceuticals are introduced to arable land via irrigation water. Moreover, we showed that some pharmaceuticals can be taken up and accumulated in edible parts of plants. Our studies aimed to assess whether carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant drug highly persistent in wastewater, is present in commercially available treated wastewater-irrigated produce, and whether human exposure to carbamazepine occurs via ingestion of this produce. In this study we follow the exposure path: wastewater Þirrigation water Þ soil Þ crops Þ consumers.  Using volunteer cohorts in a single blind crossover trial, carbamazepine and metabolite levels were measured in produce and human urine. Our findings indicated that following seven days of consuming treated wastewater irrigated-produce all volunteers exhibited quantifiable levels of carbamazepine, while in a cohort of volunteers who consumed fresh water irrigated-produce, the distribution remained unchanged from baseline (between group P<0.001). Urine levels of the cohort that consumed consuming treated wastewater irrigated-produce for seven days were found to return to baseline following the exposure periods. This study demonstrates "proof of concept" that human exposure to pharmaceuticals occurs through ingestion of commercially available treated wastewater-irrigated produce, providing data that could guide policy and risk assessments.