WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — An environmental research project at UCLA is aiming to make Los Angeles 100 percent reliant on renewable energy and local water supplies — without hurting biodiversity — by 2050.
KNX 1070’s Brian Ping reports it’s the first of six projects through the Grand Challenges Initiative meant to tackle society’s pressing issues through multidisciplinary innovations and breakthroughs.
The UCLA project, which seeks to raise $150 million and will unite more than 70 professors from a range of fields, is part of a global initiative to tackle climate change and make the region more environmentally sustainable.
By 2019, officials hope to come up with a project “road map” that guides LA through what scientists believe will be a much warmer future. Proposals include learning how to recycle snow melt and urban runoff and converting saltwater to drinkable water without damaging the environment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
UCLA professor Mark Gold said it builds on past research that has already yielded some big findings.
“There’s some breakthroughs that could occur within the next few years that can make sewage street plants in essence energy plants, so that’s pretty exciting,” Gold said.
The Grand Challenges in Global Health grant program, which launched in 2003, began with the award of 45 grants totaling $458 million to scientists from 33 countries, according to program officials.