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American Water Awarded New Research Grant Focusing on Early Warning System for Algal Blooms

Funding provided by The Water Research Foundation

American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., today announced that it has been awarded a new grant from The Water Research Foundation (WRF), Determining the Role of Spectral Imaging as an Early Warning System for Presence/Significance of Algal Blooms [5266]. This research aims to develop cost-effective tools for early and reliable identification of harmful algal blooms.

“American Water is delighted to partner with The Water Research Foundation on this important water-related research, and continue to advance the science of drinking water,” said Lynda DiMenna, Chief Environmental Officer, American Water. “Research into algal blooms is a critical component in continuing to provide clean, safe and reliable water services to customers and across the water industry.”

Algal blooms can have negative impacts on both water providers and communities, affecting operations as well as public health. Current methods for monitoring these blooms are either time-consuming, difficult to use or require advanced analytical expertise. To prevent these issues, a proactive and multi-disciplinary monitoring strategy is needed.

“Analyzing algal blooms in water sources is an essential part of helping to ensure our water services are clean and safe for customers and throughout the water sector,” said Dr. Zia Bukhari, Principal Scientist, American Water and lead for this study. “Existing tools are slow and can be unreliable. This research will couple satellite imaging with machine learning tools and benchmark these against the latest chemistry and microbiology techniques. Our goal is to develop more effective monitoring strategies that help improve response times and overall management of algal blooms.”

Approximately $569,550 in research investment has been provided by WRF, American Water and partners, which include Element 84, Hazen & Sawyer, Resolve Hydro LLC and the City of Wichita Falls.

WRF is the leading research organization advancing the science of everything water to meet the evolving needs of the water sector.

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Dr. Zia Bukhari at

About American Water

American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the United States. With a history dating back to 1886, We Keep Life Flowing® by providing safe, clean, reliable and affordable drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people with regulated operations in 14 states and on 18 military installations. American Water’s 6,500 talented professionals leverage their significant expertise and the company’s national size and scale to achieve excellent outcomes for the benefit of customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders.

For more information, visit and join American Water on LinkedIn, Facebook, X and Instagram.


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