The Department of Population and Public Health Sciences of Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering of USC are collaborating on transdisciplinary projects to improve water quality and sustainability. These are summarized below:

  • In response to an emerging water quality crisis exacerbated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, environmental samples from the surrounding community (Southeast Los Angeles) are being collected to monitor PFAS contamination levels.
  • An investigation is underway that explores the relationship between PFAS exposures and health outcomes as indicated by biomarker signatures of liver injury and metabolic disorders.
  • A third project is looking to develop technology for PFAS degradation.

Facilities Planning and Management (FPM) promotes water conservation efforts in accordance with state and local water regulation, Assembly Bill 1668. Specifically, this bill requires the State Water Resources Control Board, in coordination with the Department of Water Resources, to adopt long-term standards for the efficient use of water, and establish performance measures for commercial, industrial, and institutional water use on or before June 30, 2022. Ultimately, the bill would establish 55 gallons per capita daily as the standard for aggregate indoor water use for Urban Water Suppliers, beginning January 1, 2025