UofM’s CAESER to Host Second Public Meeting on Aquifer Study on Tuesday

June 10, 2019 - Memphians and other residents of Shelby County have long touted their high-quality drinking water, but the underground resource is now threatened by water of poorer quality and historical pollution, as new natural gaps, or “breaches,” in the protective clay layer above the Memphis aquifer have been discovered.

The Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research (CAESER) at the University of Memphis, under the Herff College of Engineering, was awarded $1 million a year for five years from Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) to study the clay breaches and their impacts to the Memphis aquifer. Little is known about size and shape of the breaches including how quickly water and contamination travel through them.

Funding for this research is citizen driven, through the collection of 1.05% of MLGW water bills. CAESER will host its second public meeting on Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30-7 p.m., at the Hollywood Community Center, 1560 N. Hollywood St., Memphis, Tennessee 38108.

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. with informative posters on display and staffed by researchers to increase understanding of this large-scale research project.  A presentation to provide an overview of the Memphis aquifer will start at 6 p.m. It will include a short video about the importance of the project and features interviews from MLGW, Protect Our Aquifer, CAESER and Memphis City Council. Next, CAESER’s director, Dr. Brian Waldron, will explain the goals of the research and outline the first five projects. The last 30 minutes will be reserved to answer questions from the public.

Light refreshments will be provided as will childcare for up to 25 children ages 2 and up. Attendees are encouraged to register through the EventBrite link, tinyurl.com/JuneWaterMeeting, and to invite friends, family and neighbors.

On-site media interviews will be available at 5 p.m., along with press kits containing graphics.


For more than 25 years, the Center for Applied Earth Science and Engineering Research (CAESER) at the University of Memphis has studied the Memphis aquifer. CAESER is a research center under the Herff College of Engineering, comprised of a professional staff, University faculty and highly-motivated students to strengthen communities by improving environmental and social conditions through collaboration and research. Strengthencommunities.com


Sarah Houston, CAESER, Associate Director of Education and Outreach
S.Houston@memphis.edu   |   901.678.5110