The Design of Risk-reducing, Innovative-implementable Small-system Knowledge (DeRISK) Center understands that drinking water utilities are faced with making treatment decisions that impact their ability to meet current regulations, while the uncertainty of future regulations looms on the horizon. For small systems human and financial capacity issues exacerbate these decisions.  Our research center embraces these issues by investing a large portion of the allocated resources into building this capacity by developing criteria that utilities and primacy agencies can use to assess and implement innovative technologies and provide new approaches to training engineers and operators to facilitate the long-term sustainable use in small systems.

The DeRISK Center was formed in 2014 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, awarded two National Research Centers that aim to: 

  • identify, develop, demonstrate and facilitate widespread acceptance and applicability of novel and innovative technologies and approaches to measure or treat groups of microbiological or chemical contaminants, or their precursors; 
  • apply novel new information technology systems;
  • and improve the sustainability of small drinking water systems.  

The US based EPA funded National Research Centers are:

  1. Design of Risk-reducing, Innovative-implementable Small-system Knowledge (DeRISK) Center; University of Colorado Boulder (lead University)
  2. Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS); University of Massachusetts-Amherst (lead University)

These US based centers work closely with the Canadian based RES'EAU-WaterNET Center.  All three centers all are are committed to a collaborative approach in order to maximize their outputs and the potential benefits to small water systems across North America. 


 Click here for a full size map