Name: Nicole Poncelet-Johnson
Role: Director of Water Quality and Treatment, Denver Water
How are you are connected to CSU Spur?
Denver Water’s new water quality laboratory will be in the Hydro building at the CSU Spur campus. I’ve assisted with project management for the new lab and its overall operations and future research that will come out of collaboration between Denver Water, CSU and other partners at the site.
When did you get involved with Spur and why is it important to you?
In 2018, Denver Water decided to move our water quality lab because our current lab is reaching the end of its useful life without a major remodel. This new facility in the Hydro building gives us flexibility for research and collaboration in addition to being more efficient in the work we do — we currently perform more than 70,000 tests a year — to ensure the water we deliver to 1.5 million people every day is meets our high-quality standards.
What outcomes have you seen or do you expect from work at Spur?
Water impacts agriculture and public health and vice versa, so the fact that the Hydro building is close to the other two Spur buildings — Terra and Vida — means there are many opportunities to learn more about how these three areas connect and affect each other. Through that, we can create more sustainable practices and assist the region in using water and agriculture in ways that don’t have a detrimental effect on public health and the environment.
We can help Colorado evolve for the next 100 years.
What would you like others to know about Spur?
Building our new water quality laboratory at Spur allowed us to create a flexible analytical space that can grow and adapt as needs and challenges change. And with the location, we’ll be right there with other scientists, helping us to research issues and solutions. Additionally, I’m really excited by the prospect of working with the kids in the communities surrounding the CSU Spur campus and inspiring them to pursue science.