About Blue Colab

Blue CoLab is a collaborative STEM laboratory founded to advance real-time water monitoring for the protection of human and environmental health. A program of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, the CoLab is a team of 12 students and faculty with labs on the Pace Pleasantville campus and a technology workshop on the shores of the Hudson River..

There is a need for real-time water information due to the national breadth of water contamination. Despite almost daily media stories about water contamination, the scope of the problem is not widely understood: 

  • Only 29% of the nation’s waters are in “good condition.” ~ USEPA National Water Quality Inventory
  • 19.5 million incidents of illness occur annually due to pathogens in drinking water. ~ Dr. Kelly Reynolds, University of Arizona Zuckerman College of Public Health.
  • Water recreators suffer more than 90 million cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear, eye and skin-related illnesses annually. ~ Dr. Samuel Dorevitch, University of Illinois.
  • Health advisories limit fishing on 17.7 million acres of lakes and 1.3 million miles of rivers. ~ USEPA

Blue CoLab asks, “Why can’t the public know the quality of water before they use it?” Real-time data are all around us: engine problems flash on dashboards thanks to scores of sensors; daily weather is reported for the entire planet; NASA offers daily evenatmospheric conditions on Mars.

Yet, innovation of technologies that detect water pollutants in real-time has been slow. Despite important advances, development of next generation tech is not keeping pace with emerging water pollution issues. Awareness of real-time technologies is poor; few students are being trained in the field; and outmoded water policies fail to foster innovation in water monitoring. 

Blue CoLab addresses these needs through its program of training, research and policy reform.