DOE Announces $115K Grant to Use AI to Improve Sewage in Underserved Communities

On Friday, August 12, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) awarded a grant to Community College Partners Program (C2P2) to Improve Infrastructure/Sewage Outcomes in the Rural Southern United States. C2P2 is a non-profit, located in Locust Grove, GA. C2P2’s mission is to provide technical services to underserved communities for self-identified needs, and to help identify resources by which the plans are developed.

In support of President Biden’s Justice 40 initiative, the grant will leverage AI to address sewage issues in underserved communities in rural Alabama and Missouri. Specifically, C2P2 will partner with officials from Lowndes County Alabama, State of Missouri Office of Public Health, City of Wellsville, Missouri, and Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program to implement this project. The project will focus on using AI to analyze large-scale data sets to determine potential solutions to infrastructure and sewage issues that will improve health outcomes for these communities; reduce the cost of addressing sewage issues; and improve the ability to monitor and operate these systems into the future.

In addition to partnering with local communities, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (A&M), a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), will participate in the program. Under the C2P2 program, Alabama (A&M) and the University of South Alabama have agreed to provide support for these projects using a team of seniors and graduate students under the supervision of assigned professors. The students will examine the extent of the sewage issues and develop plans and designs on how to address these issues using artificial intelligence. The project affords numerous benefits to the students and communities including:

  • Providing practical experience in their areas of academic study
  • Receiving academic credit for their efforts
  • Gaining greater understanding of the needs of underserved communities through advanced insights, clustering, and learning based AI capabilities

The communities will receive these vital services at no cost, and the participating universities will provide their services at no cost to the federal government.