Population growth, rapid urbanization, and a changing climate are threatening our inland and coastal waters.
Fresh water resources throughout the world have dwindled to a point in which over one quarter of the world’s population may soon run out of water. In the face of these challenges, we work to ensure the health of our natural water environments and to create efficient solutions to sustain our water resources.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is a world leader in research and teaching on the fate and transport of contaminants in natural waters, including in groundwater and in reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and the coastal ocean. We focus on understanding how chemicals and pathogens behave in urban and natural waters and how to develop treatment systems to minimize the impacts of pollutants in the environment. Much of our work is on water reuse and energy-efficient water purification and wastewater treatment.
We are also world leaders in analysis and simulation of surface and groundwater flows, with an emphasis on coastal regions, which are particularly vulnerable in the face of a changing climate and the rise of coastal megacities. Understanding hydrology and the impact of climate on existing and future water resources, with an emphasis on ensuring access to water and sanitation in less industrialized economies, is another focus of our faculty.