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The Water Center Role


The Water Center manages and contributes to research projects that emerge as a result of the Center’s leadership or key contributions, especially for large and multi-investigator opportunities.


The Water Center helps to catalyze research by connecting the vast multi-disciplinary talent at the U by maintaining a water researcher database, stimulating ideas with seminars, promoting funding opportunities, and mentoring student groups.


The Water Center supports achieving a broader impact from research by promoting water research at the U through social media, a web site, and a monthly eNewsletter to audiences of the public, researchers, and the U community.


Water researchers are drawn to the University of Utah because of the opportunity to work across disciplinary boundaries on important local problems that translate to national and global impacts. The unique setting in a thriving metroplex embedded in an abrupt transition of a few miles from mountains to the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere provides a complex array of research challenges connecting water to all aspects of built and natural systems.

INCREASING WATER DEMAND: As the third fastest growing state in the U.S., Utah needs solutions to equitably and affordably meet growing water demands without impacting the state’s unique natural features such as the Great Salt Lake.
DROUGHT: As the second driest state in the U.S., Utah needs ways to mitigate impacts of drought on water system reliability.
AGING AND GROWING INFRASTRUCTURE: Confronting both aging infrastructure and rapidly expanding systems is a unique challenge that can be overcome with sustainable solutions jointly addressing the built and human systems.
CHANGING SNOWPACK: The Salt Lake City metropolitan area needs to understand and respond with solutions to climate change impacts on its water supply stored in the adjacent mountain snowpack.
WATER QUALITY: Challenged by intensifying algal blooms and public health risks from bacteria, the Utah Lake-Jordan River system needs comprehensive sociotechnical watershed management solutions.
HAZARDS: Utah needs resilient water systems to address impacts of earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, intentional disruptions, and other threats.

Water @ the U

Overall at the U, there are over 200 researchers from 15 colleges and schools working in areas of water. Investigators manage dozens of laboratories and computational facilities. The U manages core facilities and through the Office for Global Engagement numerous international programs are managed. The Center for Technology and Venture Commercialization supports development of new technologies and creation of start-ups.