Water Systems

Water Systems

The Water Systems group embraces education and research in Hydrology, Potable Water, Storm Water, and Wastewater.


The Water Systems group develops the science and engineering for conveyance, treatment and reuse of urban waters including potable, wastewater and stormwater, manage water resources, model and measure the fate and transformation of chemicals, particulate matter and pathogens impacting water resources, and assess the human and environmental health impacts from these constituents while modeling the components of the hydrologic cycle and the impacts of climate on water resources, human and environmental health.

The National Academy of Engineering considers access to clean water as a critical social, environmental, and economic challenge for the 21st century. Accordingly, the Potable Water research is at the forefront of addressing global water quality issues, investigating innovative treatment technologies and addressing the challenge using alternative water sources as a replacement for high quality fresh groundwater. The development of hydrologic restoration systems to restore the urban water cycle and also reduce chemical and thermal loadings to the surrounding environs is the hub of Storm Water research.

Studies conducted in Florida and throughout the World have demonstrated the sustainability of municipal maintenance practices and resilience of storm drainage systems to provide chemical and particulate load control compared to current best management practices. Major foci of Wastewater research are the development of reuse processes pertinent to human urine, landfill leachate, and membrane concentrate. Research follow an integrated urban water system simulation and optimization approach, and it shows the volumetric benefits of wastewater reuse while identifying the need for advanced wastewater treatment to manage chemicals such as nutrients, metals or emerging contaminants such as endocrine disruptors.



Education for Leadership Roles

  • Developing innovative methods for hydrologic assessments
  • Elucidating the generation, transport, fate and cycling of rainfall-runoff (stormwater) quantities and chemical loads from biogenic and anthropogenic sources
  • Improving the understanding of water use to optimize water conservation ethodology Preserving Surface Water and Groundwater Quality
  • Improving Drinking Water Quality
  • Improving Stormwater Collection and Treatment
  • Improving Wastewater Treatment
  • Developing more sustainable urban water systems

Research Focus Areas

  • Contaminant transport and fate
  • Decision support systems
  • Ecohydrology and hydrologic restoration
  • Hydrology
  • Stormwater control
  • Water resources planning and management
  • Water conservation
  • Urban water infrastructure
  • Fundamental characterization of aqueous and particulate-phase contaminants including emerging contaminants: representative ambient monitoring, methodology and load quantification.
  • Sourcing and generation of aqueous and particulate phase contaminants, physics and chemistry of contaminant transport and fate.
  • Water contaminant control: systems, unit operation and processes, and materials development, in particular innovative mass transfer materials and low impact development materials.
  • Water reuse as part of the urban water cycle: volumetric and contaminant load impacts.
  • Unit operation and process modeling: scalable physical models and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
  • Integrated physical, chemical, biological and thermal treatment phenomena for water cycle components.
  • Coupling fundamental monitoring and material balance testing with urban water modeling.
  • Fundamental and applied studies of physical-chemical water treatment processes, such as adsorption, coagulation, ion exchange, and oxidation, for a wide range of water qualities including surface water, groundwater, membrane concentrate, landfill leachate, and human urine.
  • Innovative applications of ion exchange for water treatment.
  • Fundamental studies in aquatic chemistry with a focus on the role of natural organic matter.
  • Fundamental and applied studies of adsorption and photocatalysis, including surface optimization.
  • Bottom up integrated urban water system simulation and optimization.

Research Outcomes

  • Sustainable solutions to water quantity and quality problems.
  • New technologies for assessing contaminant transport in surface and groundwater.
  • Sustainability of urban rainfall-runoff systems.
  • Improved methods water conservation and decision support systems for implementation.

Research Benefits

  • Sustainability of surface and groundwater systems
  • Restoration of groundwater, wetlands and other hydrologic systems
  • Improved surface and groundwater quality
  • Improved drinking water quality
  • Beneficial water reuse
  • Balanced development of supply and demand management systems

Graduate Study Program

Master of Engineering (ME) or Master of Science (MS) Degree


Master of Engineering (ME) or Master of Science (MS) Degree in Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering with Specialization in Water Systems

Within water resources engineering field, employers often seek out our graduates with master’s degrees. They have high expectations regarding the skills and capabilities that our graduates bring with them into industry. Consequently, we offer a specialization in water systems engineering within both the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering and Department of Environmental Engineering. The following requirements, in addition to the minimum requirements imposed by the UF Graduate School, must be met for graduation.

Course Requirements

Master’s students specializing in Water Systems are expected to satisfy the following minimum coursework requirements and procedures. Upon admission, a Water Systems faculty member is assigned as your advisor.

Regardless of whether you are pursuing a Thesis or Non-Thesis degree, you must complete the Master’s Program Plan of Study (PPS), which is posted on the ESSIE website. You must request the use of transfer credits toward your degree program on the PPS and obtain approval, as indicated by the advisor’s signature on the PPS. You will have an advising hold until your first PPS has been submitted based on these timeframes:  Masters non-thesis submission is required by midterm of the first semester; Master’s thesis by midterm of the second semester.  Before the registration periods of subsequent semesters, contact your advisor for approval of your proposed course selection for the upcoming semester, along with any changes in your PPS. You or your advisor need to  submit your PPS (original or revised) to gradforms@essie.ufl.edu for processing.

Additional requirements may be imposed by the Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, Department of Environmental Engineering, or the University of Florida Graduate School; therefore, the student should consult the Civil and Coastal Engineering Graduate Student Handbook or Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Handbook for additional information.

Non-thesis Master’s degree

Non-thesis students obtaining a Master’s of Science degree must satisfy the final exam requirements by submitting a completed design or analysis term project that earned a grade of B or better from one of the Group A core courses listed below. Projects from outside the curriculum will not be considered. Projects are to be submitted to the student’s advisor for approval and must be comprehensive in nature. Master of Engineering students are not required to complete the final examination per the Graduate Catalog.

Thesis Master’s degree-seeking students:

A thesis master’s degree-seeking student is required to have a supervisory committee. That committee must consist of a minimum of two members, a chair (usually the advisor) and at least one additional member. The full committee should be formed by the mid-term of the second semester. If a minor is designated, the committee must include a graduate faculty member from the minor department.

Grades & Graduation

Per the University of Florida Graduate School Policy, students must have an overall GPA of 3.00 and an overall 3.00 GPA within the departmental courses to be eligible for graduation.

Coursework Requirements

Courses are selected to ensure students obtain a minimum level of competency in water systems engineering. In addition to the core course requirements, remaining coursework may be selected from approved electives.

MS or ME with Thesis

Minimum of 30 total semester hours; min. 24 hours coursework permitted and max 6 hours Masters Research permitted OR  27 hours coursework and 3 hours Masters Research required; min. 15 hours coursework in departmental courses (Group A), written master’s thesis; oral defense. Enrollment of 3 credit hours (Fall/Spring) or 2 credit hours (Summer) of Masters Research is required during the final/graduating semester.

MS or ME with Coursework Only (non-thesis option)

(Non-thesis option is only available if the student has not received an assistantship from ESSIE)

Minimum of 30 total semester hours of coursework composed of a minimum of 15 hours of core coursework in Civil and Coastal Engineering or Environmental Engineering (Group A) along with 15 hours of elective courses (Groups B and C) as outlined below.

Group A: ESSIE Core Courses (15 credits required):

  • CGN 6905 Computational Poromechanics
  • CGN 6905 Urban Stormwater Systems Design
  • CGN 6905 Water Resources Engineering
  • CWR 5125 Groundwater Flow I
  • CWR 5127 Evaluation of Groundwater Quality
  • CWR 5235 Open Channel Hydraulics
  • CWR 6116 Advanced Surface Hydrology
  • CWR 6240 Mixing and Transport in Turbulent Flow
  • CWR 6537 Contaminant Subsurface Hydrology
  • EGM 5816 Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • EES 5307 Ecological Engineering
  • EES 6307 Advanced Ecological Engineering
  • EES 6309 Wetland Design and Restoration
  • ENV 5518 Field Methods in Environmental Hydrology
  • ENV 5565 Hydraulic Systems Design
  • ENV 6050 Advanced Pollutant Transport
  • ENV 6052 Immiscible Fluids
  • ENV 6416 Advanced Stormwater Control Systems
  • ENV 6435 Advanced Water Treatment Process Design
  • ENV 6437 Advanced Wastewater System Design
  • ENV 6438 Advanced Potable Water Systems Design
  • ENV 6441 Water Resources Planning and Management
  • ENV 6508 Wetland Hydrology
  • ENV 6511 Biological Wastewater Treatment
  • ENV 6932 Absorption Phenomenon
  • ENV 6932 Advanced Engineering Hydrology I
  • ENV 6932 Ecosystems Engineers
  • ENV 6932 Environmental Systems Dynamics
  • ENV 6932 Global Environmental Policies and Institutions
  • ENV 6932 Stormwater Systems

Group B: ESSIE Elective Courses:

  • ENV 6439 Activated Carbon: Environmental Design and Application
  • ENV 6617 Principles of Green Engineering Design and Sustainability
  • ENV 6932 Coastal Systems
  • ENV 6935 System Ecology Seminar
  • ENV 6935 Wetland Seminar

Group C: Non ESSIE Elective Courses:

  • ABE 6252 Advanced Soil and Water Management
  • ABE 6265 Vadose Zone Water and Solute Transport Modeling
  • GLY 5827 Ground Water Geology
  • GLY 5245 Hydrogeochemistry
  • GLY 5247 Surface and Ground Water Interaction
  • GLY 6075 Global Climate Change
  • GLY 6826 Hydrogeologic Modeling
  • SUR 5625 Geographical Information Systems Analysis
  • SWS 5234 Environmental Soil, Water, and Land Use
  • SWS 5235 South Florida Ecosystems
  • SWS 5245 Water Sustainability
  • SWS 5248 Wetlands and Water Quality
  • SWS 5208 Sustainable Agricultural and Urban Land Management
  • SWS 5308 Waterborne Pathogens
  • SWS 5551 Soils, Water, and Public Health
  • SWS 5721C GIS Land Resource Management
  • SWS 6366 Biodegradation and Bioremediation
  • SWS 6448 Biogeochemistry of Wetlands and Aquatic Systems
  • SWS 6932 Florida Lake Management
  • SWS 6932 Wetlands Seminar
  • URP 6276 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Elective Notes

  • Other classes in Civil, Coastal, Environmental engineering or courses with an EGN prefix taught by the College of Engineering may be taken upon approval of advisor
  • Other courses may be taken as electives, including a maximum of 6 credits of 3000-4000 level courses outside the School (ESSIE), subject to the approval of the student’s advisor


Photo of Michael Annable Michael Annable Professor and EES Department Head

216 Black Hall

Photo of Jean-Claude Bonzongo Jean-Claude Bonzongo Professor
(352) 392-7604

308 Black Hall

Photo of Paul Chadik Paul Chadik Associate Professors Emeritus

210 Black Hall

Photo of David Cornwell David Cornwell Adjunct Professor

420 Black Hall

Photo of Katherine Deliz Quiñones Katherine Deliz Quiñones Research Assistant Professor

208 Black Hall

Photo of Andreia Fonseca de Faria Andreia Faria Assistant Professor

310 Black Hall

Photo of Antarpreet Jutla Antarpreet Jutla Associate Professor

408 Black Hall

Photo of David Kaplan David Kaplan Associate Professor

102 Phelps Lab

Photo of David Mazyck David Mazyck Professor

312 Black Hall

Photo of Louis Motz Louis Motz Associate Professor Emeritus

418 Black Hall

Photo of Fazil Najafi Fazil Najafi Professor
(352) 294-7790

470 Weil Hall

Photo of Mark Newman Mark Newman Co-Director, Water Resources Research Center
(352) 294-7813

206 Black Hall

Photo of William (Bill) Properzio William (Bill) Properzio Associate Professor

Environmental Health and Safety, Building 179

Photo of John Sansalone John Sansalone Donald Eckler Professor

110 Black Hall

Photo of Robert Thieke Robert Thieke Christian S. Bauer Jr. Term Assistant Professor and CCE Department Head

370B Weil Hall

To view a full listing of each person’s profile, visit the Water Systems category in our directory.


  • Laboratory and field sites for research
  • Environmental Engineering Science Unit Operations and Process (UOP) Testing facilities
  • The Water Institute at the University of Florida provides important university-wide linkages for collaborative research and education
  • Environmental Engineering Science Unit Operations and Process (UOP) Testing facilities
  • Water Treatment Process Labs and associated state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation
  • Water Reclamation and Reuse Laboratory

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