The Water Systems group embraces education and research
in Hydrology, Potable Water, Storm Water, and Wastewater.
Water quantity and quality at scales ranging from the pore structure of clays and fractured rock to large scale systems such as watersheds and springsheds are major foci in Hydrology research. Emphasis is placed on elucidating the breadth of interactions between urban water systems and contiguous aquifer, stream, wetland, spring, and lake systems and how these interactions sustain the ecological health of system components and the larger water system. 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. Researchs 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.