The research being conducted in the Center for Water and the Environment spans a wide variety of water and environmental issues in arid environments. The challenges associated with water in the arid southwest are complex and intertwined. These problems are inherently multidisciplinary, multi-scale, highly uncertain, and not purely technical. The purpose of the center is to develop collaborations between teams of researchers that can tackle these issues more effectively than individual researchers can.
The research is organized around 3 themes:
- The Watersheds theme investigates the impacts of watershed management on hydrologic processes and ecosystem services and how watershed management may need to change considering declining water availability.
- The Treatment Technologies theme investigates biofilm-based wastewater treatment to protect receiving waters from nutrients and micropollutants as well as membrane-based water treatment to allow poorer quality sources like brackish groundwater and wastewater to be used for the potable water supply.
- The Water and Energy theme investigates the interrelationship between energy resource development (such as in-situ uranium mining and hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production) and water availability and contamination.