As the global population continues to increase and the majority of the world’s population lives within urban centers, the stressors associated with managing water resources within the urban environment as well as the interactions with the natural environment has become increasingly more important. The Hydrosystems Research Group within UC’s Environmental Engineering program is focused on understanding and managing the complex dynamics associated with providing adequate water quantity and quality within urban water infrastructure systems and between engineered and natural systems. Overall, our group integrates research associated with the fundamental understanding of urban and natural systems; environmental systems analysis techniques; and laboratory and field-scale experimental studies to improve our ability to design, operate and manage the engineered and natural systems that impact the urban water-cycle. Current applications areas within our research group are focused on: 1) drinking water distribution systems with an emphasis on real-time hydraulic and water quality modeling, integrated sensor systems for fault diagnosis to maintain adequate water quality, and innovative approaches for minimizing public health risks associated with disinfection by-products; 2) combined sanitary and storm water collection systems targeting innovative detention basin control strategies and low-impact development to mitigate the direct release of untreated combined sewer overflow into receiving waters; and 3) the impacts of man-made infrastructure on surface water quality emphasizing stochastic representation of the fate and transport of pathogenic organisms at multiple spatial and temporal scales for assessing environmental risk.
Students within our research program have the opportunity to work towards their M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science with support coming from multiple agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, and US Geological Survey, and interactions with local and national municipalities and utilities.