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F A C U LT Y F E AT U R E

CSE engineers and scientists tackle waterquality threats on multiple fronts

W

ater touches everything—not just our physical environment, but also our cultural and spiritual worlds.

We use it but never destroy it. We drink it and bathe in it. We wash cars and irrigate crops. Our factories consume and expel it. Rivers carry away our waste. But then we—and nature—clean it, and the people downstream use it again. The thin film of water enveloping our planet is constantly recycled, since time immemorial.

Drop Counts Written by GREG BREINING

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I N V EN T I N G TO M O RR OW

But as human population has grown and uses of water have grown, so too has the demand for clean water. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 2018, the worldwide demand for water has been growing about 1 percent a year because of increasing population, economic development, and changing consumption patterns. Industrial and domestic use will grow fastest, though agriculture will remain the biggest user. As global weather patterns intensify—wet regions becoming wetter and dry regions drier— half of the world’s population will live in areas of water scarcity that lasts at least one month each year. To make sure we have clean water when and where we need it, researchers in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering are studying water issues—tracking down pollutants, investigating aquatic ecosystems, and inventing new ways to clean water and protect this natural resource.

Inventing Tomorrow Fall 2018  

In this water-themed issue, students and faculty at the College of Science and Engineering use the latest research techniques to study water...

Inventing Tomorrow Fall 2018  

In this water-themed issue, students and faculty at the College of Science and Engineering use the latest research techniques to study water...