Water Research at the U of M

May 1, 2015
The Mississippi River near the U of M Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

Among the grand challenges of our time, preserving and protecting our water, both locally and globally, are at the top.

Even though Minnesota abounds in water—counting lakes, rivers, and streams, it’s said to have more shoreline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined—critical issues of water quality and invasive species have recently surfaced.

Fortunately, the University of Minnesota is a leader in resources and expertise. Here are just some of the ways U of M researchers are immersed in water issues:

  • The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s mission is to develop biologically and economically sound solutions to control key aquatic invasive species affecting Minnesota’s waters. It aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the biology and ecology of key invasive species to determine if there are weaknesses in their life histories that can be targeted for control and eradication.
  • The Global Water Initiative is identifying how the many uses of water overlap with the type and intensity of water stress; where current and future use will likely affect water stress; and how increasing the effectiveness of water use might reduce stress.
  • Scientists and business experts at the U of M are developing new methods to remove pollutants from the environment. The researchers are working to optimize the selection of bacteria that biodegrade those chemicals. Meanwhile, business experts are discovering the best ways to apply this new knowledge to viable industrial processes and products.
  • The Large Lakes Observatory, located at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is the only institute in the country dedicated to the study of large lakes throughout the world.