Water Resources


Water resources engineering involves the supply of surface and subsurface water to the public; control of hazards associated with water, e.g., flooding; and maintenance of the health of ecological systems.  Because water pollution is often the primary driving force for the engineered control of water resources, graduate students typically take courses and conduct research within groups that also include environmental engineering students. Graduate course work and research in the water resources engineering program is focused on the following areas:

  • Groundwater Hydraulics
  • Contaminant Movement in Soil and Groundwater
  • Watershed Management
  • Hydrology
  • Water Quality Control

The water resources engineering program is designed not only for those with undergraduate degrees in Bioresources, Civil, Environmental, or Chemical Engineering, but also related non-engineering fields such as Geology, Environmental Science, and Soil Science.


Thesis track Master of Civil Engineering and Master of Applied Sciences in the field of Water Resources Engineering degrees require three core courses, one approved 600-level Math or Statistics course, four electives taken from a variety of fields, six thesis credits and the completion of a thesis. Students in a thesis program are also required to enroll in the CIEG865: Seminar each semester.

The non-thesis track Master of Civil Engineering requires a total of 30-credits of course work, which typically translates to six electives beyond the four core courses. Electives should be selected based on approval from your advisor.

Core Courses

  • CIEG 630 – Water Quality Modeling
  • CIEG 698 – Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport OR
  • GEOL 628 – Hydrogeology
  • GEOG 632 – Environmental Hydrology

Other Required Courses

  • MATH/STAT – An approved 600-level course in Mathematics or Statistics

Suggested Electives

  • CIEG 645 – Industrial Ecology – The Science of Environmental Sustainability
  • CIEG 667 –  Research Methods and Topics in Soil/Water Systems: Science and Policy
  • CIEG 668 – Principles of Water Quality Criteria
  • CIEG 678 – Transport and Mixing Processes
  • CIEG 679 – Sediment Transport Mechanics
  • CIEG 833 – Fate of Organic Pollutants in the Environment
  • APEC 682 – Spatial Analysis of Natural Resources
  • GEOG 656 – Hydroclimatology
  • GEOG 657 – Climate Dynamics
  • PLSC/BREG 603 – Soil Physics
  • PLSC 621 – Nonpoint Source Pollution
  • PLSC 643 – Watershed Hydrochemistry
  • UAPP/APEC 611 – Regional Watershed Management
  • UAPP 628 – Issues in Land Use & Environmental Planning

In addition, classes from other departments can be selected in consultation with your advisor. These include graduate-level courses offered by Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Marine Studies, Plant and Soil Sciences, or Urban Affairs and Public Policy.



Daniel K. Cha – Biotransformation of environmental contaminants in natural and engineered systems; design and operation of wastewater treatment facilities; population dynamics of biological wastewater treatment processes

Yu-Ping Chin – Biogeochemistry of natural organic matter and organic pollutants in aquatic systems; photochemical transformation of contaminants; fate of synthetic and natural organic matter in sediments; biogeochemical and environmental processes in polar environments (Arctic and Antarctica).

Dominic M. Di Toro – Water quality modeling, eutrophication and sediment flux models; water quality and sediment quality criteria models for organic chemicals, metals, mixtures; organic chemical and metal sorption models; statistical models

Yao Hu – Coupled Human and Groundwater Systems; Agent-based Modeling; Water System Modeling, Analysis and Optimization; HPC and Cloud Computing; Data Science and Cyberinfrastructure.

Chin-Pao Huang – Hazardous wastewater management; aquatic chemistry; soil and groundwater remediation; sustainable engineering; environmental applications and implications of nanotechnoloy

Paul T. Imhoff – Transport of fluids and contaminants in multiphase systems; mass transfer processes in soil and groundwater; sustainable landfilling; minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from engineered facilities; mathematical modeling

Holly Michael – Environmental Fluid Dynamics, Geochemistry, Water Science, Coastal-Zone Management,  Environmental Interactions

Carolyn Voter – Hydrologic modeling, water resources management, stormwater management, green infrastructure, urban ecohydrology, ecosystem services, surface-groundwater interactions, land-atmosphere interactions, sustainable and resilient communities, high throughput/performance computing


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