Water Sustainability

water and biogeochemical icon

Supporting Life

By understanding the complex interactions between water and human activity, we can work towards a future where this vital resource is accessible, clean, and supports healthy ecosystems and thriving communities. 

Flowing throughout the Earth

Water is essential to the health of people and communities, ecosystems, regional and national economies, and the security of nations, supporting personal health, food production, manufacturing, energy generation, recreation, and a spectrum of other socially-valued ecosystem services.

Likewise, the biogeochemical cycles, such as nutrients and carbon, which are circulated through water, terrestrial ecosystems, and the atmosphere are essential to our world's health.

Population growth, development, and environmental changes put increasing stresses on water resources throughout the world. The challenges of droughts, floods, and degraded water quality—which serve to underscore our dependence on a balanced quantity and adequate quality of water—exacerbate population challenges. 

Additionally, changes to our ecosystem place stressors on biogeochemical cycles.

 Olivia Mroczko, graduate student in agricultural and biological engineering, is evaporating filtered wastewater samples with a nitrogen gas generator in the Natural Resources Engineering Water Quality Laboratory in the Agricultural Engineering Building. She will then analyze the filtered water for pharmaceuticals.
Olivia Mroczko, a former graduate student in agricultural and biological engineering, is evaporating filtered wastewater samples with a nitrogen gas generator in relation to a project that uses wastewater to detect COVID-19 outbreaks.

Water Sustainability Research


Featured IEE Researchers

Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture
Professor of Environmental Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Water Sustainability News

Featured Stories

Emerging research areas refocus Institute of Energy and the Environment themes

| psu.edu

The Institute of Energy and the Environment has revamped its research themes to better align them with the energy and environmental research being done at Penn State and to recognize the importance of community and justice.

2024 Climate Solutions Symposium registration open

| psu.edu

Registration is open for the 2024 Climate Solutions Symposium, which is designed to bring people together to stimulate projects and partnerships where Penn State’s interdisciplinary research strengths can inform and transform climate solutions.
crashing ocean wave

Water Initiative

A new University-wide Water Initiative involves faculty and staff engaged in research, teaching, and outreach.

Penn State has a long and rich history of engaged, innovative, and impactful water and water-related research. This portfolio of work encompasses the natural, social, and health sciences, engineering, policy and law, communications, the arts, and more.

Learn More about the Water Initiative