Water Resources Engineering

Water resource engineers work with water. They determine how much water is needed, where water is available and how much is available, and then determine the hydraulic controls necessary to convey water to where it is needed. They design works to control the flow of water in open channels, pipe networks, groundwater flow, and hydraulic structures. Water resource projects might include protecting beaches from tsunamis and erosion, keeping harbors clear of silt, design of well fields for municipal, industrial and agricultural use, and locks and dams for navigation. Water resource engineers often work on multi-purpose projects that provide benefits such as flood control, hydroelectric power, recreation, irrigation, water supply, and enhancing the environment.

Participating Faculty: Dr. Xuefeng (Micheal) Chu, Dr. Trung Le, Dr. David R. Steward

Some areas currently of interest to water resources engineers include:

  • Hydrological extremes, and mitigation of wet and dry periods
  • improving flood and drought forecasts through better computer models and remote sensing data coupled with GIS
  • groundwater depletion and managing groundwater/surface water interactions
  • hydraulic controls in natural and engineered systems, and fluid flows in health applications

The first picture shows the power house for Friberg Dam on the Otter Tail River north of Fergus Falls, MN (a replica from Roman Emperor Theodoric), while the second shows a control gate for a storm sewer in Fargo, ND.

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