The criticality of water to ecosystems, living resources, and human welfare is widely appreciated, but there is yet much to be understood about the impacts of human activities on water quality and its global distribution. Moreover, there is a continuing need to develop appropriate, efficient, and sustainable approaches (technological and otherwise) for maintaining water quantity and quality for ecosystem use, even while meeting needs for food security and sanitation among a growing population. The JHU Water Institute is especially interested in facilitating improved understanding and engineering control of human influences on:
- the relations between energy use and production, food production, and environmental water quality
- the release, fate and transport of anthropogenic contaminants that impact ground- and surface-water quality and use, including so-called “emerging” contaminants (i.e., anthropogenic substances that are either newly developed or heretofore not well appreciated and understood); and
- nutrient fluxes in the environment and their relation to eutrophication processes and oxygen depletion in both inland and coastal surface waters.
More generally, the JHU Water Institute aims at improving our collective ability to advance and disseminate knowledge in all areas of hydrology, contaminant hydrology, and aquatic ecology.