Hydraulic Engineering at the Utah Water Research Laboratory: Past, Present, and Future
Water Resources and Environmental History
With the exception of our neighbor to the west, Nevada, Utah receives less annual average precipitation (approximately 13 inches) than any of the other 50 States. The average rainfall for the United States is approximately 30 inches per year. As a result, water problems and solutions have always played an important role in Utah. To assist in providing solutions to state, national, and international water problems and to develop a world-class facility for water research, plans began as early as 1949 to construct a water research facility at Utah State University. Through funding provided by the Utah State Legislature, National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, the Utah Water Research Laboratory was completed in 1965. The Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL) is home to Utah State University (USU) faculty, staff, and students who work in the areas of water resources, hydrology, groundwater, wastewater, water quality, air quality, hazardous waste remediation, natural systems, and hydraulics. Of the facilities 80,000 square feet of floor space, approximately 50,000 square feet are dedicated to the hydraulics laboratory, the subject of this paper. UWRL hydraulics research contributions over the past 39 years have been diverse. A partial list of areas of contribution include hydraulic structures, pump stations, hydraulic flow resistance of plants in channels, erosion control, cavitation, transients, culverts, storm grates, hydraulic flow resistance in pipes, flow metering, and more. This paper describes the UWRL's hydraulics lab capabilities, previous contributions to the field of hydraulics, current focuses, and vision of experimental hydraulics in the future.
Tullis, B. P. and M. C. Johnson (2004). “Hydraulic Engineering at the Utah Water Research Laboratory: Past, Present, and Future.” Water Resources and Environmental History, ASCE, 206-217.