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Utah Water Research Laboratory Research Project Summaries


Utah State University

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From every side we hear of new threats to our water supply. Carcinogens, droughts, dam failures, global warming, hazardous wastes, deforestation, overpopulation, liability, and an aging infrastructure become household fears; this list grows longer and more foreboding to the average citizen. Some of these threats are real, while others are imaginary. Some we know how to overcome and others we can find ways to overcome, yet, for some, we are still helpless. The strength of a university lies in its success in stimulating inquisitive minds in critical examination of the problems of the world. People sense hope as experts find answers. People find better lives as those answers are applied. University research works best as an open book set before people with problems. The project summaries in this document describe attempts to present ideas to people with needs. We want the water research program in Utah to be a cooperative effort in which faculty interact with citizens to define problems, generate ideas, test the validity and effectiveness of these ideas, translate good ideas into practical measures, monitor results, and recycle new ideas for the next round. By producing new effective measures as rapidly as society produces new problems, we can gain confidence in ourselves. Our present sense of foreboding can be turned into challenges met and victories won. Sometimes problem-solving research must go all the way back to the fundamentals. In many cases, we are not even able to define what it is that we do not understand. At the danger of sounding irrelevant to people looking for quick answers, researchers dig to scientific depths and express what they see in terms of complex mathematical formulations. Some projects presented in


Publication made available electronically April 27, 2012.