Future Energy-Water-Landscape Initiative

Realizing that the growing human population's need for energy will put strains on the world's water supply, climate, and ecosystem, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences will be devoting time to developing interdisciplinary solutions to this pressing issue.

Our primary goal is to grow our understanding of the changing future landscape of energy, water, and earth systems, specifically: 

  • How to provide energy while sustaining a clean and healthy environment 
  • How to address the challenge of water shortages generated by the energy sector, which have environmental and energy impacts 
  • How climate change plays a role in future water shortages 

Researchers in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and the EMS Energy Institute have considerable experience in these areas. However, there's a need for research and education at the energy-water-landscape nexus due to the major demands for innovation in the energy sectors related to water. 

We plan to cluster hire up to eighteen faculty positions, both within EMS and in related joint hiring across the University, whose research will address eighteen topical areas: 

The Future of the Energy-Water Landscape 

  • Global Water Cycle 
  • Advanced Energy Systems 
  • Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Systems 
  • System Integration and Modelling 
  • Energy Decision Science 

The Future of Energy 

  • Water-efficient Energy Utilization 
  • Water-efficient Energy Extraction 
  • Carbon Capture and Storage 
  • CO2 Conversion to Fuels and Chemicals 
  • Geosensing for Water and Energy 

The Future Landscape 

  • Environmental Sensors and Big Data  
  • Agriculture and Urbanization as Geological Forces 
  • Earth Systems Ecology and Remote Sensing 

The Future of Water 

  • Climate and Risk 
  • Hydrologic Risk  
  • Nontraditional Water Technologies 
  • Clean Water for the Future 
  • Water and Policy 

With our faculty expertise in energy, earth, materials, and water-related areas, our college is uniquely positioned to take on the challenges to advance the science and engineering that underlie the energy-water nexus.