Interdisciplinary Water Science & Education

Our Mission

Academic departments in six colleges contribute to water research, education, and extension at Utah State. Each department grants its own degrees and has its own acceptance and graduation requirements. The Utah State Water Initiative works to facilitate collaborative research and to foster a collegial interdisciplinary community of water scholars.

Utah State University supports a broad community of Students and Faculty engaged in Water Education, Research and Outreach. The USU Water Initiative provides an overarching umbrella for the activities of this community aimed at fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and collegial sharing of ideas related to water across the departments and colleges of Utah State University. USU Water Initiative seminars, as well as water related seminars in a number of colleges and departments occur on a regular basis. The Spring Runoff Conference, so named because it is held at the end of winter and in anticipation of spring’s runoff season – a time of anticipation and excitement in hydrology, provides another opportunity for the sharing of ideas and scholarly debate.

The USU Water Initiative emerged from a task force appointed by the University President in Fall 2002 charged with recommending ways to strengthen water programs at USU that take advantage of the diversity and breadth of water activities at USU. The task force included representatives from the six colleges involved in water-related activity (Agriculture, Business, Engineering, HASS, Natural Resources, and Science) and from many academic departments.

The Spring Runoff Conference was started as an activity of the USU Water Initiative to foster exchange of ideas and promote interdisciplinary collaboration on all aspects of water research at USU.

Spring Runoff Conference

The USU Spring Runoff Conference is held annually to provide a forum for interdisciplinary sharing and exchange of ideas on water-related issues in Utah and the Intermountain Region extending to all aspects of water science, ecology, policy, engineering, and management.  The next Spring Runoff Conference will be March 14-15, 2023 at the USU Eccles Conference Center. Registration and abstract submissions will be accepted starting January 15, 2023, and program details are available online. We look forward to your participation!

This year’s theme is Utah's Watershed Moment: Innovation in a Time of Accelerating Change. This year's Spring Runoff Conference highlights the nexus between management and research, combining the ways in which managers and researchers are responding to and answering key water management questions during a time of unprecedented challenges. What solutions can we be put in place today while planning for the future? How do we adapt more quickly, and what hurdles do we face in creating a rapid response to accelerating environmental change? A great lineup of speakers from Utah and the region is taking shape.

HydroShare web-based collaborative environment for sharing hydrologic data and models

HydroShare is a collaborative website being developed for better access to data and models in the hydrologic sciences by a team led by USU Professor David Tarboton with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

iUTAH Preserving Utah's Water Resources innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability

The National Science Foundation EPSCoR program (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) awarded Utah a five-year, $20 million grant to support a statewide effort to assist in building the human and research infrastructure needed to sustainably manage Utah’s waters. The iUTAH project is the result of that grant.