The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning


THE METRO WATER LAB is a research group within the EPC that seeks innovative solutions to the challenges of water sustainability in rapidly-growing urban areas of the arid West. Members of MWL come from diverse backgrounds — primarily planning, engineering, and ecology/natural resources — and bring distinct perspectives to the People-Place-Design approach. Together, we explore questions such as:

  1. In arid regions, how does water shape the relationships between people, place, and design?
  2. How can you design the built environment to recognize water as a resource and to use it wisely?
  3. How do we retrofit existing urban water systems to accommodate new information and projections about water quantity, quality, and socioeconomic and demographic trends?
  4. What tools and partnerships can be developed to facilitate clear communication and informed decision making with regard to water issues?

Several members of the Metro Water Lab are involved in the EPSCoR iUTAH project (innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydrology), a statewide effort dedicated to maintaining and improving water sustainability in Utah. Funded by the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program, this five-year, $20 million competitive award will assist in building the human and research infrastructure needed to better manage Utah’s water resources. The five-year award went into effect August 1, 2012.