Cutting-Edge Research

Connecting world class research with real world water challenges

Our interdisciplinary research approach is pushing water management beyond its traditional boundaries. Taking the lead, the Institute focuses on the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus and how it relates to the health of the community.  Through this innovative perspective, we serve as leaders in developing urban water resources to promote resiliency and integrate the socioeconomic components of decision making into the water industry.

Research Centers

Center for Energy and Water Sustainability


The Center for Energy Water Sustainability (CEWS) brings together industry, academic, agriculture, government, environmental and consulting stakeholders to address water issues through research and related activities. CEWS will address social, environmental, and economic (people, planet and prosperity) values related to the water and energy industry.


Center for Comprehensive, optimaL and Effective Abatement of Nutrients (CLEAN)



The Mission of the CLEAN Center is to create knowledge, build capacity, and forge collaboration to develop and demonstrate sustainable solutions for reduction of nutrient pollution in the nation’s water resources. The Center’s activities are organized around three major themes: understanding the physical system, understanding people and policy, and enhancing the capacity for assessment and decision-making.


The Center’s activities are organized around three major themes: (1) Understanding the physical system; (2) Understanding people and policy and; (3) Enhancing the decision making process

Understanding the Physical System
Understanding People and Policy
Enhancing the Decision Making Process



NCSU Project Site Summary
Lessons Learned from North Carolina Nutrient Regulation Experiences
Updates from the CLEAN Center Annual Report – Dec 2015
Environmental Resource Assessment and Management System (eRAMS)


What is eRAMS?

eRAMS is a cloud-based platform providing online services for sustainable management of land, water, and energy resources.  It is a powerful platform for building accessible and scalable analytical tools and simulation models that can be accessed via desktop or mobile devices.  Learn more


eRAMS VideoTutorials

Object Modeling System Laboratory


The OMSLab, an organization of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University, promotes the use of OMS to collaboratively develop, provision, and deploy science models for analysis of natural resource concerns, assisting land management decision-making.  The Object Modeling System (OMS) was jointly developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Colorado State University (CSU), also with support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  OMS is an open source framework for designing, building, validating, deploying, and supporting agro-environmental models.






Services Deployed for NRCS Resource Stewardship
IWBMIso Introduced at Isotope Hydrology Symposium
Urban Water Center


The Urban Water Center at Colorado State University was created at the dawn of the new millennium to foster education and research as well as provide municipalities with information to assist them with better management of their urban water systems. The mission of this organization is to promote adoption of sustainable and innovative urban water management approaches through teaching, research and extension.





Using Graywater and Stormwater to Enhance Local Water Supplies
Report shows benefits, risks or stormwater and graywater


Urban Water Innovation Network


The network, a consortium of academic institutions and key partners across the U.S., includes research, engagement and educational programs that address challenges that threaten urban water systems. The mission of UWIN is to create technological, institutional, and management solutions to help communities increase the resilience of their water systems and enhance preparedness for responding to water crises.



Our research activities aim to create knowledge and increase fundamental understanding of challenges to urban water systems and find solutions to enhance preparedness for responding to water crises in regions across the United States.  We currently are undertaking over 20 research projects which are organized around four major research thrusts:



UWIN Tackles Urban Water Challenges
UWIN Newsletter
Water Sustainability and Climate Center


Our goal is to identify water management solutions that are socially viable, economically feasible, and environmentally effective to meet the increasing demand for water under changing climate and land use. The South Platte River Basin is the study area for analysis and demonstration.



Our research activities are conducted through six highly interconnected projects focusing on:



Sustainability Leadership Fellows (2016)