Water touches on all aspects of our daily lives including planning, infrastructure, housing, finance, economic security, data analytics, and risk assessment. The Institute for Water Research, Sustainability and Policy (IWRSP) serves as an entity that draws faculty within UTSA, as well as water professionals from around the San Antonio area and South Texas region, to identify water-related problems, to facilitate areas of common research interests, to address water resources for individuals, communities, agriculture, and industry, and to build an excellent research, teaching, and service center.


To catalyze collaborations among UTSA faculties in the areas of water quantity, water quality, flood control, and water policy, with an emphasis on the effect of climate change and land use change on water resources.


To facilitate cross-disciplinary and innovative research collaborations to provide optimum solutions to global, national, regional, and municipal water problems and empower the communities that are affected by water-related problems.


  • To advance fundamental research and discovery in water science that improves the quality of life and protect the environment.
  • To grow water science scholarly output at scale and become a leader in studying and solving grand challenges related to water quality and quantity.
  • To attract top-tier talent in water research.
  • To build and develop multi-organizational and multi-disciplinary collaborations with UTSA at the center.
  • To engage international partners that strengthen UTSA's research impact across the world.
  • To foster inclusivity and diversity in water science training and education.

Primary Goal

To develop a diverse workforce in water science including hydrology, aqueous biogeochemistry, water quantity, analytical and numerical modeling of water systems, economy and water, water and ethics, social science and water.

Educational Goals

  • Form highly skilled diverse professionals in STEM as well as social science disciplines that support water science for society.
  • Develop an integrated education and research program with field, laboratory and modeling based analyses to support the future workforce.
  • Increase the interest of underrepresented and minority undergraduate students into STEM and into graduate education.
  • Implement K-12 teacher workshops and outreach program with the purpose of inspiring underrepresented minority students in pursuing STEM careers.
  • Increase research capacity at UTSA in areas related to water research.

Research Goals

  • Characterize and understand key processes related to hydrology and hydrogeology such as precipitation and runoff, aquifer storage, changing climate, and water resources and flood control.
  • Better understand natural and anthropogenic processes affecting water quality, including aqueous chemistry of nutrients, toxic metals-metalloids, regulated and emerging inorganic and organic contaminants.
  • Develop and test novel processes for advanced water treatment and water reuse, including brackish groundwater desalination, brine minimization, advanced oxidation, direct and indirect potable reuse.
water research circle

Public Health

  • Infectious diseases, water borne virus and pathogens
  • Regulated and emerging contaminants
  • Contaminants of human health concern

Policy and Society

  • Water sustainability, societal impacts, cross-border solutions, and policy analysis

Water Quantity and Economics

  • Water cycle, budgeting, proportioning, and sharing
  • Groundwater resources and aquifer storage and distribution
  • Land use and climate impact on water quantity
  • Advanced water treatment and water reuse

Water Quality

  • Safe Drinking Water Quality (both surface and groundwater) - local, regional