Water Resources Center

A river with rocks and grass at the edge. Pine trees in the distance.

The University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center provides leadership in freshwater management through cutting-edge research, educational opportunities for students and professionals, and community outreach. Authorized by Congress as one of the nation’s 54 water resources research institutes, we also connect the research expertise at the University to research problems at the national level.

Minnehaha Falls waterfall. Trees are green, water rushes over edge and down over rocks.

What we're working on

See our diverse portfolio of programs, projects and events.

Programs and Expertise

Aerial view of a river with a smaller stream branching off to the right.

Where we're going

Read our strategic plan which guides our work and collaborations for the next several years.

Mission and Vision

A calm lake with a metal canoe pulled up to a rocky shore. A red lifejacket and wooden oars sit in the canoe.

What we've accomplished

Learn about our impacts and activities in 2022, our sphere of influence and metrics.

Annual Highlights Report

Upcoming Events


  • Investigating the effects of intensive agricultural irrigation on tribal resources in Central Minnesota

    February 1, 2023

    by Philip Margarit and Leslie Ludtke

    The 1855 Treaty Territory overlaps partially with the Pineland Sands Aquifer System (Pineland Sands) in Central Minnesota. This region is important culturally, ecologically, and economically, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River and numerous trout streams, recreational lakes, and wild rice water bodies important to the Anishinaabe.

  • Analyzing potential public health concern of walleye mercury concentrations triggered by zebra mussel invasion

    February 1, 2023

    by Denver Link

    Minnesota’s state fish is threatened by an aquatic invasive species, potentially inducing public health concern. The beloved walleye holds significant cultural and economic importance in Minnesota, but zebra mussels cause large scale changes that impact the food web. Water Resources Science graduate student Denver Link seeks to understand how zebra mussels impact food sources for walleye populations in Minnesota lakes.

  • Minnesota springs are getting wetter. What’s at stake for farmers?

    February 1, 2023

    by Bailey Tangen and Anna Cates

    Climate change is projected to change the timing, frequency, and severity of spring precipitation in Minnesota, and farmers might notice those changes first. Increases in number and quantity of rains are expected early in the growing season in southern Minnesota, where acres of corn and soybean dominate the landscape. Besides increasing the risk of water erosion in these fields, erratic rain patterns cause a lot of stress to farmers looking to plant corn and soybeans in May.