Water – University of Copenhagen

Challenges facing society

Water is the basis of all life on Earth and demand for it increases with the rapidly growing world population. The world's water needs include drinking water, water for food, for industry, for sanitation and personal hygiene, and water for new purposes, e.g. producing biofuels.

Approximately one billion people currently lack access to clean water. In 2030, the global population will be eight billion. Forecasts predict that approximately half – four billion people – will face serious water shortages. This will coincide with pollution, increased prosperity and climate change reducing the amount of water available. At the University of Copenhagen, research is being conducted into the whole water cycle with a view to taking up the challenge of creating sustainable solutions to the world's great water challenge. Read more..

Major research results

  • Water management in cities
  • Pesticides in the aquatic environment can generate synergies
  • The irrigation systems of the future must ensure sustainable rice production
  • Climate change affects human life on all fronts
  • Toxins from fern can end up in the groundwater

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Stakeholders in research

A wide range of research is conducted into water at the University of Copenhagen and collectively it covers the whole water cycle. The research includes, for example, the interaction between soil, water and biological production, water quality in developing countries and modelling of how pollutants are transported via water. When it comes to water management, research is being conducted into the restoration of wetlands, streams and lakes, crops' flood tolerance and implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. UCPH researchers have developed integrated hydrological models which, among other things, can be used to study how to manage rainwater better in cities when precipitation increases.