University of Florida Water Institute

2016-2021 Strategic Plan

Executive Summary


Florida’s burgeoning human population and vulnerability to both climatological and anthropogenic changes in the water cycle makes the State a unique living laboratory to develop new knowledge and test solutions to global water problems. In recognition of the importance of water issues, and the need to address them in a new interdisciplinary manner, the University of Florida established a campus-wide interdisciplinary Water Institute in May 2006. Since its inception, the UF Water Institute has emerged on campus, and in the state, as a leader in coordinating interdisciplinary research, education and outreach programs.


The UF Water Institute brings together talent from throughout the University, and builds internal and external partnerships, to address relevant research challenges; implement innovative interdisciplinary training programs for promising students; and provide state-of-the-art expert assistance and educational programs for external stakeholders.


Interdisciplinary UF Water Institute Teams, comprised of leading water researchers, educators and students, develop new scientific breakthroughs; creative engineering, policy and legal solutions; and pioneering educational programs that are renowned for addressing state, national, and global water problems.


Partnerships: The Water Institute recognizes the importance of developing strong inclusive partnerships among Water Institute Affiliate Faculty, and with external stakeholders, to identify and prioritize critical water issues requiring interdisciplinary expertise.

Expertise: The Water Institute is committed to developing the basic knowledge, practical experience, and infrastructure required to respond to stakeholders’ emerging water issues.

Excellence: The Water Institute is committed to provide excellent interdisciplinary water-related research, education and outreach programs that are recognized within the state of Florida, the nation and the world.

Respect: The Water Institute provides services that acknowledge and respect the expertise of all Water Institute Affiliate faculty; it also recognizes the personal values, cultures, and socioeconomic context of its diverse external stakeholders.


The overarching goals of Water Institute research, education and outreach programs are to:
  • Improve basic knowledge of the physical, chemical, and biological processes in aquatic systems (rivers, lakes, estuaries, wetlands, soil and ground waters).
  • Enhance understanding of the interactions and interrelationships between human attitudes and activities, and aquatic systems.
  • Develop and promote the adoption of improved methodologies for water resource management, policy and public awareness (including quantity, quality and ecosystem services) based on a foundation of science, engineering, management and law.
For the full text of the UF Water Institute 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, click here.