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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Water and wastewater systems engineering

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Photo. Water sprinkler. Text on picture with research group name "Water and wastewater Engineering

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Key challenges addressed by the water and wastewater engineering group

Population growth, urbanization, climate changes and increasing demands to maintain environmental standards are major challenges for water and wastewater systems. The systems are often old and worn out, not only from a global perspective but also to a great extent in Norway. ( ref.“State for the Nation”, 2010, 2012, 2015).

The frequency of flooding in urban areas and disruption in water supply or drainage systems due to breakdowns or capacity shortfalls is increasing. Subsequently, significant investments in this infrastructure are to be expected in the coming decades, where leading economists predict that the global water and wastewater industry will experience a formidable economic growth in the 21st century.

Challenges and opportunities this represents will require a substantial effort and increase in research initiatives. Some examples include:

Water and Wastewater toggler

  • Safe drinking water by the removal of all kinds of contaminants, requiring new treatment technologies that are energy efficient and optimized.
  • Advanced treatment of wastewater, including recovery of resources from wastewater (nutrients, energy and water)
  • Storm water management strategies to meet climate change issues and urbanization, advanced models for urban runoff from rain and snow
  • Sustainable rehabilitation/renewal of current urban water systems, construction of new systems, including geographical information systems of the infrastructures
  • Water quality in aquaculture – advanced treatment recycling aquaculture systems and reducing discharge
  • Treatment of process water from oil and gas exploitation


  • Treatment of drinking water
  • wastewater treatment and recover
  • hydraulics of urban water systems
  • urban hydrology and storm water management
  • technology for water transportation systems
  • upgrading of water and wastewater networks (asset management)


IBM facilities include a dedicated water analysis laboratory, research halls for drinking water and wastewater studies, and an advanced urban runoff field station at Risvollan.

There is a well-established collaboration with research groups at SINTEF and other departments at NTNU, e.g. chemistry, chemical engineering, biotechnology, risk analysis and industrial ecology. 



SFI Klima 2050 - Risk reduction through climate adaptation of buildings and infrastructure

WIDER UPTAKE - aims to facilitate industrial symbiosis as a means to increase resource efficiency, limit emissions and develop sustainable business based on water-smart solutions.

StopUP - The main goal of this EU project is to minimise pollution from urban runoff by better understanding pollutant sources and pathways. In particular, StopUP will equip drainage engineers and supporting experts with better solutions for managing urban surface water runoff, while taking into account the project pressures due to climate change.

Treatment of Road Water from Tunnel Washing and Run-Off (TRANSPORT 2025; 303712, NRC founded). TreatRW aims to find technically feasible  and economically and ecologically meaningful treatments for road water from tunnel washing and run-off.

ULTIMATE aims to create economic value and increase sustainability by valorising resources within the water cycle. 

B-WaterSmart - The aim is to accelerate the transformation to water-smart economies and societies in coastal Europe and beyond by reducing the use of freshwater resources, improving the recovery and reuse of resources, and increase water use efficiency.

Head of Research group

Head of Research group


Tone Merete Muthanna