The Environmental Research Laboratory Link to The Univeristy of Arizona website link to the Department of Soil Water and Environmental Science homepage link to about erl link to personnell link to research link to The Water Quality Center link to The WQC Laborataory link to the WQC Water Village link to tours


The Water Quality Center logoERL is the home of the University of Arizona National Science Foundation Water Quality Center. The Center is a prestigious group of University of Arizona scientists representing biology, chemistry, physics, hydrology and engineering. These interdisciplinary teams resolve issues related to municipal water supplies. Funding for the Center is provided by companies and agencies interested in specific water quality issues, and by the National Science Foundation. The combination of corporate funding and university expertise gives the WQC a unique problem-solving capability that benefits the whole community. To view more information about the Center and the benefits of membership, visit the website.

Director's Statement

"Water quality is a critical factor affecting human health and welfare. Any advance in our ability to preserve or enhance the quality of our water supplies is likely to come through state-of-the-art research. The 21st Century model to provide this research is through the integration of the government, the private sector, and universities."---Ian L. Pepper


The mission of the WQC is to conduct research that evaluates physical, chemical, and microbial processes that affect the quality of surface and subsurface waters utilized for potable supplies.

Overall Goals

  • To improve the flow of scientific knowledge that affects water quality, from the University of Arizona to industry, government agencies, and the general public
  • To develop support for water quality research
  • To provide graduate students with a broad industry perspective
  • To inform and educate the public regarding water quality issues
  • To ultimately achieve self-sufficiency by bonding with long-term industry and government partners

Research Focus

  • Water security
  • Fate and remediation of commercial/industrial contamination
  • Agrochemical products and salinity that affect water quality
  • Waste reuse
  • Mining
  • Potable water management
For a more detailed description of these research areas see Water Quality and Human Health Protection Research on this site


  • National Science Foundation support
  • State of Arizona support
  • Private sector support, industrial firms, and federal, state, and local government and non-government agencies
  • Private sector support is in the form of annual membership fees at one of three levels, with representation on an Industrial Advisory Board.

Membership Benefits

  • Prestigious association with the National Science Foundation
  • No indirect costs on membership fees, whereas University overhead is usually 51.5%
  • Voting rights on the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) allow industry members to influence research areas
  • Little or no WQC administrative costs
  • University research provides credibility with the local community and general public

Student Opportunities

  • Funding available
  • Training of undergraduate and graduate students in scientific research
  • Opportunity to publish research papers
  • Opportunity to present research at national meetings
  • Opportunity for students to gain broad industry perspective

The University of Arizona Environmental Research Laboratory
2601 E. Airport Drive Tucson, Arizona 85756 (520) 626-3322