Department Surface Waters - Research and Management

Surface Waters -
Research & Management (Surf)

We focus both on processes in the aquatic environment as well as on entire systems of natural waters.

We perform basic and applied research and several projects have a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary focus, including system analysis. Read more


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On the surface of various Swiss lakes, the water periodically turns a turquoise colour. This is due to calcite precipitation. (Photo: Sentinel-2 data provided by ESA, 2017)
July 19, 2018

Thanks to Copernicus – the EU Earth Observation Programme initiated in 2014 – environmental researchers now have access to vast amounts of high-quality satellite data. As this is also invaluable for aquatic research, Eawag is currently expanding its capacity in the area of remote sensing. Read more

Almost 100 million plastic spheres reduce evaporation losses from the Los Angeles Ivanhoe reservoir. (Photo: Junkyardsparkle, CC0 1.0)
July 17, 2018

Black plastic balls, which aim to reduce evaporation losses from open-air reservoirs under drought conditions, are not quite as efficient as previously assumed. Considerable quantities of water are already used in their production.  Read more

Latest Publications

Zemskaya, T. I.; Lomakina, A. V.; Mamaeva, E. V.; Zakharenko, A. S.; Likhoshvai, A. V.; Galach’yants, Y. P.; Müller, B. (2018) Composition of microbial communities in sediments from southern Baikal containing Fe/Mn concretions, Microbiology, 87(3), 382-392, doi:10.1134/S0026261718030165, Institutional Repository
Lange, K.; Meier, P.; Trautwein, C.; Schmid, M.; Robinson, C. T.; Weber, C.; Brodersen, J. (2018) Basin-scale effects of small hydropower on biodiversity dynamics, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, doi:10.1002/fee.1823, Institutional Repository
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Research Projects

Wastewater is a source of antibiotic resistant bacteria. We study their dissemination in the aquatic environment, and strategies to remove them.
Lakes store large amounts of heat. To what extent can this heat be used to replace the use of fossil fuels or electricity for heating and cooling purposes?
We assess the environmental impacts of hydropower plants to support a sustainable development of this energy resource.
4’000 river kilometers will be rehabilitated in Switzerland over the course of the coming 80 years – a unique opportunity for learning!