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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Photo: Marie-Elodie Perga
September 18, 2018

Clear mountain lakes could change with ever greater frequency into milky soup in the future. Climate change is the guilty agent. This has been shown by a new study led by the University of Lausanne in collaboration with Eawag and the French National Agricultural Research Institute using the example of a French mountain lake. Read more

Thermal energy in lake water is often revealed in autumn: the water is markedly warmer than the air and evaporates – the lake thus becomes especially photogenic. (Photo: Adrien Gaudard, Eawag)
September 5, 2018

Climate warming is not the only cause of temperature changes in lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. The use of waterbodies for heating and cooling also leads to increases or decreases in water temperature. There has been little research to date, however, on how this affects aquatic ecosystems. This lack of understanding has been highlighted by a recent literature review carried out at Eawag and the University of Bern. Read more

Latest Publications

Vetsch, D.; Di Giulio, M.; Franca, M. J.; Juez, C.; Scheidegger, C.; Weber, C. (2018) Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt «Geschiebe und Habitatsdynamik», Wasser, Energie, Luft, 110(3), 195-200, Institutional Repository
Bouffard, D.; Wüest, A. (2019) Convection in Lakes, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 51(1), 189-215, doi:10.1146/annurev-fluid-010518-040506, 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!