Mission and vision

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The Center for Urban Waters is a highly collaborative university-led applied science program dedicated to finding globally-applicable solutions to urban water quality problems in the Pacific Northwest. The center provides an intellectual environment where people with a diverse mix of skills can collaborate to develop innovative approaches to environmental restoration and protection and to sustainable urban development. 

The Core of Urban Waters:

  • creating sustainable, efficient and equitable water quality systems that support vibrant coastal communities while protecting the environment.
  • enhancing collective conversations and decision making by providing timely, credible, and actionable scientific information to coastal communities.
  • training students to solve practical real-world problems and to design sustainable city infrastructure and systems.


We strive to be:

  • Accessible and responsive to our local community while understanding global applications of our work.
  • Always seeking opportunities to identify and solve emerging water issues in coastal cities.
  • Respected and recognized for the quality and impact of our work.
  • Valued for our leadership and distinct contributions to complex environmental investigations

This vision will be supported by:

  • Dynamic interdisciplinary research groups led by accomplished senior university scientists.
  • Tangible enthusiasm and support from community leaders.
  • Strong ties with UW students, faculty, and their academic and research programs.
  • A deliberate and thoughtful community engagement enterprise supported by dedicated resources.
  • A diverse and stable funding portfolio that includes dedicated resources to seed new research lines and to reinvest in research infrastructure.
  • A clear and efficient university administrative support structure.