Water is the basic element for life and landscape processes. The Water Research Group at TUC Aqua-TUC deals with the society’s need for clean and safe drinking water, with contamination of ground water, rivers, lakes, and fjords from public and industrial activity, and with ecological issues connected to water.

The professions comprise surface water, ground water, treatment of drinking water and sewage water, water contamination, ecology, microbiology, biotechnology, and mathematical modeling of water flow and processes.

Research disciplines

The members of the water research group are from the Department of Environmental and Health Studies and the Department of Process-, Energy-, and Environmental Technology. Research topics are limnology, hydrogeology, hydrology, drinking water, sewage water and sludge treatment, bioenergy, extraction of phosphorus from sewage sludge, fish and fisheries, and ecotoxicology.

Collaboration and network

  • Norwegian Environment Agency/ Helga Gunnarsdottir
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research, NIVA /Anne Lycke Solheim, Thorjørn Larssen,
  • Norwegian Metrological Institute (NMI)/ Inger Hanssen Bauer and Erik Førland, Eirik Fjeld, Sigurd Rognerud, Hans Fredrik Veiteberg Braaten
  • Norwegian Public Roads Administration /Sondre Meland
  • University of Konstanz /Professor Daniel Dietrich
  • Autonomous University of Madrid /Professor Antonio Quesada
  • Laboratory of fresh water ecology and inland fisheries (LFI), Natural history Museum, UiO/ Svein J. Saltveit and Åge Brabrand
  • Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)/ Jon Museth, Morten Kraabøl, Thomas Jensen
  • Institute of Marine Research, Flødevigen/ Esben Moland, Espen Moland Olsen
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) / Knut Røed
  • University of British Colombia (UBC)/ Eric Taylor
  • British Columbia Ministry of Environment (BCEnvironment), Skeena Region/ Mark BeereEAWAG Kastanienbaum/ Armin Peter
  • Universitety of Bergen (UiB)/ Professor Gunnar Bratbak
  • Universitety i Oslo (UiO), Department of Biosciences / Dag Olav Hessen and Tom Andersen
  • Universitety i Oslo (UiO), Department of Chemistry/ Rolf D. Vogt
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Department of Environmental Sciences/ Jan Mulder
  • Universitety of Agder (UiA), Department of Natural Sciences/ Dag Olav Andersen
  • Institute for energy technology (IFE)/ Ingard Johansen
  • Norwegian Public Roads Administration, SVV-Region South/ Lene Jacobsen and Evie Kvisberglien Christiansen
  • Sweden University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment/ Stefan Løfgren
  • Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate NVE/ Deborah Lawrence and Hege Hisdal
  • Norwegian Geological Survey NGU/ Atle Dagestad
  • University of Oslo (UiO), Departement of Archaeology, Conservation, and History/ Knut Ødegård
  • Makerere University, Uganda, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira
  • University of Nairobi, Kenya, Prof. Francis M. Mutua
  • Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, Prof. Yacob Arsano Atito
  • University of Juba, South Sudan, Dr. John Anthony Ariki
  • University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Prof. Suman Bandara Weerakoon
  • Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, Prof. Md. Mafizur Rahman
  • University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, Balachandran Ketheesan
  • Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Cambodia, Dr. Norith Phol
  • University of Bergen, Norway, Dr. Tore Sætersdal
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway, Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera

Current Research

  • EU project MEAT (Microcystin Exposure Associated Toxicity)-project: Seventh Framework Programme, Marie Curie actions. Coordinator: Prof. Daniel Dietrich, University of Konstanz/Germany. Partners: Cawthron Institute, Nelson; Dr. Susan Wood, New Zealand.Catholic University, Cordoba, Argentina. Instituto Nacional del Agua, Cordoba, Argentina; Silvana halc, Marcarena Seleme. Telemark University College, Norway/ Synne Kleiven, Hans Utkilen, Mona Sæbø, Andrew Jenkins, Niranjan Nitin Parulekar.
  • NILS Science and Sustainability project (EEA): Health risks of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in Norway and Spain. Coordinator: Prof. Antonio Quesada, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Partner: Telemark University College, Norway/ Synne Kleiven, Hans Utkilen, Mona Sæbø, Andrew Jenkins, Niranjan Nitin Parulekar
  • Biological treatment of industrial waste water. Rune Bakke (USN), Shuai Wang (USN), Carlos Dinamarca (USN), Gang Xin (Biowater) and Jon Hovland (Tel-Tek).
  • Corporation with the fertilizer producer YARA. Carlos Dinamarca (USN). Research team: Masterstudents at USN.
  • Effects of wildfire on lakes. Espen Lydersen (USN)
  • Mercury in aquatic food chains. Espen Lydersen (USN)
  • Multiple effects of road water runoffs. Espen Lydersen (USN)
  • Guest editior for special issue of the journal Ambio about results from 50 years monitoring of fresh water resources in Sweden. Espen Lydersen (USN)
  • Hydroacoustic monitoring of fish movements in Tokkeåi/Bandak. Jan Heggenes (USN). Esben Moland, Espen Moland Olsen, Morten Stickler (Statkraft), Jostein Kristiansen (Statkraft)
  • Genetic population structures of river mussels. Jan Heggenes (USN) and Knut Røed (NMBU)
  • Spawning ground for large trout in river Tokkeåi. Jan Heggenes (USN) and Jostein Kristiansen (Statkraft)
  • Habitat conditions and fish populations in river Farriselva. Roger Roseth (Bioforsk) and Jan Heggenes (USN)
  • Landscape ecology and genetic structure in Babine-Morice steelhead: Jan Heggenes (USN), Eric Taylor (UBC), and Mark Beere (BCEnvironment)
  • River regulations in Tokkeåi. Morten Kraabøl (NINA), Jan Heggenes (USN), Åge Brabrand (LFI), Svein J. Saltveit (LFI), and Stein Ivar Johnsen (NINA)
  • Habitat improvements in river Usteåne, Geilo. Jan Heggenes (USN), Åge Brabrand (LFI), and Bjørn Otto Dønnum (ECO)
  • Reconstruction of antique and prehistoric landscapes, Tegea, Greece/ Harald Klempe (TUC), Knut Ødegård (UiO), and Hege Bakke Alisøy (UiB)
  • Ground water drinking water supply, Hagadrag, Bø in Telemark/ Harald Klempe (USN) and master students at USN.
  • WaSO-projects: Water and Society – Institutional Capacity-Building in Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation in Selected Countries in Asia and Africa. This is a five-year project involving eleven partner universities from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Norway. The project has been funded by the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development – NORHED. Norwegian partners are NMBU, UiB and HSN. Coordinator for USN is Tone Jøran Oredalen. Project web-site:

Current PhD Projects

Occurrence of heterotrophic bacteria in cyanobacteria blooms worldwide. Scholar: Niranjan Nitin Parulekar. Supervisors at USN: Synne Kleiven, Hans Utkilen, Mona Sæbø og Andrew Jenkins.

Fatty acid production from micro algae. Scholar: Ikumi Umetani. Supervisors at USN: Synne Kleiven and Rune Bakke.

Mercury pollution in fish and invertebrates in natural and wildfire impacted lakes in Norway. Scholar: Clara E.V. Moreno. Supervisors: Espen Lydersen, USN and Sigurd Rognerud, NIVA. Defenced November 2014.

Impact of selenium on mercury concentration in fish. Scholar: Asle Økelsrud. Supervisors: Espen Lydersen, USN and Thorjørn Larssen, NIVA.

Improving the methods for estimating extreme flood for dam safety analysis. Scholar: Valeriya Filipova. Supervisors: Harald Klempe, USN, Deborah Lawrence, NVE, Inger Hanssen-Bauer, NMI, and Erik Førland, NMI.

Ecosystem effects of mercury contaminated sediments. Scholar: Marianne Olsen. Supervisors: Professor Espen Lydersen, USN, Senior researcher Morten Scaanning, NIVA, and Research director Kristoffer Næs, NIVA.