The group of hydraulic constructions and hydrology deals with the studies on the management and protection of water resources, the most innovative urban hydraulics, the renewable energy with regard to hydropower, the mechanisms that control the water flow in the earthly phase of the hydrological cycle, with important opportunities for the application in the management and protection of groundwater, and the defense of the land from flooding.
Among the studies on water resources applicative studies have become increasingly important, with special attention to an interdisciplinary approach (in collaboration with researchers from culturally contiguous areas of science, such as sanitary engineering and physics of the atmosphere) for monitoring and rehabilitation of small alpine lakes and to evaluate the environmental impact of disposal and treatment of wastewater and waste.
Urban hydraulics refer to research on the reliability of water distribution systems, their efficiency and research and containment of losses, while more recent is the development of mathematical modeling of the transformation of rainfall into runoff in the drainage networks and the relative risk reduction. Urban hydraulics also refer to studies aimed at improving distribution and water quality in developing countries, with applications also to the type of hydroelectric energy.
In the field of surface hydrology important results were obtained in the study of natural laws that guide the growth of river networks, whose structures, apparently irregular, reveal fascinating geometric properties related to both regular and few constitutive laws.
The study of energy exchanges that occur between the soil and atmosphere, accompanied by the study of processes of transformation of rainfall into runoff into rivers, is a second field in which the sector has more recently ventured. The sector is also involved in the study of the hydrological cycle component that is developed at greater depth within the groundwater bodies, universally recognized as the most valuable reserves of drinking water on the planet.
The studies in this area try to identify, using appropriate mathematical models synthetic yet effective, the control action that the formidable heterogeneity of geological formations conduct on the water flow and on the contaminant transport. Also in this case the studies, while focusing on the understanding of natural processes, have important implications for application in the planning of utilization of water resources and in the protection and, where appropriate, in the remediation of contaminated aquifers.