The 117-year-old Glasgow Underground has been blighted by water seeping through the tunnel walls and tracks since it opened.
Now there are plans to use that water to create what could be a first in subway heating systems.
Scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) are to work with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), to turn "a negative into a positive".
Gordon Maclennan, chief executive of SPT, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for SPT and builds positively on our existing energy-efficiency strategy.
"This innovative approach has potential to produce many more benefits for SPT including reducing our energy usage and costs."
The plans involve using pumps to suck up warm water and use the heat to warm the stations and nearby buildings.
If successful, the technique would cut both heating and maintenance costs and reduce disruption for passengers.
The River Clyde cuts diagonally across the subway while water also leaks in from the River Kelvin at Kelvinbridge station.
It is impossible to
prevent rain and river water soaking through, forcing the operator to continually pump
water back out to
prevent the network from flooding and
The project, funded for two years, will be the first to attempt to use the heat-harvesting technique in a subway.
It is already used to provide ground-source heating for homes.
The work will be done as part of a £136,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a scheme to use academic
research in practical situations.