We bring together researchers from across the GW4 to collaborate on a range on interdisciplinary water issues.

If you are looking for an academic with specific skills, would like to be introduced to one of our affiliated researchers, or would like to join our researcher database, please contact us at a.schofield@gw4.ac.uk.

Found: 94 experts matching your search criteria

About

Hand under a stream of water

Water security means making sure there is enough water of the right quality in the right place at the right time for people, farming, businesses and the environment.

With 500+ academics across four leading UK research institutions, the GW4 Water Security Alliance (WSA) is the largest UK water research consortium – and one of the largest worldwide. It brings together academics and stakeholders with a common vision of addressing the impact of global change on water to benefit people and ecosystems.

The Alliance is a platform for:

  • Increasing cross-institutional working;
  • Sharing state-of-the-art infrastructure, facilities, equipment and training resources;
  • Forging long-term collaborative relationships across multiple sectors and industries;
  • Fostering multidisciplinary water research excellence to increase international recognition and impact.

Watch an introductory YouTube video below to find out more about the GW4 Alliance (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter Universities).

Meet the team

The Water Security Alliance is a large community of interdisciplinary researchers, spanning numerous institutional departments across the GW4 universities – from the Natural, Earth, Biological and Social Sciences to Economics and Engineering.

Our Management Board is comprised of researchers from different disciplines, representing the different GW4 institutions.

Our Operations Team is there to help you interact with our researchers and to answer any of your questions.

Our Doctoral Student Group organise events and workshops for postgraduate students and early career researchers.

Events

A photo of event participants' hands writing notes

The WSA runs a series of community-building events of varying sizes and formats, for GW4 researchers across the four universities. Focusing on current water security topics, the series ultimately empowers the community to work collaboratively to:

  • Build large, Alliance-supported grant proposals
  • Write and publish scoping reviews to identify gaps in research
  • Bring together stakeholders to identify and propose research topics in specific areas
  • Identify training opportunities and propose training modules, such as virtual classes or summer schools for staff, students or external candidates
  • Identify strong ODA links to further develop as a group
  • Identify gaps in services and facilities in view of a pooled request to Universities or research councils.

The WSA also has seedcorn funding available to GW4 researchers who would like to propose workshops on current water security topics, that fit the objectives above.

Please contact GW4water@cf.ac.uk to register interest in running an event.

Our resources

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Get in touch

Ice on river in black and white

For all enquiries, please email GW4water@cf.ac.uk or contact Andy Schofield, WSA Manager at schofielda@cardiff.ac.uk, or your local liaison officers below


SUPPORT Officers

Kelsie Patton 
(University of Cardiff)
pattonk2@cardiff.ac.uk
Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott
(University of Bath)
baal20@bath.ac.uk

join our mailing list

Sign up to the GW4 Water Security Alliance mailing list for a monthly newsletter and periodic updates on WSA events, activities and funding opportunities.

Postgraduate training

Big stones in a river in a forest

We foster the next generation of water leaders by providing interdisciplinary training environments.

The GW4 leads 31 externally-funded doctoral training programmes across the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. By combining training strength, the GW4 Water Security Alliance enables PhD students to be part of an interdisciplinary cohort of researchers and to work with supervisors from these four institutions. Members of the Alliance are currently in two centres for doctoral training: FRESH and WISE.


Doctoral Training

NERC GW4 FRESH Centre for Doctoral Training

Group photo of walkers in a forest

Sustaining the World’s freshwater ecosystems, while meeting the water demands of a growing population, will require a new brand of intellectually mobile and agile problem solvers. Our vision is to train future leaders with the skills necessary to address the challenges facing freshwater sustainability.


EPSRC WISE CENTRE FOR DOCTORAL TRAINING

WISE CDT students and director at Water Security Alliance annual conference

The Water Informatics Science & Engineering CDT trains five different cohorts of engineers and scientists at the boundary of water informatics, sciences and engineering. Topics include water re-use, hydrologic applications, pollution control or river and marine renewable energy.


NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership

People crouching to study a stream as seen from the side

The NERC GW4+ Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is a collaborative partnership formed of the GW4 Alliance of the world-class research-intensive Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter and Cardiff University plus five unique and prestigious Research Organisation partners: British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the Natural History Museum and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Master’s studies

There are a variety of Master’s courses offered in our four universities. Find out more on the institutional pages:

Current Research


Our Themes


examples of our current research

    • CREWW

      Hand using tap to fill an overflowing glass of water

      A £10.5 million investment will fund world-leading research into the provision of safe and resilient water services in the UK and overseas.

      Visit the CREWW website

    • DOWN2EARTH

      An international team of researchers and organisations help tackle food and water insecurity in the Horn of Africa Drylands (HAD).

      Image credit: BBC Media Action

    • MaRIUS

      Dry earth and grass

      A £3.4m NERC-funded project introducing a risk-based approach to drought and water scarcity, in order to inform management decisions and prepare households.

      Visit the MaRIUS website

    • NextGen

      The project will look at demonstrating technologies with a potential to contribute to reuse and recovery of resources within a perspective of circular economy.

      Visit the NextGen website

    • SWEEP

      Stones in a river in a forest

      A £4.1m NERC-funded initiative bringing together academic experts, businesses and policy makers to solve some of the challenges involved in managing, utilising and improving the natural environment.

      Visit the SWEEP website

    • The Biogeochemistry Research Center

      Globe

      An interdisciplinary research venture with state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and instrumentation, addressing cutting-edge questions in Earth Systems Science.

      Visit The Biogeochemistry Research Center website

Upcoming events

All invited! Come and join the GW4 Water Security Alliance on June 7th 2021, for the next in our series of international water research presentations with our Canadian partners at Global Water Futures Young Professionals. This is our third event; and we are keen to engage more PhD students studying in all areas of water science, to come and share ideas about our research and gain new collaborations from across the pond. Register here or get in touch with Andy Schofield: gw4water@cardiff.ac.uk to find out more.


This international conference gathers together leading scientists, engineers, planners and practitioners and “rising stars” to provide an exciting opportunity to discuss and showcase cutting edge water management research and technical, institutional, modelling, planning and community driven social and policy innovations.


A photo of flowing water

2nd International Symposium on Water System Operations

1-3 September 2021 NEW DATE
Bristol

The 2nd International Symposium on Water System Operations (ISWSO2020) brings together researchers and practitioners in the field of monitoring, modelling and optimisation of water systems operations.


Video Library


Most of the events we hold will be recorded and archived here in our online video library. Please click on the buttons below to find either recordings from our conferences, or recordings from our webinars.

Please note that not all of our events can be recorded.

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Management board

The Water Security Alliance is a large community of interdisciplinary researchers, spanning numerous institutional departments across the GW4 universities – from the Natural, Earth, Biological and Social Sciences to Economics and Engineering.

Director

Isabelle Durance from Cardiff University

Co-Directors

Board

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Max-munday-300x118.jpg


Operations team

Our Operations Team is here to help you liaise with our affiliated researchers and the whole of the GW4 Water Security Alliance community. Please do not hesitate to contact them if you have any enquiries.

Professor Isabelle Durance (Director)

Professor Durance is Director of the GW4 WSA and Professor and Director of the Water Research Institute at Cardiff University. She can be contacted at durance@cardiff.ac.uk.

Madeline McLeod, FRESH CDT Manager (University of Cardiff)

Madeline manages the WSA-affiliated FRESH CDT at the University of Cardiff and provides support to ensure the successful delivery of the Alliance. Her role is key in supporting local research activities, partnerships and maintaining oversight of resultant projects and WSA initiatives. 

Please contact Madeline at fresh@cardiff.ac.uk to engage or to know more about the Water Security Alliance.

Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott (Support Officer – University of Bath)

Beatrice provides support to ensure the successful delivery of the Alliance. Her role is key in supporting local research activities, partnerships and maintaining oversight of resultant projects and WSA initiatives. 

Please contact Beatrice at baal20@bath.ac.uk to engage or to know more about the Water Security Alliance.

Delivering water security through co-designed research


Summary of the event available on the GW4 website


‘Collaborative research to support action is crucial to delivering water security’ was the key message of our 2019 annual event, taking place in Bristol on Friday 14th June. Over 110 academics, stakeholders and funders joined us to discuss water security and to work towards setting a new agenda in the global water challenge.

Our 2019 Keynote Speakers

“In a changing climate, the security of water will become increasingly important.  Meeting the future needs of people and the environment will require research and lots of innovative thinking to inform what we do. The key ingredient will be working across disciplines to bring the right people into discussions.” Doug Wilson (EA)

Our 2019 Morning Panel

Ruth Kelman (NERC), John Rees (UKRI), Paul Gaskin (DCWW) and David Tickner (WWF) discussing perspectives on funding landscapes

Focus on our PhD students

Starting the process of collaboration together

“The definition of Water Security has evolved from initially being environment-centric to include issues such as socio-economic development, peace and security. To achieve this, it will be necessary for water sector actors to build partnerships within other sectors such as energy and food security.” Murray Biedler (UNESCO)

£10 million for new Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste

Hand using tap to fill an overflowing glass of water

A £10.5 million investment will fund a pioneering new collaborative research centre, designed to solve some of the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time.

Read the full article

Changing climate linked to major changes in flooding

Flood graph

Parts of northern Britain have suffered Europe’s biggest increases in flooding since the 1960s, according to new research by a multinational team including engineers from the University of Bath.

Read the full article

New H2020 project Aqua3S kicks off

Group photo of participants at AQUA launch

The Centre for Water Systems (CWS), University of Exeter together with 22 other European partners met in Thessaloniki, Greece on 25-26th September 2019 to launch the Aqua3S project.

Read the full article

New cohort of PhD students to improve the management of freshwater

Group photo of walkers in a forest

Freshwater ecosystems are becoming more and more vulnerable to climate change and the extinction rates of freshwater species is now faster than any other.

Read the full article

PhD Insights: Understanding the evolution of riparian forests in Arizona

Canyon at dawn in Arizona

PhD student Romy Sabathier shares insights from her recent fieldwork in Arizona, where she studied the impact of climate change and water stress on the evolution of riverside forests.

Read the full article

Homepage

  • Water in a changing world

    Water in a changing world

    Science for the predictive understanding of water resources
    in a changing world

    Integrated Natural and Engineered Water Systems
    Integrated Natural and Engineered
    Water Systems

    Management and governance to address trade-offs
    between natural and engineered water systems

    Water Innovations

    Water Innovations

    Novel tools and approaches to deliver
    transformative water solutions

    Previous slidePrevious slide
    Next slideNext slide
  • WSA Team

    People speaking to each other in an event in black and white
  • Research

    Our research
  • Postgraduate training

    Postgraduate training

 

Study compares floodplain protection today to predicted future flood losses

Aerial photo of a flooded neighbourhood

A new study by scientists from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the University of Bristol and flood analytics company Fathom, seeks to answer an important question related to flooding in the United States – pay now to protect undeveloped areas that are likely to flood in the future or allow developments to go ahead and pay for damage when it occurs.

Read the full article

Research Updates


CREWW

Hand using tap to fill an overflowing glass of water

A £10.5 million investment will fund world-leading research into the provision of safe and resilient water services in the UK and overseas.

Visit the CREWW website

DOMAINE

A £2.6m NERC-funded project assessing Dissolved Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus flux to aquatic ecosystems, to improve control and aid policy development.

Visit the DOMAINE website

DURESS

Colourful bird flying with a fish

A £3.2m multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Research Council initiative, assessing the role of biodiversity in delivering the key ecosystem services on which we rely.

Visit the DURESS website

Glamurs

Person watering plants

A €6.3m EU-funded project supporting policymakers, businesses, and citizens to make the right decisions for a transition to sustainable lifestyles and green economies.

Visit the Glamurs website

Llyn Brianne Stream Observatory (Wales)

River and small waterfall

Mesocosms pioneering research into the effects of land use, pollution and global change on stream biodiversity, ecological function and ecosystem services.

Visit the website

MaRIUS

Dry earth and grass

A £3.4m NERC-funded project introducing a risk-based approach to drought and water scarcity, in order to inform management decisions and prepare households.

Visit the MaRIUS website

MARS

Aerial photo of city and river

A €9.2m EU-funded consortium spanning 17 countries, investigating how multiple stressors – from urban and agricultural land use, water power generation and climate change – affect rivers, lakes and estuaries.

Visit the MARS website

SINATRA

Wooden sign coming out of water

A £3.6m NERC-funded programme advancing scientific understanding of the processes determining the probability, incidence, and impacts of flooding from intense rainfall.

Visit the SINATRA website

Sustainable Intensification

Field being irrigated

A £2.0m DEFRA and Welsh Government programme uniting the farming industry, researchers and stakeholders to examine Sustainable Intensification in England and Wales.

Visit the Sustainable Intensification website

SWEEP

Stones in a river in a forest

A £4.1m NERC-funded initiative bringing together academic experts, businesses and policy makers to solve some of the challenges involved in managing, utilising and improving the natural environment.

Visit the SWEEP website

The Biogeochemistry Research Center

Globe

An interdisciplinary research venture with state-of-the-art laboratories, equipment and instrumentation, addressing cutting-edge questions in Earth Systems Science.

Visit The Biogeochemistry Research Center website

trust

Aerial photo of a hazy city

A €7.0m EU-funded project that unites 30 partners across eleven countries to develop innovations and tools for a more sustainable water future.

Facilities

The GW4 Water Security Alliance offers access to a range of facilities from the four Universities to facilitate cutting-edge water research.

University of Bath

  1. Coastal monitoring instrumentation
  2. Water tanks with sediments
  3. Water quality labs
  4. Water treatment labs
  5. Waste water treatment labs
  6. Material and Chemical Characterisation Facility (MC²)

University of Bristol

  1. Catchment monitoring infrastructure
  2. Distributed catchment monitoring platform
  3. Biogeochemistry analytical and experimental platform
  4. Hydrometeorological station
  5. Hydrological modelling capability
  6. Ecological monitoring platforms and experimental facilities
  7. Facilities for growth experiments with plants and algae
  8. Bioinformatics and genomics facilities

University of Exeter

  1. Aquatic Resources Centre
  2. Thermodynamics and fluids lab
  3. 3D printing
  4. Bioimaging Centre
  5. Structures lab
  6. Materials lab
  7. Electronics lab
  8. Nanotechnology lab
  9. Graphene
  10. Experimental area (flume 180 l/s)
  11. PaleoEcology lab
  12. Clean room
  13. Sedimentology lab
  14. Analytical wet lab
  15. Living Systems Institute
  16. Sequencing

Alternative resources

While we are building our own database, below are some alternative resources to find suitable facilities in the South West:

Resources

Close up of a water treatment facility

GW4 WSA aims to facilitate access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources to enable timely and high impact research.

Past research projects


    • DOMAINE

      A £2.6m NERC-funded project assessing Dissolved Organic Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus flux to aquatic ecosystems, to improve control and aid… Read more…

    • DURESS

      Colourful bird flying with a fishA £3.2m multidisciplinary, multi-institutional Research Council initiative, assessing the role of biodiversity in delivering the key ecosystem services on which… Read more…

    • Glamurs

      Person watering plantsA €6.3m EU-funded project supporting policymakers, businesses, and citizens to make the right decisions for a transition to sustainable lifestyles… Read more…

    • Llyn Brianne Stream Observatory (Wales)

      River and small waterfallMesocosms pioneering research into the effects of land use, pollution and global change on stream biodiversity, ecological function and ecosystem… Read more…

    • MARS

      Aerial photo of city and riverA €9.2m EU-funded consortium spanning 17 countries, investigating how multiple stressors – from urban and agricultural land use, water power… Read more…

    • SINATRA

      Wooden sign coming out of waterA £3.6m NERC-funded programme advancing scientific understanding of the processes determining the probability, incidence, and impacts of flooding from intense… Read more…

    • Sustainable Intensification

      Field being irrigatedA £2.0m DEFRA and Welsh Government programme uniting the farming industry, researchers and stakeholders to examine Sustainable Intensification in England… Read more…

    • trust

      Aerial photo of a hazy cityA €7.0m EU-funded project that unites 30 partners across eleven countries to develop innovations and tools for a more sustainable… Read more…

NextGen

The project will look at demonstrating technologies with a potential to contribute to reuse and recovery of resources within a perspective of circular economy.

Visit the NextGen website

Research

Sun shining on a wave

We co-design research in an interdisciplinary and collaborative way with researchers and stakeholders.

Water in a Changing World

Science for the predictive understanding of water resources in a changing world.

Future changes in freshwater resources will impact on environment and ecosystem processes and our understanding of adaptation mechanisms.  Water in a Changing World includes studies into improving public awareness of freshwater resources and influencing human behaviour to mitigate against harmful future impacts. 

Water in a Changing World also seeks to predict and better establish how future supplies, demands and use of freshwater will affect the livelihoods, health and well-being of humans, including from increased risks of flooding, drought, and the spread of diseases. 

Clean freshwater underpins all life on earth and human demands upon it are increasing.   This, together with uncertainty in the spatial and temporal supplies due to climate change, drives the need for science to enable us to better predict, manage and protect future freshwater resources and freshwater ecosystems.

Integrated Natural and Engineered Water Systems

Management and governance to address trade-offs between natural and engineered water systems.

Society and the terrestrial water cycle have become closely interconnected through a long history of human interventions, including land cover change, the building of reservoirs and the training of rivers. 

The integrated management and governance of this water system is essential if we are to sustain ecosystems as well as the societies that rely on the ecosystem services that these systems provide. Holistic strategies are required to understand, manage and communicate complex interactions and trade-offs between hydrologic ecosystem services and hazards in an increasingly changing and uncertain world.

Such strategies depend on a strong evidence base integrating both monitoring and modelling of the water quality and quantity aspects of the water cycle. Holistic systems analyses have to be based on mechanistic models that enable the testing of adaptation strategies and current and potential future conditions.

Water Innovations

Novel tools and approaches to deliver transformative water solutions.

Nurturing our current and future researcher teams is our top priority, providing a productive environment in which their concepts can be developed and career ambitions realised.  From postgraduate researchers to senior academics, our research community develops world-leading ideas and technological initiatives that provide a catalyst for economic growth and improved social cohesion, additionally enhancing our knowledge and future protection of a healthy water environment. 

A focus on resource recovery and the circular economy, the incorporation of digital technologies and AI to improve water related processes and the innovative sharing of knowledge and data will be key to our on-going success across the GW4 region.

Through Water Innovations at our institutions we will revolutionise future water governance and management, discovering scalable solutions to the risks and challenges faced by our business and wider public stakeholders at a local, regional and international level.

New research examines the impact of the textile usage on freshwater environments

A photo of a pile of folded textiles

Global demands for synthetic and natural textiles places freshwater environments under increasing pressures.

Read the full article

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GW4 WSA PHD CON2020: Knowledge Flow – Building Bridges between Science & Community

28-30 September
Online


Mon 28th: 14:00 – 16:30pm Register here
Tue 29th: 14:30 – 18:00pm Register here
Wed 30th: 14:30 – 16:00pm Register here


A team of PhD students from across the GW4 are leading an exciting new conference. Working with the WSA and The Flow Partnership, their event will bring together practitioners working with communities across the world, and researchers, working in fields spanning climate change, water scarcity and resource management, flood risk and policy, to explore this vital ‘knowledge flow’.

Take part in the Flash Talks (register here) or participate in the Poster Competition via Twitter.

Conference speakers announced

Prof Steve Ormerod
Cardiff University
Cardiff Water Research Institute

Considered one of the world’s leading applied freshwater ecologists, Steve Ormerod’s research focuses on the effects of global change on freshwater ecosystems.

He is Deputy Chairman of Natural Resources Wales, Member of the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Chairman of the invertebrate charity ‘Buglife’ and Vice President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. In his spare time, he is Professor of Ecology at Cardiff University.

Photo of Minni Jain
Minni Jain
Operations Director
The Flow Partnership

Minni Jain is the Operations Director of the Flow Partnership, an NGO working globally on community driven decentralised water management, catchment and landscape restoration.

Her skills are in partnership building at all levels and together, achieving shared community objectives. Through setting up a water school, she is making accessible to communities globally, nature-based methods of managing droughts and stopping flooding.

A photo of Mike Norwood.
Mike Norbury
Natural Flood Management Advisor
The Mersey Forest

Mike Norbury is a project manager in natural flood management at the Mersey Forest that has delivered around 60 different interventions with contractors, farmers and hundreds of volunteers. Together a wider public-private-charity partnership has created wetlands, living engineered log jams, piped clay bunds, wet woodlands and de-culverted streams (removed a buried pipe) in over 7 different catchments above communities at flood risk. More is set to be delivered, and two PhD candidates are investigating the effects.

Mike has supported the Environment Agencies Working with Natural Processes and US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering with Nature Atlas, through submission of evidence on scheme appraisal methods and the use of living materials to slow the flow. As part of the EU Urban GreenUP initiative, 150 trees in deep urban Liverpool are being planted where roads once were, to tackle polluted road runoff entering the River Mersey. 29 of these are SuDs enabled, and 8 are being closely monitored with a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Liverpool, where Mike is an honorary research associate.

Professor John Pomeroy
Prof John Pomeroy
Centre for Hydrology & Global Institute for Water Security
University of Saskatchewan

John Pomeroy is Director of the Global Water Futures Programme – the largest university-led freshwater research project in the world.  He is the Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change, Distinguished Professor of Geography, Director of the Centre for Hydrology, and Director of the Coldwater Laboratory, Canmore, AB.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Geophysical Union and the Royal Geographical Society and leads the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology project of the World Climate Research Programme.  He was the first Professor of Hydrology in Wales and was a Professor at the University of Wales, Research Scientist with Environment Canada and the US Forest Service and a NATO Science Fellow at the University of East Anglia. 

His primary research interests are in cold regions hydrology and water quality with an emphasis on snow redistribution and ablation processes, and the development of novel observational and modelling techniques.  


Poster competition guidelines

HOW TO PARTICIPATE?

Post your poster via Twitter from 28 September (8am BST) to 30 September 2020 (2pm BST)

State your name and organisation.

Use the hashtag #GW4WSAPoster.

GUIDELINES FOR POSTER

The poster topics
should be related to the theme of the conference.

All posters will be retweeted by the GW4 Water Security Alliance (@GW4Water) to make sure that they all get seen by a large audience and get the chance to spark good discussions.

We encourage
creativity and innovation in your posters, therefore no template will be
provided. But here are some tips: provide an image with good quality, consider
using less words than a traditional conference poster and don’t forget to use a
larger font.

AWARDS

The Best Poster prizes (3) will be given by our judging panel based on: 1) the content, 2) the design (structure, graphs, images), 3) the value and impact of the research, 4) innovation and 5) online participation and question handling.

The People’s Choice award (1) will be given to the poster that generates the most online participation. This includes comments & questions and re-tweets. The committee will count the number of retweets and replies from your account and from the GW4Water account, giving a 60% weighting to retweets and a 40% weighting to replies.

The winners will receive online vouchers from a sustainable business, to the value of:

1st prize: £100
2nd prize: £50
3rd prize: £25
People’s choice: £50

Scientists produce plan to halt decline in freshwater species and habitats

A photo of a waterfall in a rainforest.

A global team of scientists has developed the first Emergency Recovery Plan to reverse the rapid decline in the world’s freshwater species and habitats.

Read the full article

Young Professionals address water security challenges in sub-Sahara

With Africa’s population set to double by 2050, WIRC researchers are helping to train young professionals to meet water security challenges.

Read the full article

World Water Day 2020

Poster for GW4 Water Security Alliance World Water Day Celebrations 22-27 March 2020

We are delighted to invite you to celebrate World Water Day with us at the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter!

Please join our webinars by following links below.

Full programme:

 22 March World Water Day!
 23 March GW4 Water Security Alliance website re-launch
GW4 Opinion Piece for World Water Day published
 25 March Water and the consequences of climate change POSTPONED
Early-career group/ IAHR Young Professional Network Seminar
Cardiff (15:00 – Water Research Institute)
 26 March Tidal Revolution – fishy tales of tidal lagoons
Andy Schofield – Manager, GW4 Water Security Alliance
(13:15-14:05) 
Listen online by following this link: https://zoom.us/j/418927307
 27 March Severn Trent Water Network Analysis Project 2016 – Present
James Tremlett – MWH Treatment
(14:35-15:15)
Listen online by following this link:https://zoom.us/j/387068353

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Water scarcity challenges under climate change in East African drylands

View of desert

Dr Katerina Michaelides, Head of Dryland Research Group at the School of Geographical Sciences and Cabot Institute for the Environment, University of Bristol, writes for the Cabot Institute blog to celebrate World Water Day. Her research focuses on how climate and climate change translates into useable water in the ground in East African dryland regions, and how people use and access relevant information to make livelihood decisions towards adaptation.

Read the full article

Future research


Active water research groups

Our Special Interest Water Research Groups aim to solve future water challenges.


Emerging Water Research Groups

  • Urban Water Dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)
  • Net Zero Water: Nature Based Solutions

If you would like to participate in the active and/or emerging groups please contact schofielda@cardiff.ac.uk providing some brief details of your interest in this area of research.

Pipeline groups

  • Wastewater Resource Recovery
  • UK National Water Management Infrastructure
  • Decentralised Sewage Treatment Systems

Your research area not represented? If you have a suggestion for a future research group, please get in touch.

A Systems Approach TO Sustainable Fashion

Background

The clothing sector is the fourth-largest source of global carbon emissions. Its production processes also pollute and put pressure on water resources, whilst microfibres shed form textiles through use and washing cause land and water pollution.  

‘Fast fashion’, with its rapid production of new designs, quick turnaround of new trends and low prices is increasing consumption.

NERC have been leading a consultation process with industry, academia and NGOs with the aim of identifying opportunities to develop a broad, multidisciplinary research and innovation programme that can deliver whole-system solutions to reduce the clothing sector’s negative environmental and social impacts.  The NERC consultation will formulate potential research questions. 

The Water Security Alliance has drawn together an inter-disciplinary group of researchers and stakeholders to discuss the key issues and to identify key future research areas. 

Research Community Members

The group currently consists of 17 researchers from across the GW4 universities and has been supported by representatives of four stakeholder organisations two of whom are directly involved in the production of clothing whilst the others represent charitable organisations campaigning for more sustainable production approaches.

Join Us

If you have any questions or are interested in joining the Community please register your interest by emailing Hannah Cameron at h.c.a.cameron@exeter.ac.uk .

Water, Infrastructure and Extreme Events

bridge spanning a flooded river

Damage to, or the loss of, critical infrastructure can have
significant impacts; endangering lives, damaging business operations and
livelihoods, disrupting supply chains and add to the disturbance of communities
and their activities.

Learning from past, present and future incidents, this group
will focus on the impacts that water related events can have on infrastructure
and the wider consequences for society, local economies and ecosystems.  Our work will consider the increasing risks
posed by warmer climates, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events and
the consequential impacts and costs of damaged infrastructure and the
interruption of utilities and services. An ability to predict events take
appropriate risk management actions and avert impacts will be key to developing
future resilience.

In bringing together an inter-disciplinary research
community across the GW4 we will share our existing research, identify gaps in
delivery and seize the opportunity to work with our stakeholders to co-develop
solutions.

research community members

The membership of 22 researchers and postgraduate students is led by:

  • Dr. Chris Blenkinsopp (University of Bath)
  • Dr. Albert Chen (University of Exeter)
  • Dr. Kirstin Strokorb (Cardiff University)
  • Dr. Maria Pregnolato (University of Bristol).

Join us

If you have any questions or are interested in joining this particular research community please register your interest by emailing Andy Schofield at schofielda@cardiff.ac.uk

upcoming workshops

The Water, Infrastructure and Extreme Events Special Interest Water Research Group will be hosting 3 workshops during May. The aim of the workshops is to explore stakeholder concerns regarding the resilience of their managed assets and in particular to identify gaps in knowledge which could be addressed by the GW4 research community.  At these events you will be able to connect with those managing infrastructure at risk from water-related extreme events (focusing on the GW4 region initially) and through presentation to our group and subsequent discussion, identify challenges and research requirements, which may then lead to the development of future research collaboration.

The three workshops are:

5 May: Urban Planning. This workshop focuses on Cardiff City Council’s concerns about future flood risk. Based on initial discussions with the Resilience Manager at Cardiff City Council, we will explore opportunities for a catchment wide research approach, involving multiple stakeholders and input from many of the research WSA disciplines.

17 May: Transport. This workshop, attended by Network Rail and Highways England, will look at the resilience of transport infrastructure. You will gain an understanding of where your research capabilities can fill the gaps in Network Rail’s knowledge regarding the resilience of structures that they manage.

26 May: Water Sector Infrastructure . In this workshop, attended by South West Water, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, and Wessex Water, we will listen to the concerns of the water companies in relation to the resilience of their assets, to extreme events. Participants will give a brief outline of their research expertise and then explore the gaps in research knowledge that we may be able to resolve through collaboration.

If you would like to find out more and participate in any of the above please email a.schofield@gw4.ac.uk .

Environmental Sensors: Development, Deployment and Data Transmission

background

Following initial discussion with a small number of
researchers it is proposed to develop an extended research community to which
any interested researchers across the GW4 are invited.

The purpose of the group is to bring researchers together
to:

  • Share areas of research and examples of current use of environmental sensors.
  • Share knowledge of sensor development.
  • Explore future collaboration areas and investigate how new innovations can be resourced.

The initial focus was proposed as:

  • Development of sensors across all areas
    of our water research.
  • Deployment of sensor in the field
    particularly in hard to reach locations.
  • Data transmission from sensors.

All the above will contribute to ensuring that data
collection can be done more safely, efficiently, cost-effectively and
less-intrusively.  

research community members

The membership of the group comprises of researchers and postgraduate students (including from the FRESH and WISE CDTs) from across the GW4 universities.

Join us

If you wish to participate in the group please email Andy Schofield at schofielda@cardiff.ac.uk.

Reservoir Management

background

The goal of this research community is to build on existing expertise and research interests in order to develop a more holistic and sustainable approach to reservoir management.  As things stand currently, there is much academic work by researchers to support reservoir management, but it is being done largely by individual people or groups, rather than as a more interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration. This fragmentation does not allow to tackle complex reservoir management issues which would require expertise across disciplines, such as integrated management of quantity and quality issues or integrated management of reservoirs and upstream catchments.  

We aim to provide an invaluable platform for pooling our strengths within the GW4 and amongst out stakeholders to best address current water and reservoir management needs.

research community members

The initial membership comprising of 18 researchers and 3 water company representatives has been led by:

  • Dr. Rupert Perkins (Cardiff University)
  • Dr. Lee Bryant (University of Bath)
  • Dr. Chris Lowe (University of Exeter)
  • Dr. Francesca Pianosi (University of Bristol)

Following an inaugural meeting of researchers and stakeholders in February 2020 the group has expanded to a community of over 70 individuals with researchers from the GW4 universities and 25 stakeholder organisations, the latter including 20 water companies. This UK-wide group, facilitated by the Water Security Alliance meets every eight weeks to consider water related reservoir management issues and research opportunities.

join us

If you have any questions or are interested in joining this research community please register your interest by emailing Andy Schofield at schofielda@Cardiff.ac.uk.

AMR in Freshwater Ecosystems

Led by Dr. Aimee Murray (Exeter), this group of senior academics from Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter are seeking to raise the profile of antimicrobial resistance in freshwater environments.

The group will consider where, how and why AMR occurs? What the future environmental and societal consequences will be? What action can be taken, by whom, to address the issues? Importantly the current knowledge gaps will be explored with a view to then developing targeted research to address these.

Group members

Dr. Aimee Murray – University of Exeter

Prof. Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern – University of Bath

Dr. Susan Conlon – University of Bristol

Prof. Andrew Weightman – Cardiff University

Prof. William Gaze – University of Exeter

Dr. Anne Leonard – University of Exeter

Dr Susan Conlon – University of Bristol

Dr Jannis Wenk – University of Bath

Prof. Charles Tyler – University of Exeter

Prof. Will Gaze – University of Exeter

Dr. Emilie Grand-Clement – University of Exeter

Prof. Jo Cable – Cardiff University

Prof. Isabelle Durance – Cardiff University

To find out more about this group please contact Andy Schofield at schofielda@Cardiff.ac.uk.

Challenges of climate change and its impact on water resources for vulnerable regions

Dry land at sunset

The theme for this year’s World Water Day (22nd March) is ‘water and climate change’ and how the two are inextricably linked. Dr Michael Singer, Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Deputy Director of the Water Research Institute at Cardiff University explains how GW4 researchers, part of the GW4 Water Security Alliance, are helping to address the global challenge of climate change and its impact on water resources.

Read the full article

Publication modelling future sewer system scenarios selected as editor’s choice

Research by colleagues at Bath and the Netherlands maps out the effects of different future water use scenarios, such as water conservation, on sewer systems.

Read the full article

PhD Insights: Bridging the gap between biology and engineering

A small cascade in a creek

PhD student Stephanie Mueller conducts interdisciplinary research to explore fish responses to flow alterations caused by leaky barriers and turbines in riverine systems.

Read the full article

Test page

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Exeter CWS win #EUvsVirus Hackathon

Experts from the University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems have won a prestigious award in an international European Commission competition to develop pioneering solutions to aid the recovery from pandemics, such as COVID-19.

Read more

DOWN2EARTH

An international team of researchers and organisations help tackle food and water insecurity in the Horn of Africa Drylands (HAD).

Image credit: BBC Media Action

WSA scientists lead ‘DOWN2EARTH’ tackling African climate change resilience

The DOWN2EARTH project is led by WSA scientists at Cardiff University in collaboration with WSA academics from the University of Bristol, and 13 other partners in 7 countries. The project will employ state-of-the-art seasonal forecasts and decadal projections of climate change and translate this into clear and concise information that can be used by farmers and pastoralists, communities, NGOs and governments to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on rural livelihoods.

Read more

3rd place for WISE/SAMBa team at NERC COVID 19 Digital Sprint Hackathon

Badge for third place winner in COVID-19 Digital Sprint Hackathon

Students from WISE and SAMBa CDTs came third in the hackathon with their proposed blended work week solution.

Read more

FRESH CDT students win 1st place at the NERC COVID-19 Hackathon on ecosystems services

Congratulations to the second Cohort of the GW4 FRESH Centre for Doctoral Training who came first in NERC Digital Sprints Hackathon this month! This specific Hackathon was focused on ecosystems services and seek to understand the impact of natural capital and ecosystem services on the spread of COVID-19. 

Their project ‘2FRESH2FURIOUS’ looked at how green spaces affect the rate of COVID-19 infections. They found that, in addition to being important for mental and physical wellbeing, access to green space was related to lower rates of infection and could provide resilience against the spread of the disease.

Find out more about their project here.

GW4 WSA Annual conference 2020: Great Western water security – regional research delivering far reaching impacts

2-4 November

Online event



Every year, the GW4 Water Security Alliance brings stakeholders and academics together during a one-day conference to discuss water research challenges. Our 2019 event gathered over 120 attendees, with keynote speakers from UNESCO and the Environment Agency. A summary of the event can be found here.

This year’s conference will provide attendees with opportunities to learn about the breadth of research taking place across the GW4, share water-related research experiences with academics and stakeholders, as well as helping to inspire and support the next generation of water researchers.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this year our annual conference will be held online over three afternoons. This format recognises the new working arrangements that are operating across both the university and business environment. This will also enable our friends from Global Water Futures in Canada to be able to attend.

A mix of informative webinars and interactive workshops will be delivered, enabling attendees to reconnect with colleagues from across the GW4, to forge new collaborative relationships and to learn from the growing community of PhD students working across our alliance.

Please note that space at some of the workshops is limited. The link above will enable you to register for these sessions if spaces are available.

Please register now to attend.

Confirmed speakers:

Mon 2nd:
Prof Isabelle Durance, Water Security Alliance, University of Cardiff
Prof Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Bath
Dr Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director, International Water Association
Dr John Pomeroy, Global Water Futures, University of Saskatchewan
Katie Alcott, Founder & CEO, FRANK Water
Prof Charles Tyler, University of Exeter
Dr Kelly Thornber, University of Exeter
Prof Andrew Johnson, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Fiona Joyce, University of Cardiff

Tue 3rd:
Prof Thorsten Wagener, University of Bristol
Dr Liz Holcombe, University of Bristol
Stephanie Müller, WISE CDT, University of Cardiff
Dr Lee Bryant, University of Bath

Wed 4th:
Steve Kaye, Chief Executive, UK Water Industry Research
Prof Jan Hofman, University of Bath
Dr Philippe Blondel, University of Bath
Rob Lamb, Director, JBA Trust
Dr Michael Singer, Cardiff University
Prof Dragan Savic, CEO, KWR

Confirmed flash talk presenters (Wednesday, 4th November):

Andrew Barnes, University of Bath
Hebe Charmichael, University of Exeter
Toby Champneys, University of Bristol
Inge Elfferich, University of Cardiff
Daisy Harley-Niang, University of Exeter
April Hayes, University of Exeter
Tomo Homan, University of Exeter
Victoria Hussey, University of Bristol
Luke Lear, University of Exeter
Mikkel Lykkegaard, University of Exeter
James Rand, University of Bath
Claire Robertson, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

We’re looking forward to seeing you in November!

Royal Academy of Engineering Award for WSA Scientist’s Sewers4COVID project

Experts from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Water Systems have received a prestigious award for their exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19.

Professor Dragan Savic, Dr Lydia Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia, Professor Albert Chen, Dr Mehdi Khoury and Gareth Lewis have received the Royal Academy of Engineering President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service for their pivotal work in the Sewers4COVID project, that developed an orginal approach for early detection of the virus by analysing waste water. Read more.

GW4 WSA Webinar series

The GW4 WSA is running a weekly webinar series for the academic year 2020-2021.

The series features a guest speaker each week and is aimed at stimulating discussion and knowledge exchange between academics, researchers, water professionals and students.

The series runs every Friday, from 14:30-15:30, and is held on Zoom.

To view recordings of previous webinars from the series, click here.

In order to attend please register here.  

To keep up to date with the series’ schedule, please check this page, which will be updated regularly with details of upcoming events, as well as information about previous events. Alternatively, you can click this link to send an email to Professor Albert Chen at the University of Exeter, asking to be included on the series’ mailing list.

If you have any issues accessing the Zoom platform, please get in touch using the button below.

Upcoming webinars

WSA Webinars will return in 2022.
 

You can view full details and recordings of our previous WSA webinars on the ‘Past WSA Webinars’ page. 

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Conference Proceedings

GW4 WSA PhD Conference 2020

PhD students from across the GW4 organised a three-day conference to explore knowledge transfer between science and community. The conference included a variety of keynote presentations, as well as a flash talk competition in which PhD students were invited to present their research in under three minutes. A selection of the presentations and flash talks can be viewed via the links below.

Day 1
Minni Jain, The Flow Partnership
Mike Norbury, The Mersey Forest

Day 2
Professor Steve Ormerod, University of Cardiff
Professor John Pomeroy, Global Water Futures, University of Saskatchewan

Day 3
Flash talk #1 James Rand, University of Bath
Flash talk #2 Salmatta Ibrahim, University of Exeter
Flash talk #3 Daisy Harley-Nyang, University of Exeter
Flash talk #4 Sam Rowley, University of Cardiff
Flash talk #5 Giulia Giani, University of Bristol
Flash talk #6 Elle von Benzon, University of Cardiff

Webinars



Research RendezVous: Stream Water Quality in the Slapton Catchments: Analysis of Key Trends since 1970

10 June 2020 – online (Bristol)

In this webinar, hosted by the University of Bristol Water Group, Tim Burt (Visiting Professor, University of Bristol) gave a talk on ‘Stream Water Quality in the Slapton Catchments: Analysis of Key Trends since 1970’.

Watch a recording of this talk here.


Facebook Live Talk – Ioanna Stamataki: Floods and flash floods

4 June 2020 – online (Bath)

Ioanna Stamataki from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering at Bath gave a talk on floods and flash floods as part of the University of Bath Facebook Live Talks on 4 June 2020. talked about the differences between floods and flash floods and their characteristics by taking the listeners on a journey from Ancient Greece to the University of Bath in 2020.

Watch a recording of this talk here.


Research RendezVous

29 April 2020 – online

In this webinar, Jack Greenhalgh from FRESH CDT (Bristol) and James Rand from WISE CDT (Bath) presented research going on in lakes and ponds.

  • Jack Greenhalgh (Bristol University) – “A Journey into the underwater soundscape of a pond
    Watch this talk here.
  • James Rand (University of Bath) – “Should lake scientists go out and get wet a bit more?
    Watch this talk here.

Facebook Live Talk – Andy Barnes: The Science of Storms

16 April 2020 – online (Bath)

Andy Barnes, a WISE CDT Cohort 4 student, gave a talk on the science of storms as part of the University of Bath Facebook Live Talks series.

Watch a recording of this talk here.


Research RendezVous: Water & the consequences of climate change

8 April 2020 – online

In this first GW4 Water Security Alliance Research RendezVous, co-organised with Cardiff Water Research Institute and Cardiff IAHR Young Water Professional Network, we heard from an interdisciplinary group of researchers:


Severn Trent Water Network Analysis Project 2016 – Present

27 March 2020 – online (Exeter)

James Tremlett and Jingguo Zhang from MWH Treatment discussed challenges and successes of the Severn Trent Water Network Analysis Project, developed in partnership with MWH Treatment and Severn Trent Water over the last four years.

Watch a recording of this seminar here.


Tidal Revolution – Fishy Tales of Tidal Lagoons

26 March 2020 – online (Bath)

In context of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, Andrew Schofield explained the evolution of fish impact assessments that may now meet the requirements of the statutory regulators and how impacts might be mitigated and monitored.

Watch a recording of this seminar here.


A global perspective on the local challenges of water, waste and climate change in Bath

5 February 2019 – University of Bath

This research has been carried out in the context of EIP Water. Globally more than 70 cities have been assessed, including Bath. The presentation focused on the general challenges in cities, water management and governance, the importance of developing co-benefits with other sectorial challenges in cities. Results of Bath were presented too.

Watch a recording of this lecture here.

Annual conference – Day 2 intinerary

Please note that spaces at workshop Sessions 2.1 and 2.3 will be limited. These can be booked separately using the link above or by clicking here for session 2.1 and here for session 2.3.

Annual conference – Day 3 itinerary

Please note that places at workshop Session 3.1 will be limited.
You can register using the link above or by clicking here.


Confirmed flash talk presenters:

Andrew Barnes, University of Bath
Hebe Charmichael, University of Exeter
Toby Champneys, University of Bristol
Inge Elfferich, University of Cardiff
Daisy Harley-Niang, University of Exeter
April Hayes, University of Exeter
Tomo Homan, University of Exeter
Victoria Hussey, University of Bristol
Luke Lear, University of Exeter
Mikkel Lykkegaard, University of Exeter
James Rand, University of Bath
Claire Robertson, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Annual conference – Day 1 itinerary

Please note that spaces at workshop Session 1.3 will be limited. These can be booked using the link above or by clicking here.

Funding for a new CDT at Cardiff and Exeter

Exeter and Cardiff Universities and partners, have secured £3.5m for a new Centre for Doctoral Training, with funding from NERC, to research chemicals in the environment. The new centre, named ECORISC – Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment Towards Sustainable Chemical Use Centre for Doctoral Training – will fund 39 new PhD studentships with the support of 28 partners. Read more.

Important Scientific Data goes Public in Water Industry First

A new database that contains important information on trace chemicals found in treated wastewater has gone live and, in a water industry first, is being made publicly available for anyone to access. The Chemicals Investigations Programme Database contains final effluent data from 600 wastewater treatment works in England and Wales from the past 5 years. Read more.

UN World Water Day – online events across the WSA 22-26 March 2021

To celebrate United Nations World Water Day this year, you are warmly invited to participate in a series of online events taking place across the Water Security Alliance between 22 – 26 March 2021.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day, Valuing Water, is about what water means to people, its true value and how we can protect this vital resource. Join the conversation about what water means to you on social media by tagging your post with #WorldWaterDay #Water2me and @GW4Water

Tweet your Research

Join your fellow students and colleagues by tweeting a project poster or short video (1-3 minutes) of your water-related research on Twitter and tag in: #WorldWaterDay #Water2me @GW4Water

Monday 22 March 2021, all day

International l’eau Down: let’s discuss our research

Join Global Water Futures (GWF) and the GW4 Water Security Alliance for their first collaborative event for early career researchers.

This event will provide young researchers with the opportunity to network, informally share their research projects and get feedback.

Monday 22 March 2021, 10:00 – 11.00 ET; 16.00 – 17.00 GMT

Hidden Water: Valuing Water We Cannot SEE

The Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol is delighted to host this public event bringing together two leading researchers to discuss the value of ‘hidden water’ resources: groundwater and glaciers.

Dr Debra Perrone, University of California, will discuss her research which revealed millions of groundwater wells and strategies to protect them. Professor Jemma Wadham, Cabot Institute for the Environment, will discuss the impacts of glacier retreat in the Peruvian Andes and solutions to adapt to these changes. The session will be chaired by Dr Katerina Michaelides and Dr Rafael Rosolem, co-leads for water research at the Cabot Institute. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Monday 22 March 2021, 17:15 – 18:30 GMT

Documentary Discussion: Flint – Who can you trust?

Cardiff Water Research Institute’s early-career group is delighted to invite you to its fifth virtual Documentary Discussion. The focus of the discussion will be on the documentary ‘Flint: Who can you trust‘ which explores the breakdown in public trust and the institutional racism that followed the lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan.

The session will be moderated by PhD student Elle von Benzon and will include Peter Stanley, Geotechnical Engineer at Natural Resources Wales and specialist in water and contaminated land, and Dr Adrian Healy – Future Leaders Fellow working on urban and regional resilience.

Wednesday 24 March 2021, 17:00 – 18:30 GMT

WSA WEbinar: Managing the water we eat

Professor Stefan Uhlenbrook, Strategic Program Director for Water, Food & Ecosystems at the International Water Management Institute, will present this GW4 Water Security Alliance Friday webinar. To sign-up for this event, please register for the WSA webinar series below.

Friday 26 March 2021, 12:30 – 13:30 GMT

AQUA~360 Conference – Abstract deadline extended!

The deadline for abstract submissions for the AQUA 360 Conference is being extended until 15th May 2021. A diverse range of submissions from different themes have already been received and organisers would love to receive yours – if you have not had a chance to submit one yet.

AQUA360~Water for All; Emerging Issues and Innovations is being organised by the Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter. The conference will be online and will take place from 31st August to 2nd September 2021. We have lined up 9 keynote lectures at the conference.

Engineering Research Showcase 19-23 April

The University of Bristol invites you to attend its inaugural Engineering Research Showcase. Through a series of panel debates and talks, this virtual event will showcase some of the exciting and leading research taking place across its Faculty of Engineering.

Find an expert

We bring together researchers from across the GW4 to collaborate on a range on interdisciplinary water issues.

If you are looking for an academic with specific skills, would like to be introduced to one of our affiliated researchers, or would like to join our researcher database, please contact us at a.schofield@gw4.ac.uk.

WSA Webinars engage global audience

Despite the Water Security Alliance operational team having been in existence for less than 2 years, they are making huge strides in the development of a global network of supporters.

Since launching in October 2020 the WSA’s Friday afternoon Webinar series has attracted nearly 500 subscribers globally, with 41 different countries connected via the Alliance. Twenty-two presentations have been received this academic year with contributors from Sri Lanka, Iran, Canada, Ghana and Italy as well as GW4 institutions and stakeholders. If you have missed a presentation you can watch recordings here.

Come and join us…
The webinars are open to all! view the programme and register here

Winners of Ofwat Innovation in Water Challenge announced

Ofwat have announced the winners of its inaugural Innovation in Water challenge competition. Eleven collaborative projects will receive up to £250k each to tackle the biggest issues facing the water sector in England and Wales. Of the 11 successful projects, 7 involve local water companies – Bristol Water, Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), South West Water and Wessex Water – and two involve researchers at Cardiff University and the University of Exeter. Congratulations! For information about the projects and details of a ‘winners talk’ on the 5 May, see here. Details of the the next Ofwat Challenge can be found below.

Water, Infrastructure and Extreme Events Workshops

The WSA’s Water, Infrastructure and Extreme Events Special Interest Research Group will be hosting workshops during May, to help better connect stakeholders with GW4 researchers in addressing the impact of extreme events on managed assets and infrastructure, in the region.  The workshops are:

5 May 2021: Urban Planning – focusing on Cardiff City Council’s concerns about future flood risk;
17 May 2021: Transport – involving Network Rail and Highways England, looking at the resilience of transport infrastructure;
26 May 2021: Water Sector Infrastructure – involving South West Water, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, and Wessex Water. 

Read more about these events.

If you would like to participate in any of the above please email a.schofield@gw4.ac.uk

PhD students invited to an International L’Eau Down with GWF and WSA

All invited! come and join the GW4 Water Security Alliance on June 7th 2021, for the next in our series of international water research presentations with our Canadian partners at Global Water Futures Young Professionals. This is our third event; and we are keen to engage more PhD students studying in all areas of water science, to come and share ideas about our research and gain new collaborations from across the pond. Get in touch with Andy Schofield: gw4water@cardiff.ac.uk to find out more and attend.

Doctoral Student Group

Our Doctoral Student Group, comprised of PhD students at GW4 institutions, organise events and workshops for postgraduate students and early career researchers. These include activities organised in partnership with Global Water Futures Young Professionals based in Canada.  

Past WSA Webinars

PREVIOUS WEBINARS

You can find all available recordings of the WSA webinars on the Water Security Alliance Youtube page.

Jan Hofman Assessment of urban water security in sub-Saharan African Capitals
Nick Paling Evidence-based co-design, co-creation and evaluation of nature-based solutions, ecosystem restoration and systems change
Jamie Hannaford and Tracey Dunford An insight to UK Drought and Water scarcity Research (about drought), its uses within decision making across range of sectors and future evidence gaps
Jasmine Grimsley Tracking Covid-19 and its variants through wastewater in England
Mahdieh Dibaj Integrated Management of Groundwater-Surface water under influence of climate change
Johan Enqvist Knowledge co-creation for climate adaptation and water justice: a transdisciplinary approach to the SenseMaker toolkit
Bernardino Nhantumbo INAM’s Department of Planning and Research: Overview
Fola Ogunyoye Adapting to Climate change – from flood defence to flood resilience
Sera Young & Feng Mao Benchmarking household water access and use globally: a new tool and many new questions
Ola Michalec What can social sciences tell us about digital water transformations?
Rafael Rosolem What does the cosmos tell you about soil hydrology?
Thomas Beach Digital Solutions for Urban Water Management and Conservation: The UK Perspective
David Macleod Drought in the Greater Horn of Africa: past, present and future
Stefan Uhlenbrook Managing the Water we Eat
Saeed Parnow Ganat and Geo-electrical prospecting for detection
Mirco Tonin Technology vs information to promote conservation: Evidence from water audits
Adrian Healy Transforming urban water resilience: the role of household self-supply in sub-Saharan Africa
Magali Nehemy Stable isotopes are not enough – Using tree hydraulics to understand tree water use
Eirini Nikoloudi Event Management and Event Response Planning for Smart Water Networks
Simon Evans Solving Environmental Problems: simple to complex
Ifan Jâms Estimating the size distribution of plastics ingested by animals
Geoff Hilton Things can only get wetter: conservation evidence at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Lewis Elliott Insights into blue spaces and human wellbeing: Findings from the BlueHealth International Survey
Jonny Higham flowonthego
Peter Stanley Programme development, metal mine treatment and restoration opportunities
Mark Keating Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in the Water Industry
Aimee Murray with April Hayes Antimicrobial resistance in water systems
Francisca Martey Research and applied meteorology: Directorate of Ghana Meteorology Agency
Hamdy Elsayed Water-Food-Energy Nexus in Transboundary River Systems: A case study of the Nile basin
Sarah Cotterill COVID-19 and the Water Sector: Understanding impact, preparedness and resilience through a sector-wide survey
Barry Evans Configuration of micro-scale modelling for disaster evacuationsimulations
Murray Dale Recent water, climate and hydrometeorology projects at JBA consulting

Jack Greenhalgh 

PhD Student , University of Bristol

Freshwater ecoacoustics: A new way to survey ponds, rivers, and lakes

14:30-15:30 GMT 

Abstract

Ecoacoustics is a new and rapidly expanding field of research in which the sounds in an environment, the soundscape, are analysed to address ecological questions. Although terrestrial and marine soundscapes have been studied extensively, freshwater ecosystems have been largely overlooked despite their rich and diverse soundscapes. Ponds are absolutely bursting with life and sound – it’s like an underwater disco! The adoption of freshwater ecoacoustic monitoring alongside conventional assessments of biodiversity has the potential to yield novel insights into freshwater ecosystem condition and function. However, many mysteries remain and there is still a lot to learn about the bizarre underwater acoustic world of ponds, rivers, and lakes. 

Attachment

About Jack Greenhalgh 

I am a PhD student at the University of Bristol interested in freshwater ecology, invasive species, and biodiversity monitoring. Specifically, my research is focused on increasing our extremely limited understanding of freshwater soundscapes by classifying species-specific sounds and investigating soundscape ecology and phenology.

Dr David Tickner

Chief Freshwater Adviser, WWF UK

Think like a river: Bending the curve of freshwater biodiversity loss in a world that might not know or care

26/11/21

Abstract

Hot on the heels of COP26, world attention will soon turn to COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity at which governments will negotiate new targets to “bend the curve” of global biodiversity loss. Biodiversity is vanishing especially rapidly in rivers, lakes and wetlands. In an increasingly crowded world, with a changing climate, and with policy agendas dominated by health, economy, food security, climate mitigation and other issues, how can we focus efforts to restore freshwater biodiversity? Drawing on ongoing policy discourse and emerging research – including the recently published Emergency Recovery Plan for bending the curve of freshwater biodiversity loss (Tickner et al, 2020, BioScience) – I will make the case for rethinking water management and conservation strategies to meet this challenge. I will set out the need to i) downscale the Emergency Recovery Plan in specific national and catchment contexts, ii) develop critical indicators of freshwater ecosystem health to guide policy and investment; iii) engage sectoral drivers of freshwater biodiversity loss, and iv) develop compelling narratives that frame and magnify key scientific insights. Lastly, I’ll offer thoughts on how to equip the next generation of water specialists to “think like a river” so that they can tackle the unprecedented challenges ahead.

Prof Jan Hofman

Simulation of water quality in sewers

WATCH RECORDING HERE

19/11/2021 14:30-15:30 GMT 

Abstract

Sewer networks are important water infrastructure in urban areas. They convey our wastewater to sewage works for treatment and release into receiving water bodies. Most of the wastewater is produced at our homes. We use water for flushing toilets, personal hygiene, washing clothes, preparing food and so on. After use the water will go down the drain and contain all kinds of compounds. Water flow and water quality in sewers is therefore very much related to daily habits. In this talk I will give an overview the results of simulation of flow, temperature and water quality in sewer systems. The simulation uses stochastic modelling of water use, connects water quality to the discharge and uses hydraulic sewer models to predict flows and transport of compounds. The simulation results can be used to predict loads to the sewage treatment works, temperature and opportunities for sewer heat recovery, and tracing of pathogens (SARS-CoV-2).

About Prof Jan Hofman

Professor Jan Hofman is Professor of Water Science and Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. He has over 30 years experience in research and development in the water sector. Jan is the Director of the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University. The Centre is a campus-wide environment to engage globally in research and policy on water. The centre (~50 academics) comprises multidisciplinary research teams, with contribution from all faculties and departments. It has wide expertise in the natural sciences and engineering, as well as in social, economic, and political sciences, in policy, and in business management. Jan is also co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics Science and Engineering and co-Director of the GW4 Water Security Alliance. Furthermore, he is Leader of the Working Groups on Urban Water Pollution and Urban Water Security in Water Europe. Jan has broad research interests in Water Treatment (drinking water, wastewater), Water Quality (surface waters, sewers, drinking water), Water Security and Urban Water Management.

Dr Muhammad Wakil Shahzad

Northumbria University

Solar Driven Tri-hybrid Water Treatment System for Future Water Supplies

22/10/21 14.30-15.30 BST

Abstract

Energy-water-environment nexus is very important to attain COP21 goal, maintaining environment temperature increase below 2oC, but unfortunately two third share of CO2 emission has already been used and the remaining will be exhausted by 2050. A number of technological developments in power and desalination sectors improved their efficiencies to save energy and carbon emission but still they are operating far from their thermodynamic limits. The theoretical thermodynamics limit for seawater desalination at normal conditions is about 0.78 kWh per m3 depending on the initial salt contents. However, practical plants are operated at several folds higher than this limit due mainly to inherent losses in the processes which are incurred in removing dissolved salts. Technological advancement in thermally driven processes hybridization has set the new benchmark for lowest energy consumption that has boosted the water production trend of the desalination industry. In this paper, we presented multi-effect desalination (MED) hybridization with Adsorption (AD) cycle to overcome lower brine temperature limitations of MED and their integration with membrane distillation (VMD) to exploit the energy of rejected brine from the MED system. The overall system is operating 100% with solar energy. The excellent thermodynamic synergy of tri-hybrid MED+AD+MD permits an effective utilization of heat input from sun, leading to a boost in water production up to 3 fold. We showed that the proposed tri-hybrid cycle can achieve the highest performance SUPR>25% of thermodynamic limit: one of the highest reported in the literature up till now. These figures can be translated to less than US$ 0.40/m3: – a lowest specific cost ever reported in the literature. The proposed tri-hybrid cycle is successfully tested at pilot scale at KAUST, Saudi Arabia with solar energy.

About the speaker

I am working as a Sr. Lecturer in the Mechanical and Construction Engineering Department at Northumbria University (NU), Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. I worked as a Research Scientist in the Water Desalination and Reuse Center of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology from 2014-2019 before joining NU, UK. I am working in hybrid desalination processes, heating and cooling, solar thermal energy storage and renewable energy research. I won many international awards including, Sustainability Medal 2020, Global Innovation Award 2020, National Energy Globe Award Saudi Arabia 2020 and 2019, Excellence and Leadership Award 2019, IDA Environmental & Sustainability Award 2019. My research is also highlighted at Yahoo business, Nature Middle East, Arab News and many other national and international platforms. We successfully commercialized desalination processes through a spin-off company. I hold 11 international patents. To date, I published 2 books, 17 book chapters, over 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 110 conference papers. I also received three best paper awards in international conferences. I am an editorial board member of NATURE Applied Science journal and serving as a Guest Editor for topical collections. I am also selected as a mentor for the International Desalination Association Young Leader Program (IDA-YLP). I am a member of many professional organizations namely; International Desalination Association (IDA), The International Water Association (IWA) and American Society of Mechanical Engineer (ASME).

Prof Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern

Professor, University of Bath

Wastewater Based Epidemiology and One Health

WATCH RECORDING HERE

15.00-16.00 BST

Abstract

One Health is a cross sectoral and multidisciplinary effort aimed at a holistic understanding and management of public and environmental health. This talk will present Wastewater-Based Epidemiology as an enabler of One Health. WBE can provide a holistic understanding of city’s metabolism encompassing all city’s activities in a single model: from lifestyle choices, through to community-wide health status and exposure to harmful chemicals, as well as it can assess effectiveness of management strategies. Several groups of biochemical indicators (BCIs) were investigated (water quality indicators, industrial chemicals, personal care products, pesticides, illicit drugs, lifestyle chemicals, prescription pharmaceuticals, as well as genetic targets, such as antibiotic resistance genes) in an intercity system including five cities/towns located in one river catchment. Chemical mining of wastewater for BCIs was undertaken to understand spatiotemporal speciation of BCIs in the context of geographical as well as community-wide socioeconomic factors. Spatiotemporal variabilities in chemical and biological target groups in the studied inter-city system were observed that can inform One Health actions.

About Prof Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern

Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern is a Professor in Environmental and Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath and a co-director of Water and Innovation Research Centre. Her principal research interests fall into the three interrelated research areas of environmental, analytical and water sciences.  She has major contributions to understanding chemical speciation of emerging and legacy pollutants in the environment, and in developing and evaluating new (not necessarily technology driven) solutions aimed at reducing environmental pollution levels. Her recent interests are related to environmental pollution and public health. Barbara is currently focusing on the development of an early warning system for environmental and public health assessment via water fingerprinting. She is also exploring the phenomenon of stereochemistry (especially enantiomerism) in the context of environmental fate and effects of emerging and legacy pollutants.

Dr Talia Rosin

WATCH A RECORDING OF THE SEMINAR HERE

University of Exeter

Data Analytics for Automated Near Real Time Detection of Sewer Blockages 

14:30-15:30 BST

Abstract

Blockages are a major issue for wastewater utilities around the world, causing loss of service, environmental pollution, and significant clean-up costs. Increasing telemetry in Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) provides the opportunity for near real-time data-driven modelling of wastewater networks. This presentation presents a novel methodology, designed to detect blockages and other unusual events in the proximity of CSO chambers in near real-time. The methodology utilises an Evolutionary Artificial Neural Network (EANN) model for short term CSO level predictions and Statistical Process Control techniques to analyse unusual level behaviour. The methodology was evaluated on historic blockage events from several CSOs in the United Kingdom and was demonstrated to detect blockage events quickly and reliably, with a low number of false alarms.

About Dr Talia Rosin

Talia Rosin has an EngD in Water Engineering from the University of Exeter, working in the area of hydroinformatics. Her work has focused on the development of a novel methodology for the automated detection and diagnosis of blockage events in wastewater systems, as well as the development of ANN models for water level forecasting. She has collaborated closely with industry and was based at United Utilities as a Research Engineer for three years

Dr Mohammad Hassan Khanjanpour – 01/10/2021 14:30-15:30 BST

WATCH A RECORDING OF THE SEMINAR HERE

CEO at HighCode LTD, UK, University Of Exeter

“Optimisation of ocean-powered turbines for seawater desalination”

Abstract

In this webinar, Mohammad Hassan will present a novel conceptual desalination system, which can be powered by Horizontal Axis Tidal (HAT) and Vertical Axis Tidal (VAT) turbines. The energy required for desalinating 1 m3/h is determined and accordingly, a VAT turbine and a HAT turbine are separately designed to fulfil this amount of energy. The greatest weakness of these turbines is the high price of design, development, and manufacturing. Traditionally, optimisation of turbine geometry is achieved by running several numerical models of the turbine which can become computationally expensive. In this work, a combination of the Taguchi method and CFD modelling is used as a straightforward solution for optimisation of geometry of tidal turbines.

About Dr Mohammad Hassan Khanjanpour

Mohammad Hassan has obtained his BEng and MSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering in Iran and recently complete his PhD degree in Engineering at the University of Exeter. He has sustained his interest in renewable energy throughout his BEng and MSc studies. His PhD focused on optimisation of ocean-powered turbines for seawater desalination. The results of his research have so far been published in several high-impact journal papers. He also has five years of experience in solar industries (China and Iran). His research interests lie in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis (FEA), machine learning, solar energy, ocean energy, wind energy, desalination, optimisation, tidal turbines, Stirling engines, cryocoolers, and smart cities. Currently, he is the CEO of HighCode Ltd in the UK, which develops engineering software.

prof Jan Hofman

University of Bath 16th July 2021 14:30-15:30

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