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Forum to address future world water challenges

21 March 2018

Water day hands

A major forum focused on the future of innovation, ecosystems and resilience for water security has been announced today on World Water Day. The invitation-only event, organised by the GW4 Water Security Alliance, will bring together industry, government and charity leaders to discuss pressing global challenges on water resources.

The forum, Water in a changing world, will be held on 28 June 2018 at the Watershed, Bristol.

Academic and water leaders from a variety of sectors will discuss the global water research challenges their organisations need to address over the next 25 years and formulate new collaborative research activities. Panel discussion topics include consumer behaviour and its impact on water, biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems and water sustainability in the context of climate change.

The GW4 Water Security Alliance is the UK’s largest water research consortium, bringing together a £50 million research portfolio and over 200 water researchers across the GW4 with long-standing expertise.

Bath is renowned worldwide for water technology and engineering, water analytics and water cycle analysis, Bristol for modelling the water environment and uncertainty quantification, Cardiff for interdisciplinary science on water for people and ecosystems, and Exeter for addressing a wide range of challenges across the full urban water and for hydroinformatics. The GW4 Water Security Alliance was recently awarded £2.1m by the Natural Environment Research Council to establish the UK’s first centre for doctoral training dedicated to “freshwater bioscience and sustainability”.

Dr Isabelle Durance, Director of GW4 Water Security Alliance and of Cardiff University’s Water Research Institute, said: “Water security is a global issue requiring urgent attention. The four GW4 institutions have internationally recognised research, facilities and teaching excellence in water science. Their unique complementarity means that, together, this research community can be more than the sum of its parts and deliver more impactful science and training. In the Great West, academics and their stakeholder partners are now in a unique position to address critical water challenges and provide tangible economic and social impact at regional, national and global scales. This event is an important first step to start building a leading research alliance for academics and stakeholders addressing regional, national and global water security challenges.”

Dr Sarah Perkins, Director of the GW4 Alliance said: “The GW4 Water Security Alliance has developed a strong reputation for delivering research, doctoral training and equipment at scale. However, a global issue such as water sustainability can only be addressed through effective collaboration between academic, industry, charity and government partners, and we are delighted to provide a forum to bring these experts together.”

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