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Talking about water challenges at the 2019 Pint of Science Festival

22 May 2019

Dr Antonio Ioris at the 2019 Pint of Science Festival © Romy Sabathier

Some of our affiliated researchers took part in the 2019 Pint of Science to talk about the politics of water, water availability and the climate risks affecting water resources.

This year, the Pint of Science Festival hosted various talks around science in local Cardiff pubs, including an event specifically focused on water challenges, co-organised by PhD student Maria Warter. For the occasion, Dr Michael Singer, Deputy Director of the Water Research Institute and Dr Antonio Ioris and Dr Marie Ekstrom, affiliated members of the Institute, shared their expertise on different aspects of water research.

Dr Michael Singer, Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, talked about the impact of regional climate on the water cycle at the Earth's surface. He discussed water availability to ecology and human society and explained how prolonged periods of drought will become more frequent, even in the UK.

Worldwide, more frequent drought periods are also likely to generate political issues. Dr Antonio Ioris works on the political dimension of the interconnections and interdependencies between society and the rest of nature.

Dr Antonio Ioris said: "Water issues reflect profound inequalities and processes of social exclusion accumulated over generations, but which are now rapidly expanding under intolerant, market-centred ideologies and because of the failures of our elitist political system.

"The politics of water is therefore central to everybody’s lives, from the household to national and global scales, and proper water management should be an opportunity to challenge long-established trends and radically transform patterns of production and consumption.

The event came to close with a talk from Dr Marie Ekström who gave a brief introduction to the science of climate change and insights on what a future climate might look like for the UK. Climate risks have been listed as one of the top threats to global stability by the latest World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report.

Dr Ekström said: "Warmer climate disrupts weather patterns, causing floods, droughts, heatwaves, and wind damage. The science hasn’t changed, scientists knew change was coming and have told us so for several decades. Unfortunately, very few were listening."

The Pint of Science Festival is an annual event taking place in many cities across the UK. Find out more at

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For more information, visit the Water Research Institute website.