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Water security under climate change

Our group aims to understand the impact of climate change on water availability to human society and ecosystems.

We work with local, state, and regional partners in developing countries, particularly in dryland Africa, to understand the future impact of climate change on water availability to human society and ecosystems through modelling, community surveys, big data, and delivery of climate services.

To date, our activities have focused on drylands of Africa, although we are also building collaborations with other Cardiff University international partners such as the University of Campinas, Brazil.

Prof Isabelle Durance during the Water Research Institute's visit to the University of Namibia for the Phoenix Waters project. ©PaulCrompton

Phoenix Waters

Through partnerships such as our Phoenix Waters initiative with the University of Namibia, and with the help of recent Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grants, we are seeking to understand the factors affecting the availability and long term sustainability of freshwater resources, as well as the individuals and communities that depend on these resources for their health and livelihoods.

Michael Singer

Our broader goal is to develop innovative co-created solutions to complex water challenges.

Dr Michael Singer, Senior Lecturer in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Deputy Director of the Water Research Institute

Water and mining

Mining is a critical industry that provides many important resources for society. We are working to develop novel methods to assess the sustainability of mining with respect to water supply and water quality. We are currently seeking funding for this work and are in ongoing discussions with partners in UNESCO and the mining industry. Possible geographical areas of focus will be southern Africa or Brazil.

East African Drylands

Water scarcity is a major risk to human society in East Africa in terms of both food insecurity and drinking water supply. Droughts and associated famines have devastating consequences for the region. However, there is limited understanding of how these droughts propagate from climate into subsurface water storage that is needed by human society.

We are working through GCRF grants (Royal Society, GCRF pump-priming, recent Cardiff-led EU Horizon 2020 bid) in order to:

  • develop the capacity to understand and model the risks of water scarcity across East Africa
  • co-develop solutions for climate adaptation and societal resilience to water scarcity at both grass-roots and government policy levels.

Our group

Our initiatives

Find out more about our ongoing research activities with African partners.


Groundwater access in urban Africa

We are currently undertaking a series of activities on groundwater access in urban Africa.

A dry Namibian landscape

Phoenix Waters

Working together to meet the water research needs of the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.


Workshops on Extremal Trends in Weather (WET Weather)

Join us in 2019 and 2020 for two Workshops on Extremal Trends (WET) in weather to discuss the suitability of data and methods for a better understanding of rare and hazardous events in a warming climate.


Contact Dr Chris Hubbard if you would like to know more about this group or are interested in collaborating:

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Research and Impact Officer (Water Research Institute)

+44 (0)29 2087 4667