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Water in a changing world

Understanding the impact of climate and socioeconomic change on water resources.

Key contact

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Dr Christopher Hubbard

Research and Impact Officer (Water Research Institute)

+44 (0)29 2087 4667


We live in a changing world. Floods, droughts, poor water quality, disparities in regional access to water - these are all great environmental challenges for societies and ecosystems, and they are being exacerbated and complicated by a changing climate. Intertwined with this are a range of socioeconomic and political drivers such as increased urbanisation and economic growth.

In this theme, our researchers work with partner organisations from Wales to Africa and Brazil to answer questions including:

  • How can we ensure access to sufficient quantities of clean water for people (UN Sustainable Development Goal 6) and ecosystems?
  • How will this access be affected by extreme events (droughts and floods) and increased urbanisation?
  • How can we co-develop solutions with our partners for climate adaptation and societal resilience to extreme events and changing freshwater resources?
Prof Isabelle Durance during the Water Research Institute's visit to the University of Namibia for the Phoenix Waters project. ©PaulCrompton

Current initiatives

Find out more about our ongoing research activities:



A collaborative EU project to improve climate change resilience and tackle food and water insecurity in the Horn of Africa drylands.


'Every living thing': The nexus of cultural and economic values within resilient urban water systems

An interdisciplinary project to strengthen the resilience of urban water systems in Hargeisa, Somaliland.


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 for our 2022 Workshop on Extremal Trends (WET) in weather to discuss data and methods for understanding rare and hazardous events in a warming climate.

Past initiatives


Welsh Water Resilience Study

This study identified emerging resilience challenges in the water sector to better inform Welsh Water’s strategy.

Theme members