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Sep 17
Bristol’s High Water Line Project is an ambitious attempt to map out the 32 mile edge of Bristol’s flood risk zone to highlight the threats of rising sea levels and accelerated climate change. Originally conceived as a solo performance by artist Eve Mosher, who walked the line in New York shortly before Hurricane Sandy made it a reality, the High Water Line project has become an international pop-up community project bringing together people in diverse cities around the world to think and talk about community responses to climate change... Read More
Nov 27
Hi everyone,

It's great to connect here and share our research on this network with people of similar interests. I'm almost at the end of my first year as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Exeter. The research I am engaged in will concentrate on urban water users/consumers, their interactions with and expectations (present and future) on performance of urban water management systems (UWMSs). My ultimate aim is understand water user/individual household role in the overall transitions to a Sustainable and Resilient (SuRe) water management future. This research is being conducted as a component of the project “Safe and SuRe: a new paradigm for urban water management” which seeks to incorporate sustainability and resilience into the management and design of UWMSs. In the Safe & SuRe Framework, safety, sustainability and resilience are (multi-objective) system goals or characteristics, and mitigation, adaptation and coping are interventions needed to achieve those goals (e.g. design, operation, policy). My research will hence focus on the coping intervention at the household level.

Reports from the Environment Agency indicate that over 2.5 million properties and about 5000 people are at risk from flooding in the UK. Although there is still no clear picture of the impact of climate change on extreme weather events, a variety of data-base trend studies and scenario-based simulation studies suggest that climate change is likely to increase the frequency and severity of floods and droughts in the UK. Floods are expected to become increasingly unpredictable and multi-sourced and to occur in areas that have less recent experience of large scale floods. Water scarcity is expected to become more common in some parts of the UK in the future due to the combined effects of climate change and population growth. According to Waterwise UK, this is projected to be exacerbated by levels of household water consumption that are among the highest in north-west Europe. 


The threat and uncertainty of climate change is expected to impact the level of service of UWMSs leading to increased incidences of failure. Even the best engineered systems may not be able to safeguard water users against the consequences of flooding and drought. Increasingly, more focus is being placed on improving the outcomes that customers and the wider society value (e.g. reliable and safe service, customer satisfaction, environmental quality and fair, transparent and acceptable bills) through more resilient services. Water companies are investing in research and development to improve outcomes for customers. For instance Thames Water innovators have created and are now testing an early-warning system for homes at risk of sewer flooding. A device triggers an alarm if flows in the drain gets too high, alerting householders so they can call Thames Water before effluent spills into their homes. South West Water are investigating the use of rainwater harvesting for stormwater attenuation in flood prone areas and Severn Trent are investigating the use of recycled water (for toilet flushing and bathing) by domestic customers in response to the need to reduce demand of diminishing fresh water resources.  


These are but a few cases of how more customer focussed approaches are being tested and implemented. The customer has varying levels of involvement in all these examples but how much responsibility are customers prepared to take on in urban water management? Although there is much progress towards ensuring that customers get the best outcomes, can customers today afford to continue to be just water users? Is there a wider role for them to fill the niche of hydrocitizenship, exploring and shaping their roles in both the supply and demand side of the water sector? These are but some of the aspects that my research will uncover over the next year and half. A place based approach will be used to understand how perceptions, actions and experiences in relation to floods and drought vary according to specific geographic locations in the southwest of England.

Dec 15

Upland Water in the Rose Bowl, Leeds

19 January, 2016 | 10:00 - 16:00


Managing the risk of flooding in the uplands

About this event

Those responsible for managing the uplands – including land-owners, farmers, conservation organisations and game-keepers – face a whole range of challenges and uncertainties.

It has been suggested that there continues to be a disconnect between land-managers, the research community and policy makers. Some land managers feel that the ‘wrong’ research questions are being investigated, that practitioner knowledge is disregarded, and that research findings are not disseminated in an effective way.

To address these charges, at this event we will:

  • Highlight areas where recent research can usefully inform land management practice
  • Identify where land managers feel they have insufficient information, and consequently:
    • Where research might best be focused in the coming years
    • How different types of knowledge should be assimilated and disseminated

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:

Attending this event

This event requires online registration. Register for a MyICE account when you start your booking and we can keep you informed of similar events taking place near you.

Book now

Blogs

All hydrocitizens members can keep their own blog. You can share your research process and practice and anything else that you think might be of interest to other community members.

All blog entries appear together chronologically as part of the Hydrocitizens blog. If you would like to view just your own entries, or those of another community member, then you can access these on member profile pages under the blog tab.

Adding tags (words that capture the main subject or theme of your post) will help people to find your blog more easily.

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