On 28 June 2018 the GW4 Water Security Alliance (WSA) organised its first annual conference, the Water In a Changing World – Research Challenges Forum, in Bristol. The event brought together key academics across the GW4 universities, together with external stakeholders from the water industry, government, regulators, charities and funders. The aim was to hold research-focussed conversations and start developing a programme of future research and training to aid tackling the global challenges facing our water resources.
The day started with a keynote presentation by Professor Hugh Brady, chair of the GW4 Council and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bristol. This was followed by presentations by the WSA directors, which showcased the excellence of research, facilities and teaching within the four partner institutions.
The morning and afternoon sessions were filled with panel discussions and discussions in breakout groups. The discussions were focussed around water security, what this means for the UK and how WSA research can be shaped to find solutions in collaboration with the stakeholders.
The day involved some very lively discussions. The outcome will be evaluated by the WSA board in the coming weeks. It will serve as a basis to further develop the business case for the WSA, which already received great support from the GW4 Universities.