Let's talk about water

Whetting appetites for Bath's water research

14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion

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📥  Wessex Water, WIRC @ Bath

The following blog post was contributed by Gergely Forgacs, a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Chemical Engineering and Ian Law, Technical Manager at GENeco, Wessex Water.


Event Name: 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion

Theme: International forum for discussion on state-of-art of the anaerobic bioprocesses

Date: 15-18th of November, 2015

Venue: Viña del Mar, Chile

Number of Delegates: 700 Delegates registered for the conference

Gergely Forgacs (WIRC @ Bath) and Ian Law (Wesesx Water) recently attended the 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion which was held in Viña del Mar, Chile on 15-18 November 2015, and organised by the International Water Association. The conference is the leading international event and it covered a wide range of topics related to the application of anaerobic digestion processes, including:

  1. Reuse of effluent and digestate
  2. Biogas upgrading and management
  3. Microbiology of anaerobic digestion
  4. Resource recovery
  5. New products, novel process configuration and emerging technologies
  6. Modelling, instrumentation and control
  7. Environmental management (life cycle assessment, clean development mechanisms)
  8. Up-stream and downstream processes; pre-treatments and post-treatments
  9. Low-tech solutions for developing countries

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Acoustic Imaging of Algae: From the Arctic to a reservoir near you

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📥  Water Active, WIRC @ Bath

Research by Dr Philippe Blondel, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics is featured in Water Active this month. The article describes why looking at algae and using sonar helps to study how underwater vegetation adapts to climate change, as the glaciers melt and bring fresh water and sediments into fragile ecosystems.

Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article continues the monthly series of features by researchers in the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath (WIRC @ Bath).

Read the full article written by Dr Philippe Blondel on page 10 in the December issue of Water Active.

 

Water Reclamation in North Africa

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This December see the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.

Title: Water Reclamation in North Africa

Speaker: Dr Tom Arnot

When: Tuesday 15th December at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.15, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: The Middle East and North African region (MENA) has a population of about 430 million people. In 2014 it received an annual average rainfall of about 75 mm, compared to 1300 mm in the UK. On top of this the region is mainly arid, very arid or hyper-arid and so evaporation due to high temperatures is a significant challenge. Climate change is driving the desert area north, so the relatively fertile and highly populated areas around the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean are also under threat. On top of this the region is politically unstable, with the Arab Spring being a recent sea change, but conflicts in countries like Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel / Palestine are not new…  Prompted by the ISIL attack in Paris, Prince Charles has recently asserted that climate change is the root cause of the instability in the MENA region. Whether you support his suggestion or not, access to water, or the lack of it, is frequently cited as a fundamental contributory factor in these unhappy conflicts.

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Improving water treatment using chemical oxidants

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📥  Water Active, Water supply from source to tap

Dr Jannis Wenk, Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering, explains how research at the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath (WIRC @ Bath)  is investigating how chemical oxidants can be used to improve water treatment in the October issue of Water Active.

Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article continues the monthly series of features by researchers in WIRC @ Bath .

Read the full article written by Dr Jannis Wenk on pages 10 and 12 in the October issue.

 

A water trip to Amsterdam

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📥  Other

The following blog post was contributed by Chrysoula Papacharalampou, a PhD Research Student in Mechanical Engineering.


It was only a few days ago that I returned back from Amsterdam, where I spent two of the most exciting weeks of my academic life. During my stay, I had the opportunity to be part of a big, colourful ‘water party’: the WetSkills Challenge (24 Oct – 6 Nov) and the Amsterdam International Water Week (2-6 Nov).

The WetSkills* Challenge is a pressure-cooker programme for passionate young water professionals, coming from different scientific and cultural backgrounds. It provides a floor to integrate generations, water challenges, disciplines and cultures.

Their main challenge involves the development of a team to come up with an innovative and out-of-the box solution for a given case study. The case studies describe a water-related problem, based on the regional challenges of the country where the WetSkills is held. The outcomes of the team work are presented to a formal water-related event. In our case, it was a true water festival: the Amsterdam International Water Week.

wetskills

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Project planning in Stellenbosch

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📥  Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience, WISE CDT

Dr Lee Bryant, member of the Architecture and Civil Engineering Water, Environment and Infrastructure Research (WEIR) and WIRC @ Bath groups, visited the University of Stellenbosch Water Institute (near Cape Town, South Africa) on October 29 through November 4, 2015. This visit was funded by a Bath International Mobility Grant. Her visit coincided with a visit by the Director of WIRC @ Bath, Professor Jan Hofman. During this visit, Lee met with Professor Gideon Wolfaardt, the Director of the Stellenbosch Water Institute, to discuss and plan a project based on manganese (Mn) biofilm problems occurring within irrigation piping networks stemming from the Blyderivierpoort reservoir in the agriculturally driven Limpopo province, located in northern South Africa.

Blyderivierpoort Resevoir

The Blyderivierpoort reservoir has high levels of manganese (Mn) due to local geology. Consequently, Mn biofilms within irrigation pipelines are causing massive problems for farmers downstream.

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Blue water, green algae and dark threats - Acoustics outside the laboratory?

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This November see the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.

Title: Blue water, green algae and dark threats - Acoustics outside the laboratory?

Speaker: Dr Philippe Blondel

When: Tuesday 17th November at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.15, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: Clean water is what we all want, from freshwater reservoirs to pipes, rivers and coastal ecosystems. But this can be threatened by algae. They can block pipes and reservoir inlets, affect natural water filtering, and even harm aquatic life through eutrophication. Algae large enough to see with the naked eye (macrophytes) can have positive sides, though, and they are increasingly used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industry. Kelps are the largest marine crop, with over 4 million tonnes harvested annually. As a source of ecosystem services and natural capital, macrophytes accounts for at least 11.4% of the worldwide value of all ecosystems. But algae are difficult to monitor regularly and accurately: they can be hidden from direct view (e.g. deep in large reservoirs or in water intake pipes), they can be few enough that they are not noticed in time (e.g. until warm weather or eutrophication) or they can be small enough that they are not easily detected (e.g. cyanobacteria). This is where acoustics can help, and this talk will present acoustic imaging in general, focusing on detecting and mapping algae in the field. Applications will be drawn from our own research and include kelp beds in British Columbia, and how they can be used by humans and grey whales, and algae in the Arctic, and how they evolve with glaciers melting and the dark threat of climate change.

Refreshments: Will be available in Room 3.11, Chancellors' Building from 4.45pm.

Contact: Please email Sarah Eliot if you need any further information.

 

Impact Award for collaboration between Wessex Water and University of Bath

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📥  Wessex Water, WIRC @ Bath

On 29th September 2015 at the University's annual Impact Celebration Dinner the collaboration between Wessex Water and the University of Bath received the 'Aspiring Business Impact' award in recognition of their successful partnership in recent years. The event acknowledged the collaborative work supported by the University's EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which promotes innovation and knowledge exchange.

The annual Impact Celebration Dinner, presentations and awards, held at The Assembly Rooms, Bath. (L-R) Professor Jonathan Knight with winners Dan Green of Wessex Water and Tom Arnot of University of Bath holding their trophies with Professor Bernie Morley.

The annual Impact Celebration Dinner, presentations and awards, held at The Assembly Rooms, Bath.
(L-R) Professor Jonathan Knight with winners Dan Green of Wessex Water and Tom Arnot of University of Bath holding their trophies with Professor Bernie Morley.

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Four decades of coastline monitoring at Narrabeen Beach, Sydney, Australia

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This October see the next talk in the monthly 'Water Colloquium' series organised by WIRC @ Bath exploring the breadth of water research being undertaken at the University of Bath.

Title: Four decades of coastline monitoring at Narrabeen Beach, Sydney, Australia

When: Tuesday 20th October at 5.15pm

Where: Room 3.15, Chancellors' Building, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: Since April 1976, Narrabeen Beach located along Sydney's northern beaches has been continuously monitored, making it one of the longest unbroken records of coastline variability and change world-wide.  In the past 10 years the range of technologies available to continue and extend this monitoring program have expanded rapidly. The range of research applications resulting from this 40 year dataset is diverse.  Following a brief overview of UNSW/WRL and links to various collaborations past and present with Dr Chris Blenkinsopp of the University of Bath, Professor Ian Turner will present an overview of the current monitoring program that his team are continuing at Narrabeen, and provide an overview of recent use of these data to better understand the drivers of present and future coastline dynamics.

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Thinking Catchments: moving beyond physical asset management

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📥  Catchment area management, Water Active, Wessex Water, WIRC @ Bath

Research by Chrysoula Papacharalampou, a PhD Research Student in the Sustainable Energy Research Team in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is featured in both Water Active and the Institute of Water Journal this month. Her research currently being undertaken in collaboration with Wessex Water indicates that the water sector needs to consider the benefits provided by the natural environment in their strategic decision making. The work proposes catchment-based asset management and demonstrates how water industries can include natural assets (e.g. land, soil, ecosystems) in their portfolio.

Water Active is the UK's leading water industry monthly magazine and has the highest number of readers in the water industry. This article continues the monthly series of features by researchers in the Water Innovation and Research Centre at the University of Bath (WIRC @ Bath).

The Institute of Water Journal is published quarterly and contains articles of interest and relevance to the industry, directly targeted at those within the industry. This gives its members unparalleled opportunities to increase their knowledge about topics that are crucial to a successful future.

Read the full articles written by Chrysoula on page 14 in the September issue of Water Active and on pages 58/59 of the Institute of Water Journal.