Let's talk about water

Whetting appetites for Bath's water research

WIRC @ Bath celebrates its first anniversary

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📥  Wessex Water, WIRC @ Bath

The following blog post was contributed by Jannis Wenk, a Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering.


To celebrate the first anniversary of the Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC) @ Bath water researchers at the University were invited to join a get-together event. The event intended to bring together water researchers across all departments and different areas of research to spark new collaborations and ideas, and just to meet each other.

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The event was a large success and it was impressive to see the variety of water-related research that is conducted at the University. Held in the 4 West foyer on Thursday 21st January 2016, a diverse group of about 50 participants joined, including a delegation from Wessex Water. Many researchers used the opportunity to show posters outlining latest results or ideas for future research. After the introduction speech by the Director of WIRC, Professor Jan Hofman, intensive scientific discussions took place.

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Global Water Security: Pipe Dream or Reality?

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This January sees 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: Global Water Security: Pipe Dream or Reality?

Speaker: Michael Norton MBE

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When: Thursday 28th January 2016 at 1.15pm

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

Abstract: In Earth’s 45th millionth century a looming and global crisis of freshwater scarcity is on our doorstep; a crisis that is accelerating through our unbridled development, burgeoning demand for food and energy, and the effects of climate change. Only 0.1% of the total global water volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometers is accessible freshwater; and we are already withdrawing one third of our accessible renewable water resource, much of which is needed to sustain our ecosystems and biodiversity. Estimates suggest that we would need to invest 5 times the current global rate in new water supplies if we are to meet projected demand in 20 years time.  With little chance of investment of such scale taking place, there is a compelling need for water professionals to emerge from their comfort zone. Engineers can play a pivotal role in addressing the water sustainability challenges, by engaging with politicians, decision-makers and those with influencing power. New models for integrated water management are needed to address complex multi-stakeholder demand patterns. Whilst we can and should develop cost efficient water technology, water professionals must grasp this moment to put themselves at the center of water science, technology, politics, environment and economics.

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How can developments in Water Accounting inform and reshape asset management practices in the UK water sector?

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📥  WIRC @ Bath

This January 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: How can developments in Water Accounting inform and reshape asset management practices in the UK water sector?

Speaker: Chrysoula Papacharalampou

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When: Tuesday 12th January 2016 at 5.15pm

Where: Room 2.2, Building 6 East, University of Bath (Location and maps)

Abstract: The Natural Capital Declaration (NCD, UNEP 2011) requests companies to disclose the dependence and impact of their assets and services on the natural environment through transparent qualitative and quantitative reporting. Yet, limited work has been done so far. Efforts have mainly focused on the economic valuation of natural captial and ecosystem services, rather than the creation of methodologies devoted to reporting and accounting for the mutual relationships among built, financial and natural assets. Developments in the field of Water Accounting (i.e. the systematic process of identifying, quantifying, reporting and publishing information about water as a resource) could be used as a basis for such methodologies.

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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.

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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.