The University of Birmingham has a reputation for undertaking research that addresses both science and social science in water policy and governance, and that develops innovative and sustainable solutions to solve the water threats facing society today.

Our team at Birmingham explores the grand challenges which require a multidisciplinary approach to address water resources in a changing environment, from floods, droughts and resilience to the problems caused by human impact.

Our water research is led by Professor of Hydrology David Hannah who, in 2016 was appointed as UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences. He is spearheading efforts to increase interdisciplinary research education and awareness of the global problem of water security and how to combat it.

Global conflict

Water security has been a source of global conflict in the past. By putting in place sustainable approaches to reducing this risk, Birmingham is helping to further UNESCO’s global mandate for peace.

This research is helpng to raise understanding of the patterns and causes of water resource availability to help to reduce uncertainty and enable better projections of what is likely to happen in future. Professor Hannah says: ‘We want to see how we can make better use of new technologies and so-called citizen science in hydrology, using local people as observers.’

Improving understanding

The team at Birmingham addresses the global challenges between people, society and the environment, focusing on improving our understanding of the complex two-way interactions between those systems. This will allow us to better prepare for potential crises in water supply and to manage water resources in a more sustainable way.

 Find out more: Preventing a water crisis.