The GW4 WSA will be running a weekly webinar series for the academic year 2020-2021.

The series features a guest speaker each week and is aimed at stimulating discussion and knowledge exchange between academics, researchers, water professionals and students.

The series runs every Friday, from 14:30-15:30, and is held on Zoom.

In order to attend please register here.  

To keep up to date with the series’ schedule, please check this page, which will be updated regularly with details of upcoming events, as well as information about previous events. Alternatively, you can click this link to send an email to Professor Albert Chen at the University of Exeter, asking to be included on the series’ mailing list.

If you have any issues accessing the Zoom platform, please get in touch using the button below.

Upcoming webinars

Dr Sarah Cotterill

Assistant Professor, University College Dublin
16 October 2020

COVID-19 and the Water Sector: Understanding impact, preparedness and resilience through a rector-wide survey

The COVID-19 pandemic involved unprecedented measures, drastically altering the way we live and work. To understand the impact of the pandemic on the water sector, a questionnaire was co-designed by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, a research team and a panel of industry experts. Almost 80% of water sector employees were able to continue their usual role, suggesting high levels of resilience, borne out of good incident management procedures. However, more than a third reported changes in customer behaviour, such as impacts on the supply chain and capital programmes, and changes to water demand patterns.

In this presentation, I will outline technical challenges identified in the survey – including a delayed daily peak demand, and weekday consumption habits matching traditional weekend patterns – and discuss longer term opportunities and challenges associated with these changes. Furthermore, responses to the survey implied a potential cost burden could arise for water companies, due to increased treatment costs, from a changing wastewater load; decreased revenue, with water consumption shifting from metered to unmetered buildings; and the financial implications on customers, affecting their ability to pay their bills.

About Dr Sarah Cotterill
Dr Sarah Cotterill is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineering at University College Dublin. She received an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) from Newcastle University, through the STREAM industrial doctorate centre, for her research on Bioelectrochemical Systems (BES). She is part of the Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) at UCD, where her research interests focus on recovering energy and useful products from waste, and using water resources more efficiently.

Previously, she has worked for a start-up business, founded by a University of Exeter Alum, to develop and install internet of things-enabled rainwater management systems; received a Fulbright Scholar award for research into membrane bioreactors at The Pennsylvania State University, USA; and been part of a European Regional Development Funded project ‘The Water Hub’ at Durham University. In 2019, she was awarded Future Water Association’s ‘Emerging Talent’ Award, sponsored by ARUP.


Dr Barry Evans

Research Fellow, University of Exeter
09 October 2020

Configuration of micro-scale modelling for disaster evacuation simulations

Following a Tsunami warning alert the population of residents lying within high risk regions have limited time reach safe distance. Depending upon their individual responses some residents will seek to evacuate via foot and some via vehicles, however the latter could be problematic due to the volume of traffic looking to simultaneously evacuate a region resulting in gridlock scenarios and potentially endangering more lives.

This research looks to examine the evacuation of residents within a city known to be of potential risk to Tsunami events and develop a micro-scale model simulating the movements of residents either by foot, by car or a combination of them both.

This presentation highlights some of the early work being undertaken in the development of a micro-scale model and the challenges and applied solutions used to overcome some of the limitations relating data availability.

About Dr Barry Evans
Dr Barry Evans is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter in the Centre for Water Systems. His research interests lie within the fields of Catastrophe Modelling, Urban Resilience and System Dynamic Modelling. Barry has been working with the University of Exeter since 2006 on various international research projects and has recently returned from Massey University in New Zealand where he was working in field of Urban Resilience for the School of Built Environment.

Mr Murray Dale

Technical Director, JBA Consulting
2 October 2020
14.30 -15.30

Recent water, climate and hydrometeorology projects at JBA

This talk will use recent project case studies to illustrate work in the fields of hydrometeorology and climate resilience, including surface water flood forecasting and high resolution climate modelling for the UK water industry

About Murray Dale
Murray is a Technical Director at JBA Consulting with 26 years’ industry experience. A Chartered Meteorologist, he has extensive experience in hydrometeorology, flood forecasting, climate resilience and other water-related projects for a wide range of UK and international clients. He has led a wide range of national and international studies in flood forecasting, warning and hydrometeorology. He is a member of the UKCP18 (UK Climate Projections 2018) Non-Government User Group and has led climate change impacts and resilience projects since 1999, most recently for WMO, World Bank, Network Rail and UKWIR (UK Water Industry Research).

With strong links to the Met Office, where he was Hydrology Team leader from 2003-5, he was instrumental in the development of the Extreme Rainfall Alert (ERA) service and the subsequent, operational service the Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) uses for surface water flood risk alerting: the decision support tool. He has developed and led comprehensive training programmes for the FFC from 2009 to 2016, providing training to all the FFC’s Operational Hydrometeorologists and for staff from the EA, SEPA and NRW. He has international experience in India, Moldova, Algeria, Uganda and Tanzania and has worked on projects in New Zealand and the USA. An experienced presenter and former Chair of BHS South West Section, he has spoken at >40 national and international conferences and authored >20 journal papers and conference proceedings.