University-based events


  • A global perspective on the local challenges of water, waste and climate change in Bath

Speaker: Kees van Leeuwen, Global Chair and David Parking Visiting Professor at Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC@Bath)
 5th February 2019, 17:15-18:05
 Chancellor’s Building, room 2.6, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

Globally, more than half of the world’s population resides in urban areas, and this figure is projected to increase to 66% by 2050. Cities are important engines of innovation and wealth creation, as well as a sources for improved efficiencies for the use of materials and energy. On the other hand, primarily due to the concentration of people in a relatively small area, cities also act as centers of intense resource consumption and pollution. Rapid urbanization along with effects of climate change, creates multiple challenges regarding water quality, water scarcity, and flooding resulting in high vulnerability and, sometimes, unforeseen consequences.

Our research has been carried out in the context of EIP Water. Globally more than 70 cities have been assessed, including Bath. The presentation will focus on the general challenges in cities, water management and governance, the importance of developing co-benefits with other sectorial challenges in cities. Results of Bath will be presented too. Challenges can be met by developing and implementing further initiatives: (a) by creating awareness among potential partners (cities and regions), (b) by networking, and (c) by sharing best practices among cities to allow municipalities and regions to provide solutions to their urban water challenges.

The talk will be followed by a reception in the 2nd floor foyer of the Chancellor’s Building, 18:05-19:30.

Kees van Leeuwen is Principal Scientist at KWR Watercycle Research Institute and holds a Chair at the Copernicus Institute (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands) on water management and urban development. He currently coordinates the City Blueprint Action Group of EIP Water. He is a University of Bath Global Chair and his appointment has been funded by the International Relations Office’s Global Chair scheme, a flagship programme designed to attract distinguished, globally renowned scholars to engage in high-profile research activities at Bath. Read more.

This event is free and open to all, but please register through Eventbrite. Any queries can be sent to Anni Laihanen.

  • Trace organic compounds in urban water bodies: occurrence & removal in advanced wastewater treatment

Speaker: Professor Martin Jekel from the Technical University of Berlin
 14th February 2019, 13:15-14:05
Where: 6 East Building, room 2.2, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

Trace organic compounds (TroC) are found since decades in all waters, influenced by human activities and consumption of chemicals for a great diversity of purposes. The concentration levels found differ, but are mostly in the range of a few ng/l to 100 and more µg/l (for a few substances), thus they are also called organic micropollutants, OMP. Due to many studies on the occurrence of TroC it became obvious, that there are many different sources, one of them are secondary effluents of domestic and industrial wastewaters. These are point sources, which are definitely influencing the receiving water bodies, up to the drinking water production from these imparted sources. The dilution is frequently not sufficient to lower the concentrations enough for surface water and drinking water production.

The advanced treatment of secondary effluents for TroC-removal is one feasible approach to reduce the impact. The ongoing studies at pilot and full scale in Switzerland and parts of Germany rely on the use of ozonation for TroC-oxidation, followed by a biofiltration or on adsorption of TroC on powdered and/or granular activated carbon. Both techniques are well adapted in advanced drinking water treatment for 50 years, due to early pollution. The lecture will show the benefits and limitations of these different approaches to TroC-removal, including the case of Berlin, where sewage plants are situated up-stream of drinking water sources and where bank filtration and groundwater recharge are traditional and natural treatment systems.

Martin Jekel is a Full Professor of Water Quality Control at the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the Technical University of Berlin. Read more.

This event is free and open to all. Any queries can be sent to Anni Laihanen.


  •  The Drought and Water Scarcity Programme (UK research)

Speaker: Jamie Hannaford, CEH Wallingford
 3rd December 2018, 17:30-19:00
Where:  Faculty Lecture Theatre, Trevithick Building, Cardiff University, CF24 3AA

The UK Droughts & Water Scarcity research programme is a five-year interdisciplinary, £12 million+ NERC programme in collaboration with ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC and AHRC. It is supporting improved decision-making in relation to droughts and water scarcity by providing research that identifies, predicts and responds to the interrelationships between their multiple drivers and impacts.

The programme’s research is UK-focused, and contributes to NERC’s natural hazards and climate system strategic science themes.

Four projects are funded under the UK Droughts & Water Scarcity programme:

  • Historic Droughts : Understanding past drought episodes to develop improved tools for the future
  • IMPETUS : Improving predictions of drought to inform user decisions
  • MaRIUS : Managing the risks, impacts and uncertainties of drought and water scarcity
  • DRY : Drought risk and you

The UK Droughts & Water Scarcity programme has recently (April 2017) funded the final phase of the Programme that will build on the co-ordinated work of the four research projects to maximise the impact of the Programme for a diverse range of stakeholders in droughts and water scarcity. AboutDrought will provide access to all the outputs of the UK Droughts & Water Scarcity programme.

No booking required. More information on

  • ‘Taking waste out of wastewater’ by Mark van Loosdrecht

When: 6th November 2018, 13:15-14:05
Where: 2 East Building, room 3.1, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

Professor van Loosdrecht, together with Professor Bruce Rittmann, was named the 2018 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his pioneering role in the water-related environmental biotechnology revolution currently taking place. Rittmann and van Loosdrecht have both played a leading role by presenting new knowledge around microbiological processes in wastewater, but their contributions are not only academic. Their research has also led to a new generation of water treatment processes that make it possible to remove harmful contaminants from water, cut wastewater treatment costs, reduce energy consumption and even recover chemicals and nutrients for recycling. The Environmental Biotechnology research group around Professor Mark van Loosdrecht at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands has contributed a number of patented innovations that have turned wastewater treatment on its head. Read more.


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