Diarrhoeal disease is the world's second most common cause of death in
children under five years old, killing 760,000 children each year
according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Microbial contamination
of drinking water is one of the most important causes. In England and
Wales acute diarrhoeal disease is estimated to cost the country £1.5
billion annually. UEA epidemiologists have shown the important role of
water supply systems in spreading diarrhoeal disease in developed and
developing countries; led WHO research projects on small scale drinking
water systems; and influenced WHO policy on small scale drinking water
systems in developed and developing countries. Methodological research on
epidemiological methods for monitoring and regulating bathing water
quality has led to changes in WHO guidance on bathing water quality
standards and influenced US Environmental Protection Agency criteria.
Hunter's participation in international expert panels facilitated the
impact of this research on policy.
This case study describes a series of research projects undertaken by
Professor Hulya Dagdeviren from 2004 to 2012 on issues related to the
commercialisation and privatisation of water and sanitation services,
which involved changes in the control and management of former public
utilities. In particular, it focuses on the findings and impacts of the
studies in relation to the access and affordability of these services for
poor households in the developing countries. The results of these studies
influenced the policy directions of international institutions, especially
the UN agencies, which play an important role in funding projects and
policy advocacy that ultimately shape the national policies of the
Over a million urban dwellers in several developing countries are
accessing water services as a result of research undertaken at
Loughborough University. National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC),
Uganda's main urban water utility, applied the research findings to
improve service quality, and extend piped water supply to the previously
un-served. During 2008-2011, over 500,000 additional urban residents
accessed piped water supply of improved bacteriological and
physico-chemical quality — resulting in significant enhancement of health
and quality of life (particularly of children). Furthermore, the
research benefits were transferred to other countries, through the work of
NWSC's External Services Department, extending the reach to other
countries including Kenya, Tanzania, India and Zambia.
The virtual water concept is used to identify and quantify water use
which is hidden, or embedded within the production and supply of food and
other commodities. Its primary application has been to demonstrate that
the majority of water consumed globally is used within the production and
trade of food. Introduced and developed by Allan, virtual water research
has transformed public and private sector water policy and its metrics in
the UK and internationally. Instantiated through conceptual work published
in 1993 and 1994 and developed through empirical studies thereafter,
virtual water was widely adopted by 2000. The idea is now accepted as an
essential element in the framing of policy on water security and its
economic systems. Virtual water has been increasingly deployed by advisers
to governments, corporations and NGOs, below we provide evidence from the
U.S. State department, Coca Cola, WWF and the World Economic Forum, this
is by no means a complete list. In 2011 the UK House of Lords and UK
government's official response urged the EU Commission to incorporate
virtual water in EU Policy. In recognition of the global conceptual impact
of virtual water, Tony Allan was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize, 2008.
In 2013, in recognition of impact made in preceding years through his
virtual water concept and research Allan was also awarded the Foundation
Prince Albert II de Monaco Water Award and the International
Environmentalist Award of the Florence-based Fondazione Parchi Monumentali
Bardini e Peyron.
This case study focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict within
the context of the Oslo peace process. It documents four areas of impact,
the underpinning research and associated engagement and dissemination
activity having: (1) [text removed for publication] (2) significantly
enhanced public and policy understanding of, and debate on, the
Israeli-Palestinian water conflict, within Israel, the Palestinian
territories and internationally; (3) [text removed for publication] and
(4) contributed to the emergence of influential critiques of international
policy on water `cooperation'.
By modelling the formation of micro-bubbles and the flows induced by
them, researchers at the University of Cambridge Department of Applied
Mathematics and Theoretical Physics developed a new, low-cost nozzle
design that could be retrofitted to existing Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF)
systems. This new design dramatically improved the performance of DAF
systems, used by the water industry for the production of drinking water.
Specifically, this research has enabled a substantial increase in
throughput and effectiveness of the flotation process, whilst
simultaneously providing a dramatic decrease in the energy requirement.
Research at Cranfield has underpinned national policies for managing and
allocating the UK's agricultural water resources over the past 20 years.
It has supported major reforms in water policy, abstraction legislation
and drought management. It has done this by modelling spatial and temporal
variations in demand for irrigation, linking this to the financial impacts
of water stress on crop yield and quality, projecting future demand, and
assessing climate change impacts and potential adaptations. It has also
significantly impacted the agri-food sector, helping agribusinesses assess
the viability of irrigation and reservoir investment, encouraging
collaboration, and reducing risks in the food supply chain.
The Government of India has put forward a National Water Framework Act
arising from part of the work of the national Planning Commission.
Philippe Cullet's research on water law and governance has directly
impacted upon the nature of India's planned legislation on the issue,
facilitated by his chairmanship of a group within India's Planning
Commission. This is of great significance in a country where 12% of the
1.2 billion-population lacks access to improved drinking water and where
there are major concerns around sustainability of supply.
New characterisation tools for natural organic matter (NOM) in drinking
water are now used as standard practice within water companies such as
Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water. The tools inform
decisions, and help develop strategic plans on catchment management,
source selection, treatment optimisation, and disinfection practice. Water
companies experienced difficulties in treating high levels of NOM.
Cranfield created a novel characterisation toolkit to measure NOM for its
electrical charge and hydrophobicity. Also, new techniques for measuring
aggregate properties and emerging disinfection by-products have provided a
comprehensive analysis. Two novel treatment technologies are currently
marketed. These technologies have raised international interest, resulting
in industrial development in Australia.
This study analysed the shallow well drinking water quality of 17,000
rural Malawians. Water officials were advised interim precautions to take
regarding grossly contaminated wells. Inter alia, the `Water
Resources Investment Strategy', World Bank funded, captured this data to
help develop policy. A new MSc course was established to educate water
officials. Workshops/Fieldtrips integrated this research into the
undergraduate curriculum. An indigenous sustainable natural water
purification system was developed to reduce contaminates at source.
Initial data indicates that water quality can be improved by up to 80%.
This has the potential to improve the water quality for 1.5 million