Inspiration from nexus thinking at the 1st International Conference on Water, Energy, Environment Nexus (WEEN-2019)

Aisha presented her research on water-energy demand management at the 1st International Conference on Water, Energy, Environment Nexus (WEEN-2019) where she also chaired a technical session on water and wastewater.

The conference was organised by the Global Network for Researchers (GNR) in Istanbul, Turkey from the 5th – 8th September 2019.  The objective of the conference was to provide a platform for interdisciplinary researchers, scientists, engineers, academics as well as industrial professionals from all over the world to present their research in Water, Energy, and Environment.

Aisha’s presentation was on the role of water-energy demand management in the built environment can play towards efficient and sustainable urban water systems of the future, particularly given expected challenges of population projections, declining water resources, and the UK water sector and the government’s (at both national and local levels) ambitions in achieving net zero emissions targets in the very near future.

Aisha being awarded a certificate for chairing a technical session on water and wastewater

Aisha being awarded a certificate for chairing a technical session on water and wastewater

Aisha was very pleased to see many different applications to nexus thinking, including with circular economy and process integration.

It was Aisha’s first time in Istanbul, and she made sure to have a ‘water’ tour, including visits to the famous Valens Aqueduct and Basilica Cistern.

Dr. Katrin Dreyer-Gibney shared our learning from innovation in the Dŵr Uisce project.

Dr. Katrin Dreyer-Gibney, a Research Fellow from the Trinity Business School, attended the 26th IPDM Conference , in the University of Leicester, UK.

Dr. Katrin Dreyer-Gibney, a Research Fellow from the Trinity Business School, attended the 26th IPDM Conference , in the University of Leicester, UK.

The 26th IPDM Conference  took place in the University of Leicester, in June 2019. Hundreds of delegates attended from all over the world.

Dr. Katrin Dreyer-Gibney, a Research Fellow from the Trinity Business School, Dublin. Katrin presented a research paper, co-authored with Dr Ana de Almeida Kumlien, Prof. Paul Coughlan and Dr Aonghus McNabola, covering the latest findings from the collaboration and dissemination part of the Dŵr Uisce project: “Learning to innovate through action learning, collaborative prototyping and demonstration”. 

The presentation generated much interest amongst conference delegates. Not only did her presentation cover a project addressing water-energy challenges, one of the top sustainability priorities globally, it was also one of the few research projects presented that had action learning research as an overall research methodology.

With this research methodology, practical knowledge is generated in collaboration with many stakeholders over an extended time-period, finding a workable solution to a real-life problem. 

Katrin’s talk was well received. Some attendees invited her to collaborate in follow-up activities and provided much constructive feedback. Overall, it was a success, as delegates understood the overall message of the presentation: The global water crises can be addressed when researchers step out of the lab and work side-by-side with industry, local communities, decision-makers and legislators, so their new technology can be adopted.

Innovation in collaboration

Innovation in collaboration

Everything you can make from reused water – for example beer!

Isabel Schestak (Bangor University) presented her work on the sustainability of heat recovery from commercial kitchen wastewater at the IWA Water Reuse conference.

Our PhD student Isabel Schestak (Bangor University) presented her work on the sustainability of heat recovery from commercial kitchen wastewater at the IWA Water Reuse conference with a poster and pitch. It informed about the results from the study with our demo site at Penrhyn Castle and the environmental benefits for the application of heat recovery across the whole UK. At the end of the conference, Isabel took part in the technical tours, where participants were shown real-world examples of heat recovery in an industrial laundry and a production site for instant coffee.

Water reuse experts from all over the world had come to Berlin to present their research on water reuse and reclamation. Water reuse was discussed for different sectors and countries: potable water reuse, industrial and agricultural reuse. Case study examples were given on how to integrate water reuse in existing systems, how to monitor water quality and how to manage associated risks. State of the art technology was presented for the removal of emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals. Also, how can public perception be influenced and how can we make direct water reuse, especially as drinking water, acceptable by consumers? The Berliner Wasserbetriebe  – the water supplier for Berlin – undertook one step to test public acceptance. They have brewed a batch of 1000 liter beer from recycled water. The conference attendees had the first try! It is not the first beer of its kind, but the first in Germany.

The conference attendees were having a beer brewed from recycled water!

The conference attendees were having a beer brewed from recycled water!

Richard presents his Dŵr Uisce PhD research at two international conferences

Richard with his poster at the International Union of Geodesy & Geophysics General Assembly 2019, Montreal.

Richard with his poster at the International Union of Geodesy & Geophysics General Assembly 2019, Montreal.

Our Bangor PhD researcher, Richard Dallison has attended two international conferences in the last month in order to disseminate his Dŵr Uisce work and gain new insight in to the most recent developments in the field.

Firstly Richard attended one of the premier gatherings of Earth and space researchers, the 27th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) in Montréal, Canada between the 9th and 13th of July. This year’s Assembly, with over 4,000 participants from 103 countries, marked 100 years of the IUGG and had a theme of ‘Beyond 100: The next century in Earth and Space Science’. This theme fitted well with Richard’s research, with him having been researching how climate change will impact on water resources in Wales in the coming decades, and the knock-on implications for future water supply security. Richard presented his results for changes in water quality & quantity in the Dyfi catchment, mid-Wales, under a high future emissions scenario. The poster session in which Richard presented allowed him to not only disseminate his work to a broad audience, but also gain valuable feedback, from both other hydrologists, as well as researchers from other fields, with different perspectives.

SWAT Welcome Pack Edited.JPG

Shortly after returning from Montréal, Richard attended the International SWAT Conference at the University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria. The three day conference, held between the 17th and 19th of July, covered a variety of topics relating to the development and use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). SWAT is a hydrological model which is being implemented by Richard to assess climate change impacts on future water supply. The model is used internationally for a variety of purposes, with climate change impact assessment being a key use. This conference was therefore a valuable learning opportunity for Richard, allowing him to talk to and question some of the leading global users of SWAT, as well as the model developers. Once again, the opportunity to present at the conference, this time in the form of a 20 minute oral presentation, was invaluable in obtaining feedback, questions & comments, as well as to make connections in the SWAT modelling community.

Thanks must go to the organisers of both of these extremely valuable conferences for the important insight that has been gained. Furthermore thanks goes to our Dŵr Uisce funders, the European Regional Development Fund, Interreg Ireland-Wales Programme 2014-2020 for enabling the opportunity to attend.

Nathan & Isabel present at the IWA Efficient 2019 Conference in Manila

Four days of water topics hopping around the globe: Nathan and Isabel attended the 2019 IWA Efficient conference in Manila, Philippines, end of January.

Stuart White, Chair of the IWA Efficient Urban Water Management Specialist Group, opened the conference, highlighting the importance of safe water supply for a global sustainable development: If we can’t achieve the UN development goal on water, we can’t reach the others sustainable development goals either.

Me presenting.jpg

The topics of the talks were as diverse as the conference’ participants. There was a speaker from India calling for a regulatory authority for water utilities in his home country; a water professional from the Philippines presenting the design for a waste water treatment plant with minimum spatial requirements for a densely populated city like Manila; and a speaker from the US introducing a technical assistance program for water loss applied in California, to name just a few. Nathan’s and Isabel’s presentations were included in the session “Case studies from around the world”. Nathan discussed his recent work on how analyse the performance of water companies and the determinants of efficiency more accurately, whilst Isabel presented her estimate of GHG emissions through water use by companies in the manufacturing sector in the UK.

A special Filipino touch was added to the event by several dance shows with colourful costumes, plenty of exotic fruits with all meals and a gala dinner where even the Filipino conference president didn’t hesitate to go on stage and accompany the band.

Isabel: “There is no better way of getting to know the facets of challenges within the water sector around the world than attending an international conference. Water supply is a big issue for the majority of the world’s population and we often forget how lucky we are having drinking water 24/7.”

Isabel presenting.JPG

Nathan: “Seeing passion and perspectives on water issues from people all over the globe was the ultimate boost to let me know I am researching in a meaningful area. With connections made here, I am positive future meaningful research will be conducted.”