Project Aim 

To develop a new paradigm for ‘Safe & SuRe’ urban water managem‌ent in the UK in response to emerging challenges and global uncertainties.   

Project Objectives

  1. To develop, test and refine the Safe & SuRe water vision in the context of British cities;
  2. To investigate, specify and develop a quantitative option assessment framework;
  3. To evaluate threat mitigation and adaptation options and strategies and explore potentially conflicting goals and key interdependencies;
  4. To develop a strategy for implementation incorporating transitioning approaches, preparedness for extremes, water users’ responses and the neglected role of town planning;
  5. To engage widely with academic leaders in urban water management and other fields;
  6. To collaborate with stakeholders and champion the vision and key findings into practice.

The key focus is on how existing urban water systems can be better used, managed, regulated, planned, operated, rehabilitated, retrofitted and redesigned to cope with the coming ‘perfect storm’. 

Project Methodology

The fellowship will be delivered in a series of 16 work packages (WPs).  Their relationship to the objectives (A-F) is shown in Figure 1.  The plan is to move from the initial vision, through the evaluation stage towards implementation of the new paradigm.   



WP1: Vision and conceptual framework

The starting point is to build on recent gains in the understanding of sustainable urban water management and propose a vision that is: Safe & SuRe.  

WP2: Concepts and terms

The key concepts will be identified and terms defined on the basis of the emerging paradigm developed in WP1.  

WP3: Threats and impacts

This WP is concerned with establishing potential threats to the urban water system and mapping these through to potential impacts.

WP4: Scenario development

We will draw scenarios to establish scenario characteristics of direct relevance to the water sub-systems to be studied set in the UK context.

WP5: Quantitative option assessment framework

An assessment methodology will be specified and developed in WP5 to allow the comprehensive assessment of mitigation and adaptation options to identified threats & impacts.

WP6: Migration and adaptation options/strategies

This WP is concerned with listing, characterising and categorising mitigation and adaptation (M & A) options and strategies in the water sector.

WP7: Goals and indicators

A Safe & SuRe paradigm will have different objectives or goals to be attained. In this WP, new and bespoke indicators will be developed and tested.

WP8: Benchmark option evaluation and WP9: Multiple system evaluation

The Benchmark system will be characterised and evaluated in terms of performance, resilience and sustainability.

WP10: Evaluation of options and strategies in real systems

Physical and performance data will be acquired for calibrated and verified ‘real’ networks across the sub-systems.  

WP11: Confliction goals

A detailed exploration about the conflicting goals will be implemented via multi-objective optimisation and exploration of Pareto front trade-offs.

WP12: Links and interdependencies

This WP will assess the key linkages between water and other infrastructure within the assessment framework (WP5).

WP13: Transitions

This WP is about to understand how existing systems can be transitioned most effectively.

WP14: Extremes and emergencies

This WP builds on work in WPs 3 & 5, such that each sub-system will be stress tested to generate extremes or emergency conditions. 

WP15: SuRe living

Transitioning from a Safe water paradigm to one that is Safe & SuRe will have an impact on water users.  In this WP, a detailed study will be conducted to address this issue.

WP16: SuRe planning

Mechanisms for delivering the Safe & SuRe vision will be identified and a strategy for implementation developed and championed.