Safe & SuRe: Towards a New Paradigm for Urban Water Management (2013 – 2018)

The five-year Fellowship, awarded to Professor David Butler, worth around £1.5 million, will fund a project which aims to develop a new approach to water management in UK cities.

Entitled ‘Safe & SuRe: Towards a New Paradigm for Urban Water Management’, the project will draw from multi-disciplinary collaboration with leading academics inside and outside the field.

The vision of this work is to develop a system for water management which is sustainable and resilient. A comprehensive, quantitative evaluation framework will be developed to test in detail what options or strategies can contribute towards a Safe and SuRe water future, focusing on the challenges of water scarcity, urban flooding and river pollution.

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’.  

David Butler is Professor of Water Engineering at the University of Exeter with some 30 years of experience in the water industry. He jointly leads the Centre for Water Systems, which has around 30 researchers working mainly in the areas of urban water, system optimisation and hydroinformatics. Working with David on the Safe & SuRe project are colleagues Dr Raziyeh Farmani, Dr Guangtao Fu and Dr Sarah Ward.

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