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Friday 18 Jan 2019Integrated Control Strategies and Licensing Approaches for Urban Wastewater Systems

Biniam Ashagre - Anglia Ruskin University

Harrison 170 13:30-14:30


The wastewater sector in the UK and other EU member states are facing stringent regulatory standards. The environmental water quality standards such as the EU-WFD, on the one hand, in sight of improving the water-environment, require a higher level of wastewater treatment which can result in increased GHG emissions and operational cost. On the other hand, the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme requires large energy users such as the water industries to reduce their GHG emission significantly.

To address these contradicting demands, i.e. trading-off GHG emissions, river quality and cost of operations, it is key to start from understanding the capacity of both the receiving river and the wastewater treatment plant. The seminar will give an overview of control strategies and licensing/regulatory approaches that utilise the capacity of these two components of the urban wastewater system to trade-off these contradicting demands.

This is based on the research as part of the Engineering Doctorate programme within the STREAM Industrial Doctorate Centre. The study was undertaken in close collaboration with Scottish Water which partially sponsors the project and opens their doors for a detailed case study.


Biniam has international experience, including the USA, Brazil, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and the UK; working on policy informing projects with a number of peer-reviewed general papers and reports including to the UNDP and WWF.

He is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University working on a joint project between the UK, Brazil, and India working towards the development of a resilience-informed decision support framework to incorporate SUDs into urban planning and policy.

In the past, Biniam has worked with Cranfield University in valuing ecosystem services in order to inform conservation policies. This includes assessing and valuing the impact of removing forest ecosystems in drinking water provisions.

He completed his Engineering Doctorate study at the University of Exeter, in 2018. His previous studies include MSc in Integrated Watershed Management and Hydrology at Cornell University, the USA, and BSc in Civil Engineering at Arba Minch University, Ethiopia.

His research interests include:

- Sustainable and resilient urban wastewater systems

- Valuing ecosystem services

- Climate change impact on water quality and the role of conserving the natural environment

- Integrated regulation of agricultural practices and urban wastewater systems focusing on receiving water quality (A holistic catchment scale approach)

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