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Friday 24 Jan 2020Development of modelling led surface water abstraction systems

Dr James Shucksmith - University of Sheffield

Harrison 103 14:35-15:25


In England and Wales approximately two-thirds of drinking water comes from surface waters . It is widely considered that these resources will come under increasing strain due to the combined effects of population growth (increased abstraction) and climate change. Diffuse pollutants such as pesticides from farmlands are a growing problem for the management of rivers and can have serious consequences for water quality and water treatment systems.

This talk will review a number of funded projects at UoS which aim to develop modelling led tools to improve the resilience and operation of water abstraction operations. This includes the development of cost effective pumping control systems based the optimisation of coupled hydrological forecasting and water resource management models and new high resolution pollutant transport models designed to forecast acute water quality impacts from farmlands.

The talk will conclude with a review of potential next steps and ongoing research challenges.


James completed his PhD "Impact of vegetation in open channels on flow resistance and solute mixing" in 2008. In 2010 he joined the academic staff at the University of Sheffield after a period as a KTP associate with Yorkshire Water.

Previously funded work includes experimental-laboratory based research into hydrodynamics of urban flooding using physical scale models, catchment scale modelling of water quality processes, ecological impact assessment as well as the development of real time control systems.

James has worked with a range of external partners including local water companies, local authorities, and SME's and a number of his projects have been developed into systems which are currently deployed. Examples include the development of a surface water pesticide concentration warning system with Severn Trent Water, and the development of a low-cost real-time control system for the reduction of urban flooding (CENTAUR). He is also the Sheffield coordinator both the STREAM and WIRe EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training.

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