Water and Environmental Engineering

Hydrology investigates water movement in the landscape.

Snow presents many challenges to hydrologists

Collecting rainfall measurements for the QUICS project.

The Water and Environmental Engineering research group focuses on developing the theory and tools needed to address the complex issue of water security in a changing world.

Human activity has a significant impact on the global water cycle. Snow packs are declining and flood patterns are changing as a result of human induced climate change, aquifer storages are shrinking due to excessive groundwater pumping, river flow regimes are distorted due to dams, reservoirs and agricultural abstractions, and groundwater recharge is altering due to changes in urbanization and deforestation. The combined impact of an altered, dwindling resource base and growing demand is reducing water security in many regions of the world. At the same time, a warming climate will exhibit more hydro-meteorological extremes and more variability, leading to changing patterns in natural hazards and freshwater distribution.

The group consists of a multidisciplinary team of engineers and scientists who combine process understanding, mathematical modelling, novel monitoring approaches and engineering principles to solve societal water problems. Our work includes new approaches to water, sanitation and health. New approaches and methods are necessary in a world that is less likely to be threatened by armed conflict than by population growth, climate change, water shortages and pollution, as well as poverty and rising food prices.

Our group develops new understanding and solutions to address water-related challenges including modelling water resources, modelling and observations of hydrometeorological processes, water resources management, weather radar hydrology, water quality monitoring, flood and drought risk management, understanding the impact of human activities and climate change on the hydrological cycle, climate adaptation, water and sanitation, developing climate resilient services, understanding environmental drivers of public health.

Dr Miguel Rico-Ramirez, Head of Group
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