Newcastle University 

Research programme of global excellence in water security 

An interdisciplinary research programme of global excellence in water security, working in partnership with communities, industry, governments and NGOs to deliver lasting real-word impact in a field that encompasses floods, droughts, water quality and public health. 

Water security is to have a reliable and acceptable quantity and quality of water. Developed over many years, Newcastle University’s research takes a holistic, interdisciplinary and solutions-focussed approach to water security that encompasses floods, droughts, water quality and public health.

This integrated understanding of water risks in catchments from clouds and precipitation, through hydrological processes and impacts, right down to the nanograms of micropollutants and genes of the microorganisms in our water, has shaped local and national government policy. Methods to quantify and communicate water risk have been applied at a range of scales; enabling communities, cities, and nations around the world to better understand and manage floods and droughts – including for large transboundary river basins such as the Nile.  Newcastle’s work has changed how billions of pounds of infrastructure is designed, to ensure it is resilient to current and future water risks. Among the innovative solutions pioneered in Newcastle, the portable ‘lab in a suitcase’ enables potentially unsafe water to be screened anywhere for pathogens – including antibiotic resistant bacteria – in even the poorest and most remote areas of the world.

Newcastle will continue to play an active national and international role in pursuit of water security for all through its recently established Centre for Water that spans the full intellectual breadth of the entire Institution. The scale and reach of our collaborations enables the University to use its breadth of expertise to accelerate change, helping billions of people and environments around the world have access to a clear, safe, sustainable water supply.