Welcome to the Healthy Waters Research Cluster blog

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Picture of someone cupping their hands to capture water in them

Welcome to the Healthy Waters Research Cluster blog where we plan to share with you the latest the Healthy Waters updates.  

People and ecosystems require both an adequate quantity of water as well as an adequate quality of water if key development objectives such as health, food security and water security are to be realised. Actions to protect water quality should be embedded in the larger concepts of sustainability, resilience and appropriate technology. There is an urgent need to explore and develop scientific, technological and societal responses to deteriorating water quality at all scales from cellular to global, but especially at the biophysical and community scales.

The Healthy Waters Research Cluster centres on three core themes, with integrated cross-disciplinary management, each drawing upon a wider sphere of scientific, societal and technological knowledge:

Theme 1 – Science:

Led by Professor Darren Reynolds with support from Dr Jason Matthews, this theme will consolidate and expand the scientific knowledge base, facilitated through the collection of water quality data. Ultimately this will enable science discovery that underpins the development of existing and emerging water technologies. This theme is essential for developing the understanding needed for monitoring and evaluation of water resource management strategies.

Theme 2 – Society:

Led by Professor Chad Staddon with support from Dr Andy Ridgeway , a key to managing water quality is the active participation by the public and stakeholders. For example, new data sources from citizen science sensing are required to supplement national monitoring data. Barriers to effective change arise from a lack of access to the science and knowhow of what is possible. This theme will address these barriers by active engagement with the public and stakeholders.

Theme 3 – Design and Technology:

Led by a management group co-chaired by Dr Robin Thorn and Dr Tavs Jorgensen. This theme will draw upon the multiplicity of high and low TRL technology platforms and approaches already available within UWE Bristol to address water quantity and quality. This will include water quality sensors (exploiting existing knowledge in electrochemical, metal oxide [VOCs], fluorescence and microbial sensors), treatment systems (nature-based, ceramic, ultrafiltration) and novel approaches to process integration and water distribution, collectively these approaches are required to improve water quality monitoring and management. This theme will undertake the co-creation of new technology approaches and establish demonstrator projects to show how both components and complete systems can be sustainably produced in local and global contexts. In addition, such progress will simplify data acquisition and strongly expand data availability for a range of practitioners and water end-users.

We look forward to sharing developments from this research cluster.


This research cluster is funded through the Expanding Research Excellence scheme at UWE Bristol. The scheme aims to support and develop interdisciplinary, challenge-led research across the University. It is designed to bring together research clusters or networks that will work together to respond to challenges (local, regional, national, global) aligned with major research themes.

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