Our research

Water Works draws expertise from across the University to address the complex challenges associated with water and its sustainable management.

Researchers from all faculties at Nottingham are committed to discovering and delivering solutions that address complex industrial, environmental and societal challenges associated with the management of water processes. These include the sustainable development goals highlighted by the United Nations as globally significant.

Together we are striving to:

  • Provide access to clean water and sanitation for all

  • Combat water-borne diseases

  • Reduce water and soil pollution

  • Conserve, restore and ensure sustainable use of freshwater ecosystems 

  • Offer resilience to natural disasters/climate-related hazards  (e.g. flooding)

  • Protect cultural and natural heritage

  • Promote good health and well-being, globally

  • Adapt to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality

  • Use natural resources more efficiently

  • Offer sustainable agricultural techniques and food production systems 

  • Conserve and protect marine and coastal ecosystems 

  • Improve ocean health and enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity

Through interdisciplinary research, we are bringing together our 140 engineers, scientists, geographers, historians, health experts and many more, to pioneer new ways to address these challenges.

Our impact

Water Works has members from all faculties, incorporating engineers, geographers, historians, health experts and many more to help address global and industrial challenges. These include eight out of 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s): two – Zero Hunger; three – Good health and Wellbeing; six – Clean water and sanitation; 11 - Sustainable cities and communities; 12 – Responsible consumption and production; 13 – Climate Action; 14 – Life below water; and 15 – Life on land. We also work closely with local water companies to address their challenges, many of which are outlined as nationally important within the UK Water Industry Research (UKWIIR) 12 big questions.

Our University

Water Works incorporates 27 out of 43 schools/research groups (63%) across the UK, China and Malaysia campuses, providing a wealth of holistic research expertise.

We collaborate with various research and industrial collaborators around the globe. We also work closely with the University’s estates team to promote and support water-related initiatives in line with the University’s sustainability agenda, such as building mutually beneficial test-bed projects, reducing water consumption/wastage and the WasteNOTT campaign.

Our strong links with Severn Trent Water have stimulated discussion about an opportunity to use our campuses as test-beds for various water-related initiatives. Water facilitiesinclude: the dairy farm with onsite slurry tanks to assess wastewater techniques; European and gravity satellites to identify global water sites; virtual reality to bring underwater archaeology to life; flood modelling and analysis equipment; and a nanoscale research centre to analyse water composition.

In line with the University’s civic agenda, Water Works also engages with local community activities, such as engagement with the Nottingham City Council (Blue-Green Cities initiative), Attenborough Nature Reserve, Papplewick Pumping Station and Pint-of-Science.  

Contact us

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World-class research at the University of Nottingham

University Park
+44 (0) 115 951 5151
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