Mission 1:  Provide excellent internationally- recognised water science, technology and policy research

Changing climate and rainfall patterns, growing global populations, shifting land use patterns and increasing water consumption: the wide variety of experts operating across disciplines means water@leeds can rise to these challenges.

The water@leeds research community are inspired by the global and regional grand challenges for water. Addressing major research questions through the provision of coordination support, creation of an intellectually stimulating environment, promotion of activities and appointment of outstanding staff to deliver world-leading research, will help to realise our core aims of delivering impact to varied end-users.

Find out how world leading our research is here.

Research Highlights 2016-2017

  • water@leeds members have given 111 conference presentations, written 22 book chapters, published 428 articles in academic journals, contributed 3 impact case studies for REF2021, and hosted 1 large international conference.
  • Dr Duncan Quincey (School of Geography) led the first project to take readings from within the ice of the Khumbu Glacier, in the foothills of Mt. Everest, by drilling into it in summer 2017.
  • The HyCRISTAL consortia, headed by Dr John Marsham (School of Earth and Environment) conducted the first in-situ observations over Lake Victoria in May 2017, to generate data to enhance understanding of Lake Victoria Basin climate.
  • Research by PhD student Philippa Hill and Dr Richard Blackburn (School of Design), has found that the use of controversial fluorochemicals in waterproof clothing represents over-engineering of the fabrics, as most users are indifferent to the levels of oil- and stain-proofing these finishes require. Significant
    environmental and toxicological benefits could be achieved by switching to non-fluorinated finishes without a significant reduction in garment water-repellency performance.
  • water@leeds hosted the 7th International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM7) on 05 – 07 September 2017. The conference, which takes place every three years, offers an international platform to discuss a range of flood-related issues and realise significant change in a multidisciplinary, multisectoral area. It provides a unique opportunity for various specialists, including engineers, planners, natural and social scientists, health specialists, disaster managers, decidion makers and policy makers, to come together to exchange ideas and experiences. This year, water@leeds played an integral role in the organisation of the ICFM7, with several members of the water@leeds team sitting on the Local Organising Committee and the Scientific Committee. For further details visit

A list of current projects and research sub-groups can be found in this section. More information can be found in the water@leeds Annual Report.