Mission 3: Generate world-leading research which has major impacts on society, environment and the economy.

Access to interdisciplinary and applied frontier research such as ours is of acute importance to the water sector globally. For water and allied industries, there are multiple and complex challenges of maintaining services under conditions of economic stress, population growth, demographic change, urbanisation and climate change, whilst continuing to meet consumer expectations.

water@leeds helps to develop innovative approaches for water-related applications. Tools and models can be designed in conjunction with partners in industry or academia for a specific purpose or arise as outputs from primary research – often leading to commercialisation opportunities.

We work with national and international industrial, government, charity and academic bodies.

As world leaders in many areas of water innovation, we are very keen to work with partners to maximise the impact of our work and make a real difference to people’s lives.

Impact Highlights 2018

  • CatchX platform is a global web-based catchment hydrological information platform that allows scientists, water stewards and non-expert users to easily access and visualise hydrological information for river catchment level water management and stewardship. Principal Investigator Dr Mark Trigg, is part of the core research team that includes six investigators from the University of Leeds, Earthwatch Institute and Rhodes University.
  • Led by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), a global assessment of the climate-forests-water-people link, together with an accompanying policy brief was launched at the 2018 UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2018). Professor Julia Martin-Ortega was one of the 50 scientists from 20 countries that contributed to this major assessment Report – considered as the most comprehensive, systematic scientific syntheses on the interactions between forests and water on a global level.
  • The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Task Force, led by Dr Costas Velis published a report highlighting the seriousness of marine litter and identifying potential areas of intervention. The report also highlights the severity of plastic pollution especially in low-income countries, wherein it was suggested that for every metric tonne of uncollected waste near waterways, almost 18 kilograms of plastic enters the ocean — equivalent to more than 1,500 plastic bottles.
  • A low-cost and low-carbon solution for faecal sludge management in the developing world is currently underway. Dr Celia Way’s research addresses the issue of safely disposing human waste by developing and investigating ‘fake poo’ in order to test and understand the drying process of faecal sludge. By developing efficient ways of treating faecal sludge, it forms a crucial aspect in improving sanitation systems especially in areas where the sewerage system is not available.
  • The Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) is a flagship water@leeds programme. Led by Professor Joe Holden and Professor David Hodgson, iCASP has generated more than £4 million economic / financial benefits and contributed to the success of business cases with an investment value of more than £118 million, created 9 jobs and involved at least 75 organisations.