Lancaster University

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New research centre to tackle water challenges

01/14/2005 13:40:25

Polluted lakes, flooded rivers and dwindling streams are all set to come under close scrutiny at a new water research centre at Lancaster University.

Flood risk prediction, water pollution and climate change will all fall under the umbrella of the recently-formed Centre for Sustainable Water Management (CSWM) based in the Lancaster Environment Centre.

The centre – which aims to bring together academics from a cross section of disciplines from Environmental Science, Biological Science and Geography to Sociology and Management – will work to find solutions to a diverse spectrum of problems such as flooding, agricultural pollution, rural land use change and water quality.

Professor Louise Heathwaite, the CSWM’s newly appointed director, is the first new member of staff to be officially appointed to LEC.

She said she planned to build a dynamic, evolving centre to help address some of today’s most pressing water-related problems.

She said: “Water quality issues are not going to go away. Climate change, flooding and their social and environmental impact have a real impact on our lives. This centre will be tackling very topical research.”

Professor Heathwaite said thanks to the Lancaster Environment Centre – which is also home to NERC’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Lancaster University was uniquely placed to build a cross-disciplinary water research centre.

Professor Heathwaite, who was most recently at Sheffield University, said: “One of the reasons I was attracted to the post was Lancaster’s excellent reputation in Environmental Science and the cross disciplinary approach which is being fostered in LEC. The fact that Lancaster also has strengths in other disciplines such as Social Science and Management means that there are enormous possibilities for joint research.”

Meanwhile Lancaster University is also gearing up to take a key role in a new national interdisciplinary centre for sustainable water management which will include Lancaster University, Liverpool University, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.

For further information on the national centre please log onto