Newcastle University have joined forces with Northumbrian Waters to launch a new research project which will ensure that the United Kingdom maintains a clean, sustainable water supply. The project, which cost £3.9 million, is designed to tackle fundamental challenges which include population, growth, aging infrastructure, and climate change.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is funding a £21 million ‘Engineering Grand Challenges’, which the project is a part of; it is named TWENTY 65 (Tailored Water to ensure sustainability beyond 2065).
According to Jo Johnson, the Universities and Science Minister, “We want the UK to be the best place in Europe to innovate and this £21 million investment will bring together the nation’s researchers to address some of the most pressing engineering challenges we face.”
“From ground-breaking work with robotics to advanced air-flow simulators, this investment will help tackle our aging water infrastructure and air pollution in cities to improve the lives of millions of people around the world”, Johnson continued.
A Hub will be generated from the project, including nine other water companies alongside Northumbrian Water, will use their supply chain and academic research to promote shared idea generation, strategic road-mapping, networking, innovation, stimulation, and research leadership. The project is designed to help improve the quality of drinking water, reduce leakage, and ensure a clean, sustainable water supply for the future.
According to Chris Jones, Northumbrian Water’s Research and Development Manager, “We believe it is important to work with universities to develop innovative solutions to challenges the water industry faces now and in the future. We are already collaborating with Newcastle University in many areas including research into low-carbon and energy efficient treatment processes and processes that work better in low temperatures; the recovery of valuable by-products from wastewater; gene sequencing to help improve bathing water quality and reducing flooding from sewers.”