Global water security – ensuring a reliable and acceptable quantity and quality of water, and managing water-related risks for all – is foundational to sustainable development. Water is essential for human life, but also necessary for food and energy security, health and well-being, and prosperous economies. Some 80% of the world’s population live in areas with threats to water security. Between 1990-2015 more than 1.6m people died, and 5.5bn people were affected by water disasters, causing direct damages of US$2.5tn; whilst some 61% of the global population still do not have access to improved basic sanitation and 28% do not have safe drinking water, resulting in over half a million deaths per year due to waterborne disease.
To help address these challenges, Newcastle University has established the UKRI GCRF Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub. The Hub aspires to pioneer biological, environmental and digital technologies for global application, bringing the water sector into the 4th industrial revolution. Working together with other Newcastle Hub researchers, as well as partner universities Leeds and Oxford and collaboratories in Colombia, Ethiopia, India and Malaysia, this PhD programme will co-create a geospatial decision-support and visualisation framework in order to integrate heterogeneous data and provide geospatial big data analytics solutions to a range of water security problems. Hub research challenges extend from developing low cost sanitation systems to improve water quality to analysing regulations, governance structures, and to the social and cultural significance of water.
The PhD will exploit the developed framework to demonstrate how it can support whole system approaches to these challenges and enable decisions on water security that span topics traditionally handled in isolation.
This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here: View Website