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Water Sensitive Cities and Commons: using recycled water for maintenance irrigation to sustain green-blue infrastructure and to supplement the urban form hydrology

School of the Built Environment

Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Communities with existing urban water infrastructure face barriers to engagement between the urban community and the urban water environment; for example in the case of streams still culverted or unhealthy, overgrown feeder streams and ponds that have lost a social role or function. The water system may be regarded as an inconvenient barrier to travel or may be seen as irrelevant to human systems and health, or it may be contaminated, or flood into surrounding systems. In these cases, it is not regarded as having relevance as an essential asset for communities, for maintaining healthy water for amenity, engagement and sometimes other uses such as recreation. The proposition, based upon our previous Climate-KIC research outcomes is that by using both surface water and recycled water (treated greywater) for maintenance irrigation, green-blue infrastructure planting schemes will be more reliably sustained, and green-blue networks will have a wider reach and a wider impact. Recycled water from showers, handbasins and baths (raw greywater) is utilised as a key contributor to the hydrological cycle. The proposition will be tested using assessment of hydrological and other catchment characteristics and the relationship to urban form. The research aspects also include local urban engagement in the design and management of modified green infrastructures for enhancing the urban commons; engaging urban communities for demonstrating the instruments of success for water sensitive cities and commons. Water analysis, monitoring and assessments of plant growth under different sets of urban conditions could be included depending upon the interests of the student.

Funding Notes

"Require degree-level science, (environmental chemistry and soil science etc) and architecture/humanities


Hyde, K. and Smith, M.J. (2019). Greywater Recycling and Reuse. In ‘Urban Pollution- Science and Management’, pp211-220, (eds. Charlesworth, S. and Booth, C.). John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2019. LCCN 2018028469 (ebook). ISBN 9781119260462 (pdf). ISBN 9781119260509 (epub). 9781119260486 (cloth).
Smith M.J., Hyde. K., (2017). Monitoring Drainage Water Quality During Green Roof Irrigation Trials Using Synthetic Greywater, British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 2017.
Co-author of Book Chapter: Richardson, S.R., Hyde, K. & Connaughton, J. (2017). Uncertainty Assessment of Comparative Design Stage Embodied Carbon Assessments; Decision Making Under Uncertainty. In ‘Embodied Carbon in Buildings - Measurement, Management, and Mitigation’ (eds Pomponi, F., De Wolf, C. & Moncaster, A). ISBN number 978-3-319-72796-7 (Springer, 2018). This engineering doctorate research in embodied carbon was undertaken for Sainsbury’s Stores plc. Funded by EPSRC grant to TSBE, and by Sainsbury’s Stores plc

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