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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N010124/1
Title: TWENTY 65: Tailored Water Solutions for Positive Impact
Principal Investigator: Boxall, Professor J
Other Investigators:
Collins, Dr R Farmani, Professor R Dawson, Professor RJ
Clark, Professor JM McGuinness, Dr M Brazier, Professor RE
Butler, Professor D Stovin, Professor V Horoshenkov, Professor KV
Biggs, Professor CA Ogden, Dr MD Speight, Professor V
Jensen, Dr HS Schellart, Dr A Stafford, Professor G
Templeton, Professor MR Mayfield, Professor M Walsh, Dr C
Birdi, Professor KS Graham, Professor NJD Hall, Professor PJ
Tait, Professor S Dodd, Professor TJ Browne, Dr A
Sharp, Professor L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr E Westling
Project Partners:
ADS Environmental Services Affinity Water AMEY
Anglian Water British Water CIRIA
Costain Environment Agency (Grouped) Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd
Groundwork UK (Fed of Groundwork Trust) Northumbrian Water Group plc Scottish Water
Severn Trent Plc Group Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust South Staffordshire Water plc
South West Water Limited Thames Water Plc The Pipeline Industries Guild
The Wildlife Trusts (UK) Water Industry Forum Water Research Centre WRc
Waterwise Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) Yorkshire Water
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 25 January 2016 Ends: 24 July 2021 Value (£): 3,962,860
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Sep 2015 EPSRC Grand Challenge 1 - Water for all Announced
29 Jul 2015 Grand Challenges Prioritisation Meeting Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Water for all is the aim of this consortium. The UK water sector faces grand challenges over the coming decades: increasing population, ageing infrastructure, and the need to better protect the natural environment all under conditions of uncertain climate change. The application of traditional technology-based solutions alone is not the way forward. We propose the use of 'tailored solutions' to address these challenges by combining measures to suit specific circumstances and constraints to achieve flexible and adaptive water systems. The project will undertake research in 8 technical themes, each of which individually pose disruptive questions, demonstrate the potential for, and lead transformation. However, they will not be viewed in isolation. When considered in combination, taking a systems view, they can be combined as 'silver baskets' of broader tailored solutions able to work synergistically for existing and new infrastructure in order to achieve transformative impact. Tailoring water solutions does not mean lower quality water services for different sectors in society; rather, it means fair, bespoke solutions appropriate to variations in the natural environment, population distribution, and legacy infrastructure. In this way the project will address the needs of water for all.

Our consortium is built around a core based on the Pennine Water Group (PWG) which has been supported continuously by three EPSRC platform grants since 2001. The PWG's strength and international reputation is founded on a balance of fundamental and applied research via a multi-disciplinary approach focusing on urban water asset management. This consortium broadens the PWG to include new expertise to provide tailored water solutions for positive impact. At Sheffield, this will include new collaborations with experts in energy systems, robotics, automation, and management. Externally, the consortium includes internationally-leading experts from Exeter for household and community scale water efficiency, Imperial College for treatment and emerging contaminants, Manchester for social practices, Newcastle for climate change impacts, risk modelling and cities/infrastructure integration, and Reading for catchment processes. All members bring wide international collaborative networks that will link with the scientific and engineering research needed to deliver the silver baskets of tailored solutions.

To achieve the envisioned transformation requires time and a step change in the way in which the UK water sector identifies, develops and applies innovation. Stakeholders need to move out of traditional silos and collaborate to creatively co-produce knowledge and action. Academics, scientists and engineers must work across disciplines and stages in the knowledge production process to deliver the complex socio-technical solutions needed to meet the challenges facing the UK water sector. Collaboration is especially relevant in a sector that is not accustomed to working together and does not have a shared vision of how to meet its grand challenges. A unique feature of this consortium is the development of the Hub that will revolutionise the way innovation is delivered to the UK water sector. The Hub aims to provide transformative leadership and accelerate and support innovation through partnerships for the co-production of knowledge across the water sector. Underpinned by world class science and engineering research the Hub will facilitate the development and communication of a shared visionary roadmap for the UK water sector, stimulate and demonstrate new tailored approaches to address the grand challenges, create a process for selecting potentially transformative tailored socio-technical solutions in line with the roadmap and enable the accelerated generation of collaborative, responsible innovation across the UK water sector.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk