Vice-Chancellor launches British Council Water Initiative

Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, launched the British Council in Israel’s Water Research Initiative during a visit to the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev.

The Initiative will fund researchers from Britain and Israel to collaborate with researchers in countries facing water challenges.

In November 2014, Dr Nick Middleton of St Anne’s College, Oxford University, will chair the Water Research Initiative’s first event at the 5th International United Nations Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification. The seminar will bring together experts in aridity research from Britain and Israel with colleagues from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia and India.

Professor Hamilton commented:

“This was an inspiring visit. Through the British Council’s Global Water Initiative Britain and Israel will work with researchers from around the world to identify innovative solutions to one of humanity’s most pressing problems. We are particularly delighted that Dr Nick Middleton will chair the first event of this new initiative.”

Read the news article on the British Council website

Wireless water: mobile offers a brighter future for rural Africa

Oxford University led research which harnesses mobile technologies to improve rural access to water is featured in BBC News online.

According to mobile industry body GSMA, there are currently more than 250 million mobile phone subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa – and this is forecast to rise to nearly 350 million by 2017.

This mobile revolution is providing a platform for new technologies and enabling developing countries to leapfrog ahead.

Mobile is helping provide improved and more sustainable water supplies for Africa. For example, mobile/water for development, a research initiative based at the University of Oxford, designs and tests mobile technologies to try to improve rural access to water.

Read the full article on BBC News online.

Related links

mobile/water for development website

Vacancy: Part-time Project Manager – Drought and Water Scarcity

School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Grade 6: £26,527 – £31,644 p.a. (pro rata)

Applications are invited for the post of Project Manager for a major research project “MaRIUS’’: Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of droughts and water Scarcity”.

You will be responsible for day-to-day management of the MaRIUS project. You will be expected to implement monitoring, risk management, reporting and communication mechanisms, keeping in regular contact with the MaRIUS research partners in the five participating institutions. You will organise consortium meetings, workshops, assemblies and conferences as well as helping to manage interactions with the programme’s stakeholders in industry and government and to implement the dissemination strategy.

The successful candidate will possess excellent organisational and management skills, demonstrated through experience of management of complex projects, ideally in a university environment working on major Research Council or European Union projects. You will be enthusiastic and self-motivated with a genuine drive to ensure the success of the MaRIUS project. You will have excellent communication skills, including written reports. You will be motivated by the future challenges facing water resources in the UK. Previous experience in water and/or the environment would be desirable.

This is a part-time post (50%) and is fixed-term for 36 months in the first instance.

For an informal discussion contact Professor Jim Hall via his PA, email:

Applications are to be made online. Please upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on 2 June 2014. Interviews will be held on 18 June 2014.

To apply, go to the vacancy webpage on the university’s employment website and click on the Apply Now button.

Job description and selection criteria

Michael Rouse speaks at international seminar on the future of urban water regulation in Spain

Michael Rouse shared his expertise on water regulation at a seminar organised by the University of Valencia on behalf of the Spanish Government.

On 29-30 April 2014, experts from a number of countries, as well as Spanish government and utility stakeholders gathered at the event ‘The future of urban water regulation in Spain’. The aim was to share experiences and solutions from around the world and analyse the situation in Spain with a view to deciding what form of regulation should be adopted there.

There was international attendance by invitation from UK, Portugal, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Chile and Columbia. Michael Rouse presented the history and experience of UK regulation since 1990, gave his views on its relevance to Spain and highlighted important experience from elsewhere in the world. The attendance from Spain covered all relevant national government departments, regional governments and water and wastewater service providers, involving around 150 people.