Technological solutions to global challenges

OWN member, Prof Richard Compton, and Profs Rickaby and Bouman, embark on collaborative project to improve monitoring of ocean ecosystems. Read the press release here.

On the move: What drives Somalia’s migration?

Read the blog feature on recent book chapter by OWN member, Lisa Thalheimer here.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic impact food security and virtual water “trade”?

OWN member, Hussam Hussein, writes about the impact of Covid-19 on food security and virtual water trade. Read about it here.

River Nile dam: Reservoir filling up

OWN member, Dr Kevin Wheeler, comments on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance dam for the BBC. Read the article here.

Legalising water?

By Associate Professor Bettina Lange

Managing water resources is increasingly governed by an expanding and complex set of legal rules. Ch. 15 of Fisher, Lange and Scotford ‘Environmental Law: Text, Cases and Materials’ (2019, OUP) introduces key provisions of water law applicable in the UK. The chapter discusses the main environmental offence that can be harnessed for sanctioning the pollution of water, and outlines regulatory frameworks for the discharge and abstraction of water, as well as recent developments in drought and flood law. The recently published update for this textbook sets out succinctly the latest developments in the courts’ approach to fining water polluters, the impact of Brexit on environmental, including water law in the UK, as well as on-going developments in relation to the recent core piece of environmental legislation in the UK: The Environment Bill 2019-21.

TEDx Oxford talk on Smart Handpumps

Patrick Thomson is lead researcher for the Smith School’s Water Programme. Patrick’s research focuses on the use of technology to enable institutional change and bring reliable water services to rural communities. To this end, Patrick developed the first Smart hand-pump for water use, the story of which is the subject of this talk. Patrick Thomson is lead researcher for the Smith School’s Water Programme. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Watch the talk here.

WaterSciencePolicy Blog launch from WSPM alumni

WaterSciencePolicy launched in May 2020 as in independent initiative by a group of Oxford WSPM Alumni. It serves as a global digital platform to connect the work of academia and the research community – in an blog format – with the opinions of practitioners and activists in the field of water and water-related issues. It was designed as a public space where researchers can contribute to make their academic work more accessible by condensing it into a more concise format and practitioners can share their experience from the field. The platform thrives to be a hub for triggering dynamic discussions, where ultimately science meets policy and management. It is ad-free and open access to provide everyone an independent voice. The aim is to inform with substantiated and explanatory content on the latest developments, facilitating informed discourse and novel insights among an expanding water-curious audience. With an interdisciplinary approach across regions and sectors, the platform disseminates cutting-edge research, original points of view and innovative practices to stimulate critical debate and understanding. WaterSciencePolicy convenes thinkers to discuss why water matters and what are the possible solutions towards living prosperous lives while respecting planetary boundaries.

Do you want to give the world a glimpse into a particular water-related issue you are working on? Do you have exciting research to share? Do you have novel insights or want to challenge existing paradigms? Whether you are a professional, an academic, or a layman, as long as you have something important to say about water, WaterSciencePolicy team is interested in your contribution. Here is how you can submit:

Guidelines for submission: Checklist

  • Your 800-1000 words .docx article, including:
    • short blurb – three bullet point sentences at the beginning of your text to summarize the main ideas of your piece
    • In-text references with hyperlinks (including for diagrams and pictures – unless they are your own)
    • short Bio (up to 50 words) + your LinkedIn & Twitter – if desired
    • Proper spelling and other intricacies with respect to our English Style Guide
  • Pictures and diagrams as separate files
  • square (1:1) profile picture
  • A header image that is most relevant to the content
  • This is it, four points. Now place in a folder, zip it all up and send it to

If you have more questions, have a look at existing articles and make sure to check out the more elaborate submission guidelines for tips and tricks on What makes a good blog here.

Securing access to safe water is more important than ever

OWN member Dr Catherine Fallon Grasham argues that securing safe water is more important now more than ever before. Read about it here.

Water security in times of crisis: how COVID-19 is impacting the rural poor in Bangladesh and Kenya

OWN members Dr Sonia Hoque and Saskia Nowicki discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the rural poor in Bangladesh and Kenya. Read about it here.

Can rural people pay for water in a crisis?

Dr Guy Hutton (UNICEF) and OWN Leadership Team member Professor Rob Hope (REACH) discuss the affordability of water in a crisis. Read about it here.