From rights to results in rural water services

New evidence to translate the human right to water into measureable results in rural Africa is presented in a new report funded by UK Department for International Development and led by Oxford University.

Calculating the risks of coastal flooding and cliff erosion

Scientists at the University of Oxford are developing a computer model that will forecast the environmental risks to Britain’s coastline for decades ahead. This will be of immense value to local authority planning departments.

Are the UK winter floods linked to climate change?

The general public are being called to take part in an Oxford University research project to find out what role climate change played in the UK’s record-breaking wet winter.

Is engineering a way out of the flooding?

Houses should be redesigned, roads raised and tidal lagoons built that generate energy to reduce the impact of flooding in the UK, according to a panel of senior engineers and academics, reported in the Guardian.

Answer to flooding lies in the soil

Professor John Boardman writes a letter to the Guardian highlighting the unjoined up thinking in the regulation around soil runoff and erosion for farmers.

Water shortages could disrupt Britain’s electricity supply

The Guardian reports on a team of academics from Oxford and Newcastle who say nuclear and gas-fired power stations could be forced to shut down during future droughts.

Action needed to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Thames

In a podcast on the NERC Planet Earth website, Paul Whitehead from Oxford University and Mark Barnett from the Environment Agency comment on the pollution challenge of the river Thames. They explain why the river will fail to meet European Union standards unless action is taken by farmers to reduce fertiliser use and water companies cut the amount of phosphorus being discharged by sewage works.

Research highlight: Women in India becoming more influential in irrigation

Women in Northern India are playing an increasingly important role in irrigation, a traditionally male-dominated activity, according to new research published in the journal World Development. This is improving female engagement in formal politics more broadly, says Alexandra Girard, author of the study.