Gro for GooD: Groundwater risk management for growth and development

 (2015 – 2020)

 How can groundwater be sustainably managed for the benefit of the economy and the rural poor? This project is developing a novel Groundwater Risk Management Tool to improve understanding of groundwater risks and help institutions better manage this critical resource. The tool will help institutions understand and make decisions based on the complex interactions and tradeoffs between economic activities, water resource demands and poverty outcomes.

POC – Rob Hope

BRIdges the GAp for Innovations in Disaster resilience (BRIGAID)

(2016 – 2020)

BRIGAID is a 4-year project (2016-2020) under EU Horizon2020 aimed to effectively bridge the gap between innovators and end-users in resilience to floods, droughts and extreme weather.

POC – Rob Bellamy

Earth Observation enabled decision support for flood and drought resilience in Ethiopia and Kenya

(2016-2019)

This project focuses on building flood and drought resilience in Kenya and Ethiopia to support poverty alleviation: in Ethiopia it will focus on building an improved understanding of flood and drought hazards and risks to help build social and economic resilience to water-related hazards.

POC – Richard Washington

Future Resilience for African CiTies And Lands (FRACTAL)

(2015-2019)

FRACTAL aims to change how African cities include climate change in development planning, across water, flooding, energy and associated infrastructure. The interdisciplinary research team will improve understanding of the African regional climate system and integrate climate messages within real-world decisions, strengthening development pathways to resilience.

POC-Simon Dadson

Increasing resilience to water-related risk in the UK fresh fruit & vegetable system

(2016-2019)

Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of our diet. They are mainly grown in the driest parts of the UK, such as East Anglia or the South East, where water resources are also under most pressure due to factors like an increasing population. This research explores ways of increasing resilience to water-related risks in the system at all levels from farmers, to suppliers and retailers, through to consumers, and seeing if their needs are compatible or in conflict with each other.

POC – John Ingram

Landscape archaeology of the Kalahari: How did major hydrological shifts affect Middle Stone Age environmental use in the late Quaternary?

(2016-2019)

This research aims to systematically investigate the Stone Age archaeology of the Makgadikgadi basin and its relationship to the landscape evolution of the Okavango-Makgadikgadi system. Over the course of three years we hope to classify, characterise and date the abundant lithic artefact scatters associated with the megalake system; use geochemical data and a database of silcrete outcrop geochemistry to investigate the source location of the tools; and determine whether and how the prevailing palaeoenvironmental conditions impacted human use of the landscape. Financial support from the Leverhulme Trust. The project is in collaboration with researchers at the University of Botswana, the University of Brighton and the University of Oslo.

POC – Sallie Burrough

UMFULA – Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications

(2015-2019)

UMFULA’s overarching aims are to address critical knowledge gaps in the understanding of the climate of Central and Southern Africa, and communicate effectively climate information to decision-makers; both are crucial to enable climate resilient development in Central and Southern Africa.

POC – Neil Hart, Rachel James

IMPETUS – Improving Predictions of Drought for User Decision-Making

(2014-2018)

Scientists are working to improve the forecasting of UK drought on monthly to decadal timescales. This will be achieved by improving meteorological, hydrological and water demand forecasts and how they are combined to produce drought forecasts. We are working with stakeholders to ensure that drought forecasts are relevant for decision making.

Understanding policy needs and regional cooperation opportunities for improving water allocations in the Middle East: The case of Jordan

(2017-2018)

The project aims to develop a programme and consortium to enable future research into, and pilot implementation of, agricultural productivity instruments that will allow for a superior allocation of Jordan’s scarce water resources in terms of productivity and growth opportunities. It builds on ‘Delivering Food and Water Security in a Middle East in Flux’ project led by Michael Gilmont.

POC – Michael Gilmont

Socio-ecological response and resilience to El Niño shocks: the case of coffee and cocoa agroforestry landscapes in Africa

(2016-2018)

This project seeks to monitor ecosystem services and crop yields through this El Niño event and beyond to 2017, and survey households to understand the impacts they have experienced as well as identify the key factors that lead to their resilience or vulnerabity. The research will explore the relationships between tree cover, crop yields and vulnerability to climate shocks. It will directly inform regional and national agendas in both countries to develop climate strategies that are resilient to environmental shocks, and hence maintain crop yields and rural livelihoods in a changing environment.

POC – Yadvinder Malhi

Testing the influence of lake/wetland-climate feedbacks on African hydroclimate

(2015-2018)

Critically vulnerable semi-arid regions in the transition zone between tropics and subtropics in Africa are predicted to undergo considerable future hydroclimate change. This project integrates lake/wetland-climate feedbacks into an Earth System Model to explore impacts on past and future African hydroclimate dynamics. There is a follow-phase to the MaRIUS project, ‘ENDOWS’ in which members of the project are working with others in the NERC Drought and Water Scarcity Programme, to engage with practitioners and stakeholders. In this way the analysis and findings, and the production of datasets for practitioners to use, MaRIUS and the other projects in the will provide the basis for more evidenced assessment of the inevitable trade-offs that arise when management of our scarce water resources.

POC – Sallie Burrough

The Influence of lake and wetland climate feedbacks on African hydroclimate

(2015-2018)

The project seeks to improve the robustness of future climate projections for Africa through better representation of surface hydrology in the latest state-of-the-art UK Earth System Model. The idea is to produce an ESM that can dynamically form lakes and wetlands over Africa and which interacts with the wider climate system. We will test (1) whether surface hydrology feedbacks are critical amplifying factors of hydroclimate change, (2) whether feedbacks add complex spatial patterning and are therefore important for regional climate predictions, (3) how these feedbacks modify the inertia of the climate system to external forcing and (4) whether their inclusion can improve the representation of hydroclimate interannual variability.

POC – Sallie Burrough

Water Energy Food: WEFWEBs

(2015-2018)

The WEFWEBs project will examine the data and evidence for the water, energy and food systems and their interactions and dependencies within the local, regional and national environment.

POC – John Ingram

A 500,000-year environmental record from Chew Bahir, south Ethiopia: testing hypotheses of climate-driven human evolution, innovation, and dispersal

(2014-2017)

This research, led by Prof Christopher Bronk Ramsey Director of Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, concerns the geophysical survey and scientific drilling of Pleistocene lacustrine sediments in East Africa, and their subsequent analyses. The aim of the project is to provide a long, continuous and highly-resolved palaeoenvironmental record that will facilitate tests of hypotheses linking human physical and cultural evolution to environmental variation, by reconstructing climatic and landscape change across critical intervals of the last half-million years of human evolutionary history.

POC – Christopher Bronk Ramsey

The Local Nexus Network – Building sustainable local nexuses of food, energy and water: from smart engineering to shared prosperity

(2015-2017)

How do decentralised energy and water supply systems interact with more localised food systems? The project focuses on the development of local nexuses of food manufacturing, energy and water supply, which may provide opportunities for rationally customising resource utilisation, production, and consumption to meet the services required within a local context. The aim is to contribute to shared prosperity for business, community, and natural ecosystems.

POC – John Ingram

EUCLEIA – European climate and weather events: interpretation

(2014-2017)

EUCLEIA , the “EUropean CLimate and weather Events: Interpretation and Attribution” project, is an EU-funded project studying the attribution of weather and climate risks for Europe. The project will develop and improve the methods to help answer the question: “How has the risk of extreme weather events changed in Europe, due to human-caused climate change?”

Assessing health, livelihoods, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in populous deltas

(2012-2016)

This project examines the relationship between poverty alleviation and ecosystem services in deltaic environments, with particular focus on coastal Bangladesh. The Oxford team are modelling the rivers upstream of the Delta – the Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Meghna – to assess impacts of climate change, land use change, water diversions and dams on flows and nutrients arriving into Bangladesh from India and the Himalaya.

POC – Paul Whitehead

Attributing impacts of external climate drivers on extreme weather (ACE-Africa)

(2013-2016)

How is climate change already affecting Africa? The aim of ACE-Africa is to answer this question for one of the most vulnerable parts of the world. The project looks at whether and to what extent climate change is already affecting the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events on the continent. It also investigates the impacts of such extreme weather events on river flow and crops.

POC – Myles Allen

Changes in urbanisation and its effects on water quantity and quality from local to regional scale

(2013-2016)

This project examines the fine-scale impacts of urbanisation on water resources and pollution in the Thames river basin, where projections of future population and climate indicate serious water stress. It develops and tests a novel integrated modelling approach, implemented first for local-scale case studies, then up-scaled for testing across the entire basin. The approach takes into account projections of urban development, land management, and climate change, quantifying future impacts on water security.

Coastal change in the UK

(2012-2016)

iCOASST is helping forecast what the UK’s coastline will look like in the future, up to 100 years’ time. This work is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and is partnered by the Environment Agency (EA), who will use these methods to improve long-term flood and erosion risk management.

POC – Jim Hall

CREDIBLE – Consortium on Risk in the Environment: Diagnostics, Integration, Benchmarking, Learning and Elicitation

(2012-2016)

CREDIBLE is developing methods to support risk managers dealing with natural hazards such as floods and droughts. It introduces statistical techniques to explicitly recognise and represent uncertainty in risk assessment. The researchers are assessing the less quantifiable aspects of uncertainty, such as probabilities attached to future scenarios (e.g. greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, or population growth projections). The project will improve the visualisation and communication of uncertainty and risk.

POC – Jim Hall

Macronutrients Cycles Programme

(2012-2016)

Researchers in the Macronutrients Cycles Programme are quantifying the scales of nitrogen and phosphorus fluxes and nature of transformations through the catchment under a changing climate and perturbed carbon cycle. The programme is supported by an interdisciplinary research community spanning the freshwater, terrestrial and atmospheric sectors and linking with those working in the estuarine environment.

POC – Paul Whitehead