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An Alumni Weekend of Water

Beyond the exciting WSPM 15th anniversary celebration on Friday night, last weekend’s alumni weekend held several events that highlighted the importance of the work of OWN members.

On Saturday morning, Dr Dustin Garrick represented the water sector during the School of Geography and the Environment (SOGE) debate entitled ‘The Perfect Storm – a Perfect Solution? – Sustainable water, energy and food for the 8 billion few’. This discussion around the water-food-energy nexus provoked great questions from the alumni audience who challenged all three panelists on everything from how biodiversity fits in to how academia can make a difference. Dustin discussed water in a broader context by looking at water allocation between urban and rural areas and how formal and informal markets can come together to improve water security.

A lucky few alumni were quick enough to snag the limited fifteen slots for the Oxford Water Walk, which was a new chance to discover some of the major water challenges of the 21st Century via eight stops across the university and town. It also helped participants understand water research across different departments at Oxford in addition to Oxford’s water history. Organized and led by Dr Jocelyne Hughes, contributors to the water walk included Dr David Johnstone from SOGE, Dr Ian Griffiths from the Mathematical Institute, and impressive MSc and DPhil students. It was very insightful, highlighting everything from water quality issues and invasive species to water solutions like smart handpumps and sustainable urban drainage systems.