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Water: only collaboration will solve the global crisis

Water presents a continuously changing set of issues for every country, no matter how developed.

Whether it’s pressure on supplies from rapidly growing populations or unchecked urbanisation, or the threat of rising sea levels to low-lying nations, arriving at valuable long-term solutions to water issues must always be a collaborative activity. 

Research: finding a better way

At Arup we’ve been working with clients, non-government organisations (NGOs), governments and communities on water related challenges for decades, taking a research-led approach so that the interventions we recommend possess the rigour and relevance local communities and users need.

We believe bringing scientific and academic rigour together with the kind of frontline experience gained by NGOs and local authorities is the only way to design solutions that truly address existing and emerging problems.

The latest digital design and engineering tools are expanding what we know and providing new responses to old challenges. In our collaboration with NVIDIA and DigitalGlobe we developed a deep learning system to produce high-resolution land cover maps that can be employed in natural flood management scheme designs:

Watch: Arup has teamed up with FrankWater, NVIDIA and Digital Globe to develop new solutions to water challenges.

The discrepancy between water supply and demand rises, and our everyday activities impact the water cycles and ecosystems that surround us. As seen in the Water Management video (above) we teamed up with FRANK Water to develop a toolkit to help NGOs in the water and sanitation industry. Through our research programme,we are using satellite imagery to identify land use and impact on runoff, with the aim to help assess flood risk.

A call for collaborators

In the last three years we have engaged with academic partners from many different regions, including University of Leeds, University of Cambridge, Virginia Tech, Delft University of Technology, and University College Cork. We have also worked with multiple NGOs, including the World Health Foundation Organisation (WHO), Engineers Without Borders, and the World Bank

But the work continues. The world’s water problems persist, and develop. That’s why we want to work with you, to build greater understanding and more effective solutions. 


Work with us

We are conducting a call for collaborators, to engage with academics in the field keen to get research off the ground, and to work alongside NGOs facing specific water issues in the communities they serve. 

Our research review demonstrates how designers, engineers, scientists, digital natives, utility operators and NGOs can come together to find a better way. To investigate how you can become a water research partner to Arup, contact water@arup.com