Project period: July 2016 – November 2016 

This community later received Accelerator Funding for the project: Water Security Alliance

GW4 community leads 

University of Bath: Jan Hofman 
University of Bristol: Thorsten Wagener 
Cardiff University: Isabelle Durance (PI) 
University of Exeter: Zoran Kapelan 

Project overview 

Our aim is to create the ‘Water Security Alliance’, a long-term alliance bringing together research excellence, infrastructure and partnerships from the GW4 institutions with expertise in water research.   

Website: gw4water.com

Twitter: @Gw4water 


Water security has been identified by the World Economic Forum as the biggest long-term danger facing the world over the next decade. Water security means ‘making sure that there is enough water of the right quality in the right place at the right time for people, farming, businesses and environment’.   

 There a few cases where the complexity of the challenge requires more clearly an interdisciplinary approach and close partnerships with stakeholders. The GW4 partners have a long-standing expertise in water research. Each partner has core complementary areas of internationally recognised excellence: Bath is renowned worldwide for water technology, water analytics and water cycle analysis, Bristol for modelling the water environment and uncertainty quantification, Cardiff for interdisciplinary catchment science, and Exeter for urban water and hydroinformatics. Taken together, nearly 180 staff are involved, and with complementary state-of the art infrastructure in water science, as well as our combined stakeholder partnership portfolio, we could rank as the largest UK water research alliance, and one of the largest worldwide. 

Project summary 

The Initiator award created the ‘Water Security Alliance’, a long-term alliance bringing together research excellence, infrastructure and partnerships across the GW4 with the aim to foster new collaborations, and significantly enhance both funding leverage and national and international reputation. A Community Workshop consolidated the wider water research community, bringing together 85 researchers with complementary expertise from across the GW4 for presentations and group discussions. The event confirmed substantive potential synergies, and also significant potential for larger research achievements along emerging themes. The community also started to identify a common identity and vision, as well as activities to reach those goals. A smaller Development Workshop harnessed the outcomes of the community workshop and considered a sustainability plan for this new community. 

The community went on to receive an Accelerator award and became one of GW4’s Strategic Alliances. 

Community site (GW4 Portal)