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Adapting to Change: Considerations for Water Recycling and Desalination to Address Future Water Supply Challenges in the UK
25th February 2020 @ 8:00 am - 26th February 2020 @ 5:00 pm GMT
The world population of 7 billion is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050. To meet potable water supply and other urban demands (e.g. landscape irrigation, commercial, and industrial needs), there must be a paradigm shift in our approach to water resources management. Population increases and a dependency on high-water-demand agriculture which are coupled with urbanisation are affecting land use changes that exacerbate water supply challenges. Likewise, sea level rise and increasing intensity and variability of local climate patterns are predicted to alter hydrologic and ecosystem dynamics and composition.
The United Kingdom (UK) with its high population density and in particular the South East of England are clear examples of the challenges described above. Increasing population and as a consequence increasing water demand has led to water resources under some scenarios being over committed. Consequently, the South East of England is not only one of the most water scarce regions in the UK but also Northern Europe. A recent legally binding agreement (Section 20) attempts to balance environmental management and water abstraction on critical surface water sources in Hampshire. The impact being that in periods of severe drought non-traditional sources of water are likely required.
The consequence of utilising alternative water sources is that additional advanced treatment is generally required. As the UK has a legal requirement to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050 a paradigm shift in water resource management is required to meet both increased water supply and decreased emissions. As such this conference will consider the potential for desalination and water recycling technologies and their implementation in the UK, using the South East of England as a case study to augment water resources whilst minimising emissions. International speakers will bring a wealth of experience from across the globe to consider the application of these processes for wider application in the UK. The social, technical and practical aspects of indirect and direct water recycling and desalination technologies will be reviewed as potential alternative or complementary solutions to the future water scarcity challenge.
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