U21’s water research to inform IWA Congress 2008

03 September 2008
U21 research is to inform the International Water Association’s 2008 congress, with workshops to be led by key U21 water research figures, proving an excellent example of how collaborative research can have a positive impact.

Universitas 21’s (U21) research group Water Futures for Sustainable Cities will be leading a two-day workshop at the International Water Association’s 2008 World Water Congress and Exhibition, proving the group’s stature and importance among the water research community and exemplifying the success collaborative work through the U21 network can achieve.

Taking place in Vienna from 7 to 12 September 2008, the World Water Congress offers the global community of 3000 water professionals an unparalleled opportunity to experience the very best of water science, research, practice and management from around the world. The technical programme ranges from the critical issues of our time – climate change, explosive population growth, a global sanitation crisis and urbanisation – to emerging breakthroughs in biotechnology and the leading-edge of applied research and technology.

The U21 water network, led by Professor John Langford of the University of Melbourne, is a co-organiser of a two-day workshop on Cities of the Future and the workshop will include speakers and discussants from around the U21 network, from the universities of Birmingham, Glasgow, McGill, Melbourne, Nottingham and Virginia, as well as other leading water researchers. Due to the cross-border collaboration between the members of the group, the Water Future for Sustainable Cities team is in an ideal position to inform debate and influence international policy development into this ever-increasingly important subject, which has been recognised by Vice-Chancellors at U21 institutions as being a key topic for research over the past two years, with additional funding pledged for the coming year.

Speaking in the run-up to the Congress, Professor John Langford commented “Water sustainability is a vitally important topic which must be discussed, researched and put into action in the coming years if we are to avoid reaching crisis point in some countries. Collaborative research, such as we are undertaking in the group, is vital to understand the situation and bring about significant changes that really will make a positive impact on a global scale. I am very pleased that we are able to present and discuss our work with fellow water researchers across the globe at the IWA Congress and hope that considerable work can be done in the months and years ahead to enable us to face these problems head on.”