King’s Water Researcher Profile – Dr. Majed Akhter

Dr Majed Akhter has recently been awarded from the BBC and the AHRC. The jointly-run program works with ten scholars, called “New Generation Thinkers“, to develop their broadcast skills and to create programming for BBC Radio 3. Part of the application process involved a full-day “audition” at the BBC Broadcasting House, where he also had the pleasure of meeting some of the other short-listed applicants and learn about their research.

Majed pitched “Dam Fever”, a program or series of programs that would explore the 20th-century history of large dams with a focus on their ideological, developmental, and socio-ecological impacts and contexts. Over the next year of working with BBC presenters, producers, and the other New Generation Thinkers, Majed aims to translate for a broad radio audience a decade of scholarly research and university teaching on the political and historical geography of rivers and hydraulic infrastructures.

“I’m excited to share my research on the links between state power, uneven development, natural resources and the built environment by telling good stories.”

See profile here.

Plumbing Poverty in the Americas

Dr. Katie Meehan is a new faculty member at King’s Geography and an expert in household water insecurity, urban infrastructure, and water governance and policy in Latin America and the USA. She directs the Plumbing Poverty project, a new research initiative that explores the intersectional nature of infrastructure, space, and social inequality, with a focus on domestic water provision.

In a recent article published by the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Meehan and her team explore the social geography of domestic water provision in the USA and expose its racialized, classed, and political nature. In the USA, nearly 1.5 million people lack complete household plumbing (the presence of piped water and sewerage). Just 14% of households without complete plumbing are ‘trailers’ or mobile homes.

 

This phenomenon is neither socially nor spatially random. Across all households, accounting for income and housing type, Native American households are 3.7 times more likely to lack piped water service; Black and Hispanic (Latinx) households are 1.2 times more likely. Meehan’s article begins to map the failure of public policy and local state institutions to provide equal life opportunity in the United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

 

Check out the article here!

King’s Water Annual Lecture 2019! All welcome!

The King’s Water Activity Hub is proud to announce our 2018-2019 Annual Lecture, featuring Dr. Lydia Burgess-Gamble from the Environment Agency. She will be speaking about “Designing a Research Framework for Natural Flood Management”. The Annual Lecture will be held Friday March 29th, between 5 and 6.30pm in the North East Wing of Bush House, 6th floor room 6.05, Department of Geography, King’s College London. A drinks reception will follow.

Abstract

Agency’s flood risk research team. She will talk about how they identify research needs and deliver applied research, filling gaps in policy and practice.

She will talk about her current role where she has developed a Research framework defining high priority areas of research in the field of Natural Flood Management, and how this led to the publishing of a seminal piece of work which summarises the evidence behind Natural Flood Management. This has in turn informed current government policy through the 25 year environment plan and is being used by practitioners implementing NFM schemes.

Lydia will also talk about how the Environment Agency works with Research Councils to steer and inform Research call.

King’s Water at the Triennale exhibition on ‘Broken Nature’

King’s Water member, Dr Naho Mirumachi has collaborated with design experts on Wonderwater café, a pop-up event to raise awareness on water sustainability.  Working with leading design consultant, Jane Withers, this pop-up was staged at the Triennale Museum in Milan as part of their ‘Broken Nature’exhibition.  Taking over the museum café, a special water footprint menu was devised to show how much water we eat and drink.  

The menu featured the Italian classic, pizzas, as well as tiramisu, coffee and wine.  Naho was supported by graduating Msc Water: Science and Governancestudent, Arthur Fuest, to develop the menu including calculating the water footprint of dishes.

The lowest water footprint dish on the menu is their vegan pizza marinara al quattro pomodori, demonstrating that a vegetarian diet consumes less water a day than a meat-based diet (in fact, just half at 2600 litres).  

This is Naho’s second collaboration with Wonderwater where previously they curated Leila’s Café in east London (See Guardian coverage).

The Broken Nature exhibition will run till 1 Sept 2019, during which the water footprint menu will be available. 

Microplastics in the Environment: panel discussion

This Friday (1st February) we are very pleased to host a panel discussion on ‘Microplastics in the Environment’. We have invited three panelists with diverse expertise and experience:

(i) Chiara Bancone (Department of Geography, UCL): microplastics in aquatic systems

(ii) Dr Stephanie Wright (MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, KCL): airborne microplastics

(iii) Stav Friedman (MSc Climate Change: Environment, Science And Policy, Department of Geography, KCL): social initiatives and innovative solutions

Each panelist will speak on their topic briefly before we open to the floor for questions and discussion.

Starting @ 17:15 in Bush House North East Wing, room 6.05, with drinks and nibbles to follow.

King’s Water Events – Spring 2019 – Documentary Screening and Book Launch

Water at the Margins (2018)

Documentary screening and discussion

With director Maria Rusca (Uppsala University, Sweden) and story consultant Nathalie Richards (King’s College London, UK)

‘Water at the Margins (2018)’

Drawing on our experience in undertaking a videography project in Maputo, Mozambique, this seminar reflects on the role and potential of this method to capture and visualize inequalities in access to domestic water.

Where? Bush House North East Wing room 6.05

When? Wednesday March 20th 2019, 16.30-17.30

Book launch by Scott Moore, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania)

‘Subnational Hydropolitics: Conflict, Cooperation, and Institution-Building in Shared River Basins’

Subnational Hydropolitics re-examines the issue of water conflict by examining conflicts at the subnational rather than international level.

Where?  Bush House North East Wing room 6.05

When? Wednesday May 1st 2019, 17.00-19.00

To find us: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/visit/index.aspx

Follow us here: @KingsWaterKCL

 

The Flow of Time: Rivers, Geography and the Next Hundred Centuries

A talk with Jonathon Keats, Alex Loftus (King’s College London), Nora Buletti (University of Fribourg). Moderated by Oli Stratford (Disegno)
Rivers are natural calendars, marking the passage of time as they meander, but their rate of meandering is contingent on climate change. Artist and philosopher Jonathon Keats proposes to re-calibrate clocks and calendars based on the long-term meandering of rivers, grounding time in the environmental conditions of our planet. This epic new project, planned for the Ticino River, is merely the latest of Keats’s many immersive encounters with deep time, which have also involved the construction of cameras taking hundred- and thousand-year exposures of the American landscape. Keats will discuss the Calendar of the Meander and his other time-based environmental artworks with river sociologist Nora Buletti and the critical geographer Dr. Alex Loftus, in a public conversation moderated by Disegno editor-in-chief Oli Stratford.
Event details
Tuesday, 20th of November, 18h15-19h45
King’s College, Bush House, South East Wing, Room 1.05

Address: South East Wing, Bush House, 300, Strand, London WC2R 1AE

Environmental Dynamics and King’s Water Hub Joint Events

Everyone is welcome to two panel discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals, organised by King’s Water Hub and the Environmental Dynamics Research Group

Panel 1  SDGs: politics and policy (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:00 – 6:00pm)
Bush House Lecture Theatre 3 Bush House (North East Wing) 0.01
Paul Steele, IIED  The political economy of the SDGs
Kate Schreckenberg, KCL  SDGs on the ground
Stephen Lintner, KCL The SDG Ocean Agenda
Panel Discussion moderated by Helen Adams

Followed by refreshments in 6.05

Panel 2 Nature, Water and SDGs (Tuesday, November 27, 2018 5:00 – 6:00pm)
Bush House Lecture Theatre 3 Bush House (North East Wing) 0.01 
Jane Catford Water and the SDGs
Mark Mulligan, KCL  Nature’s contributions to meeting the SDGs
Emma Tebbs Earth Observation and the SDGs
Panel Discussion moderated by Kate Schreckenberg

Followed by an undergraduate poster event

Insights into Dr Margaret Kadiri’s Research

Dr Margaret Kadiri is a Teaching Fellow in the Geography Department at King’s College London. Her research tackles one of the main challenges facing the tidal renewable energy sector which is the lack of understanding of the hydro-environmental impacts associated with tidal renewable energy schemes. Tides are a highly attractive source of renewable energy. The regularity of tides reduces uncertainty over power generation while also reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy security. In the UK, tidal energy presents substantial opportunities for large scale clean energy generation and there has been an increased interest in the generation of electricity from tidal energy sources in recent years, with plans for a tidal lagoon scheme in Wales, the first in the world. Alongside plans for the development of such schemes comes the need to understand their potential impacts on the hydro-environment as this has impeded the growth of the UK’s tidal energy sector. Margaret’s work aims to address some of the hydro-environmental concerns, and to find mitigating measures to minimise the impacts, particularly the risk of eutrophication by nutrient enrichment. Ultimately, this will help in designing schemes which can maximise power output with the least environmental impacts. To this end, Margaret recently returned from a field expedition of the potential site for the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay in collaboration with colleagues from Swansea University and Imperial College London.

In addition to providing baseline conditions, the water quality data collected during the field expedition will be used to assess the robustness of a novel coastal ocean model which is been developed at Imperial College London (http://thetisproject.org/). The aim is for the model to be employed as a reliable tool for water quality impact assessment of prospective tidal renewable energy schemes and to develop a functionality to accurately assess the risk of eutrophication.

First talk of 2018/2019 academic year! Food production and water resources in Brazil

Come join us for the first talk of the academic year, on September 20th at 4pm in room 6.05 in the North East Wing of Bush House!

Lineu N. Rodrigues will give a brief overview of food production and water resources in Brazil, specifically in the Cerrado’s region. The presentation will cover a general idea of agricultural challenges, water resources legislation, irrigation, water use and some irrigation strategies adopted in regions facing water conflicts.