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.