A new task force has been formed aiming to tackle flooding and other water-related issues affecting the West Midlands and beyond.
Birmingham City University has created the new ‘Water, Environment and Communities’ research group, which will bring together academics with expertise in water resource management.
Research topics covered by the group include the impact and solutions to flooding, engineering, sustainable urban drainage, hydraulics and community engagement.
The group will carry out detailed studies focussing on the causes of, and issues arising from water-related issues, such as the flash flooding which hit much of the region in May this year.
It will also assess the challenges presented by government planning and policy, environmental history and the use of water for leisure.
In the West Midlands, the group aims to serve as a resource for key organisations including the city councils, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent, the Chambers of Commerce and Sustainability West Midlands.
It will also bid to support communities around the world which are impacted by water-related issues and follows successful support academics in the group provided to some of Peru’s areas most vulnerable to flooding.
Professor David Proverbs, Associate Dean at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University, said: ‘This new research group will bring together academics from a range of different disciplines with the aim of improving the lives of communities and residents whose lives are impacted in some way by water.
‘Many of us have seen the flooding that happened across the West Midlands earlier this year, and how it has impacted our communities in recent years.
‘The greatest direct climate change-related threats for the UK include large increases in flood risk and shortages in water, including substantial risks to UK wildlife and natural ecosystems, risks to domestic and international food production and trade.’
In October, Environment Journal spoke with Professor Proverbs about the university’s work in Peru as part of the Newton Fund, which is a G