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Research Centre In Exeter Opened To Tackle Water Issues

South West Water and the University of Exeter, in collaboration with Research England, have opened a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary research centre. The centre is named the Centre for Resilience in Environment, Water and Waste (CREWW). 


The centre cost £30 million and is a Net Zero research facility dedicated to investigating and researching pressing global environmental challenges with a particular focus on water. It is a pioneer in the collaboration between the academic and water sectors. 


According to the University of Exeter, the centre will ‘lead pivotal interdisciplinary research, bringing together our best minds from across multiple disciplines with industry experts at South West Water, to discover solutions that will make a difference to peoples’ lives and protect the future of water systems in the South West, the UK and on a global scale in the face of climate change and population growth.’


The collaboration between the University and South West Water has already begun developing ways to analyse and tackle microplastics in water and how to alleviate groundwater filtration in sewers.


CREWW represents a unique partnership, merging professional expertise with academic prowess to solve pressing global challenges. According to Cornish Stuff, Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter, and Susan Davy, Chief Executive Officer of South West Water, were both present at the event, highlighting the importance of this research facility and the commitment to working towards a more sustainable world. 


At the inauguration, Lisa Roberts stated, “CREWW is bringing together the expertise of the water industry with our academics from across multiple disciplines at the University of Exeter to develop a shared understanding of water supply issues so that we can co-create engineering, nature, economic and behaviour-based solutions that will make a lasting positive impact to communities and ecosystems around the world.” 


In her statement, Susan Davy shared Lisa’s thoughts: "Today we have made history by opening this fantastic facility bringing together the best minds across the water sector and academia, and based here in the South West. Seeing the progress already made, I am very clear that if there is a collaboration that can fix even one of the global water challenges we face, it’s this one. I believe to make a real difference in the world, investments cannot just be about places, and facilities such as this, it’s about the people who make it happen – this is where I know CREWW will lead the way.” 


Professor Richard Brazier, director of the Research Centre, described the facility as ‘state of the art.’ The centre is equipped with exceptional speciality labs, including a sophisticated microbiology lab that will significantly aid the facility in its endeavours. 


Therefore, it is crucial to see how the research facility carries out its work and which particular part of the water sector it will focus on to make it more sustainable. This could mean specific investigations into water wastage, irrigation practices, and household consumption. It is exciting to see the global impact of the research at the facility and how it changes the hydrological landscape of the world.


Image Source: University of Exeter


Edited by: Vidhi Dujodwala

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