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Do we have an urban water quality crisis (and what can we do to solve it)?

Poor water quality is a major concern for many citizens and organisations across the UK. Improving this and building resilience for the future is essential.


Join the conversation, learn how this is being addressed and how our CAMELLIA tools could assist at our event ‘Do we have an urban water quality crisis (and what can we do to solve it)?’. You will hear perspectives from experts in different sectors and how tools created by the CAMELLIA programme could assist you, whether you are a water industry expert, a consultant, a policymaker or a citizen.

24th November 2021

9:00 - 13:00

Zoom webinar

9:00 – 10:00


Hear from experts in the water industry sector, NGOs, consultancies, and Government about their views on water quality and what they are doing about it.


10:00 – 11:00


Ask questions to the panel of speakers and listen to the discussion on how we can work together to improve and support urban water quality going forwards.


11:00 – 13:00


Join our sessions to understand how the CAMELLIA tools could support you and your organisation address the water quality challenge.


11:00 - 12:00

Water Data Explorer (watch video)

12:00 - 13:00

Water Systems Integration Modelling Framework

(watch video & download the poster)


11:00 - 12:00

System Dynamics interface for the use of natural space (watch video)

12:00 - 13:00

Community water quality viewer 

(watch video)

Speakers & chair

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Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP - SPEAKER

Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee and MP for Ludlow

Philip has been chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee since January 2020, having been a member of the committee since January 2018. Previously he was Minister of State for Health (2016-2018), and Minister for Defence Procurement (2012-2016). He has been Member of Parliament for the Ludlow constituency in Shropshire since 2005.

The EAC inquiry into Water Quality in Rivers is due to report by the end of this year.

In the 2020-21 Parliamentary session Philip promoted his private members bill, the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill, which did not progress due to the impact of the COVID pandemic on the Parliamentary schedule. He has been working to include many of its measures to improve water quality in the Environment Bill due to receive Royal Assent in October.

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Prof David Balmforth - SPEAKER

Independent consultant - flood alleviation and urban pollution control

David is an independent consultant specialising in flood risk management and urban pollution control. He is a Past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and until 2020 worked as an Executive Technical Director with the international engineering consultancy Stantec. His more recent work has ranged from the delivery of £multi-million engineering programmes in the water industry, to flood advisory work for municipalities in the UK and overseas, with a particular focus on climate change adaptation. He has worked on the alleviation of flooding and water pollution in London, Auckland and Singapore, and on low carbon solutions to water pollution in the South of England. David is a member of the UK Government’s Roundtable on Property Flood Resilience. In 2016 he was a Specialist Advisor to the UK Government Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Flood Prevention and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the National Flood Resilience Review, and he served as a member of the UK Government Review (Pitt Review) of the 2007 Summer Floods. David is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London and is currently a member of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission’s expert advisory panel on climate resilience and a member of the Singapore Government’s Coastal Protection Expert Panel on climate change adaptation.

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David Johnson - SPEAKER

Technical Director, The Rivers Trust

David Johnson is the Technical Director of The Rivers Trust. David’s expertise is in the communication of hydrological and hydrogeological research at both a local and national level. This work translates research into 'business as usual' by building sufficient technical capacity to use the research to deliver nature based solutions as part of the 25 year environment plan. Over the last six years he has developed and delivered a national program of technical engagement including workshops for NFM and other technical subjects; one to one support; online webinars and guidance documents. This program is aimed at the wider CaBA movement and includes eNGOs, regulators, water companies, local authorities and industry. As resources are developed for this support they are published on the CaBA website to make sure they are accessible and discoverable by the wider catchment management community. This experience builds on David's role in the National Groundwater and Contaminated Land Centre of the Environment Agency, where for ten years his role was to translate groundwater research into practice within the organisation and the wider groundwater community. David has presented groundwater evidence at two select committee hearings in the House of Commons and represented Defra at the European Commission on technical issues with the implementation of the Nitrates Directive. He is a chartered Civil Engineer with 30 years experience in the water and environmental management industry.

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Helena Soteriou - SPEAKER

Catchments Programme Manager, Thames Water

Helena is the Catchments Programme Manager at Thames Water leading on the company’s flagship Smarter Water Catchments initiatives which aim to improve the health of rivers and their surrounding environments through cross-sector partnerships over the next 10 years. Three trial catchments are the focus of this initiative; with the implementation of the UK’s first urban catchment management pilot taking place in the River Crane in West London.

Helena has spent the last five years building relationships with the 400 environmental organisations that Thames Water interacts with. She has developed a robust understanding of the challenges the sector faces and believes a more holistic approach to water management will help overcome them.


Jacob Tompkins - CHAIR

Co-founder and CTO, The Water Retail Company

Qualified as a civil engineer at University College London, Jacob has a Masters in Hydrogeology from Imperial College London. He was an environmental adviser to Nation Farmers' Union and water resources and water efficiency specialist at Water UK, before founding Waterwise (2005). Jacob has been a WWF Associate and has sat on a number of European Commission working groups on issues such as drought planning and groundwater protection, as well as being a visiting Professor at Exeter University. Jacob spent five years as the UK representative on the Eureau (pan-European water industry body) Drinking Water Commission, as well as chairing OFWAT's Resilience Committee. Jacob is currently CTO of The Water Retail Company.


Prof Adrian Butler - Co-CHAIR

Professor of Subsurface Hydrology and CAMELLIA Principal Investigator

Adrian is the Principal Investigator for the CAMELLIA programme and his role is to lead and coordinate the work of the team and in the engagement with project partners. His main research interest is in measuring and modelling the movement of water and pollutants in the subsurface in order to provide improved ways of evaluating impact on the environment, water resources and human health. He is the Course Director of the Hydrology and Water Resources Management MSc in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Imperial College London and a former Chair of the Geological Society’s Hydrogeological Group.



WSIMOD Water Systems Integration Modelling Framework [download poster PDF]

Water Systems Integration Modelling framework (WSIMOD) is a set of tools that represent the entire urban and rural water cycles, from supply, to urban planning and urban and agricultural water use, to surface runoff pollution, treatment and in-river water quality. The models can highlight valuable information about options for integrated water management including physical intervention (blue, green and grey Infrastructure), operational systems control and policy and regulation. The WSIMOD will enable a range of stakeholders including water companies, local planners and environmental regulators to make coordinated, systems-level water management decisions.  WATCH VIDEO


Community Modelling Water quality viewer

Community modelling engages local residents with scientific insights to co-create scenarios for environmental improvement. We will present an easy-to-use, web-based interface for a surface water quality model that we are currently testing with local authority and nonprofit partners to engage communities in the Pymmes and Salmons Brook catchments in North London. WATCH VIDEO

System Dynamics for Thamesmead Use of blue and green space

A System Dynamics (SD) model that describes the dynamics of the use of natural space in Thamesmead (London) with the objective to investigate possible pathways of improvement at strategic level. Through a friendly interface, the model allows to represent the impact on health and climate change mitigation by capturing the endogenous dynamics between the use of natural space, perception of safety, and community participation together with other influencing system elements. WATCH VIDEO


Water Data Explorer Data visualisation of the water environment

A data visualisation tool to collect and interrogate data, providing a diverse set of users with a simple, easy and free to access tool that encourages data discovery, data sharing and fosters a shared understanding of the water environment. WATCH VIDEO

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