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Wastewatership: Increasing wastewater stewardship

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Wastewatership is an interdisciplinary project seeking to expand discussions about what communities can do for wastewater governance and how enhanced engagement could take place.

Reducing process emissions is a pressing challenge for the water industry, which must be approached from a multidimensional perspective, including social issues such as the reconfiguration of behavioural and social practices around wastewater. Engaging communities and individuals on enhancing the stewardship of wastewater, both through changes in disposal behaviour and through the adoption, acceptance and mainstreaming of operational and technological transformations can support ambitions to reduce process emissions. “Societal wastewater stewardship” expands the notion of what communities can do for wastewater governance and how engagement could take place.

Our aim is to develop a multidimensional framework for community co-production to reduce emissions in wastewater processes with a view towards developing a blueprint for engagement that could be used for SW and other wastewater stakeholders. To do so, our work will focus on exploring how communities can best be included in design and implementation of technical, behavioural and/or organisational solutions for reducing process emissions from wastewater. We will also explore how individuals can be better engaged at household level to engender positive behavioural change on water disposal leading to lower process emissions.

The team will hold a series of workshops with representatives of the water sector, communities and communities of interests and members of the Hydro Nation Chair Crucible family and researchers, that will assess sectoral, community and individuals’ responses to the underlying premise of wastewater stewardship.

This project started in August 2022 and runs until February 2023.

Partners and key contacts

The project is a collaborative effort between the James Hutton Institute (JHI), Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and The University of St Andrews. Hutton staff involved in the project are Dr Diana Valero (project PI), Dr Rowan Ellis and Rebecca Gray. The GCU staff involved include Professor Ole Pahl, Associate Dean Research in the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, Dr Karin Helwig and Dr Fiona Henderson. Kirsty Holstead at The University of St Andrews is also involved in the project.

Contact about the project: Diana Valero

This project is funded by the by the Hydro Nation Chair R & I Programme Catalyst Fund.

Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.