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Synopsis:
Achieving quality of life under climate change, socio-economic and environmental pressures is a key challenge of sustainable development. While the role of carbon emissions in the context of climate change and health is getting higher on governments’ agendas, the importance of water systems in the sustainability debate is mainly brought to attention during large crises, such as floods, droughts or pollution incidents. This talk will present our journey towards developing systems approaches to water management, which address the link between water cycle and sustainable development through improved conceptualisation and modelling of complex human-natural systems. We argue that there is a need to urgently operationalise sustainability evaluation of human activities, both from the perspective of large-scale land use decisions, as well as operational and long-term water infrastructure planning. Through two case studies that focus on catchment and urban water management, respectively, we will demonstrate the need and methods to provide a feedback information between the economy and society and the local environment, which we believe is crucial in understanding everyone’s role in the system and need and urgency for actions that can reduce pressures on the highly stressed natural environment.

Bio:
Ana is a Senior Lecturer in Water Management at Imperial College London. She is leading the development of novel systems analysis approaches and methodologies focused on quantifying the interaction between the water cycle and sustainable development, with the aim to inform regulatory bodies and industry if and how we can support economic growth whilst ensuring sustainable water use and flood and water quality management under future uncertainties. Through NERC Innovation Fellowship funding she worked with the UK Environment Agency to apply systems thinking and systemic approaches to understanding the catchment water system complexity of the Cumbria Catchment Pioneer. She has led the UK NERC CHANSE project on systems water management and irrigation water use in India.

Currently, Ana is a Systems Analysis Lead for the UK NERC CAMELLIA impact programme, where her work is focused on the development of systems level water management models that can represent the integrated water infrastructure planning system, and how grey and green infrastructure solutions and housing design can be integrated to contribute to the overall quality of life in cities. Agency to apply systems thinking and systemic approaches to understanding the catchment water system complexity of the Cumbria Catchment Pioneer. She has led the UK NERC CHANSE project on systems water management and irrigation water use in India. Currently, Ana is a Systems Analysis Lead for the UK NERC CAMELLIA impact programme, where her work is focused on the development of systems level water management models that can represent the integrated water infrastructure planning system, and how grey and green infrastructure solutions and housing design can be integrated to contribute to the overall quality of life in cities.