Guy Howard Seminar

In this seminar Dr Guy Howard, the Director of the Cabot Institute for the Environment at the University of Bristol, will present his research.

Water and sanitation services are a foundation of good public health with the lack of access leading to 1.4 million avoidable deaths every year. Climate change presents a new and additional threat to water and sanitation services with the potential to reverse progress in access made over recent decades. Floods and droughts are the most commonly considered climate threats as they damage infrastructure, interrupt services and reduce the availability of water. However, climate threats to water and sanitation extend beyond these as wildfires affect catchments, sea-level rise and storm surges degrade water quality, and increasing temperature affects water demand and quality.

Using examples drawn primarily from small-towns and rural communities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), this presentation will discuss how we can start to improve resilience. It will set out why resilience is different to sustainability and the importance of understanding resilience as multi-dimensional. It will describe how interventions addressing environmental, management and economic issues are often more important than changes in technology or upgrading of infrastructure. The need for greater integration of preparedness and disaster response into WASH programming will be outlined. The presentation will discuss how measurement of resilience is a critical challenge in LMICs and how poor measurement leads of poor understanding of current system deficits, undermining efforts to build resilience. Recent years has seen substantial efforts to improve resilience measurement and the presentation will reflect on experience with developing and testing metrics in a number of LMICs and where challenges remain. 

Joining the event

This will be a hybrid event, with the opportunity for Imperial staff and students and external guests to attend in person at South Kensingtom Campus, Silwood Park Campus, or join us online.

In Person

  • South Kensington Campus – Grantham Institute Boardroom, Sherfield Building
  • Silwood Campus – Willow and Alder rooms


Guests can join the seminar remotely via Zoom. Details to be sent to those who register.

The Changing Planet seminar series is run by students and staff on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Program. It offers the chance to hear the latest in understanding, adapting to and mitigating environmental problems, complementing the diversity of environmental research at Imperial College London and beyond.

Please be aware that our seminars are recorded. If you do not wish to appear on the recording please alert a member of staff. For any further inquiries regarding the Changing Planet seminar series, please contact us at .

Sign up to receive the Grantham Institute’s Weekly Update email, featuring the latest news and events about climate change and the environment at Imperial.

See Grantham Institute’s Privacy Policy. If you would rather not register with Microsoft Forms, please contact us at

Getting here

Registration is now closed. Add event to calendar
See all events