Water Innovation will increasingly take place in coastal regions. The first reason is population density: more than half of the world’s population live within 100 km of the sea, and 13 of the 15 largest cities are now on or near the coast. The second reason is the expansion of human activities using oceans and water bodies as vital resources for trade, transport, tourism and ecological habitats (from fishing grounds to mangrove habitats to nutrient filtering through algal beds). Climate change is affecting many coastal areas, with increased erosion, storm activity and water quality implications. Decarbonising the economy and moving toward sustainable energy sources also relies largely on marine renewable energy (wind, wave, tidal).
Coastal and ocean engineering are key areas of research and investment, and this Water Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC@Bath) Research Theme aims at federating the research undertaken at Bath, to leverage existing synergies and develop new collaborations, within the University, and with industrial and international partners.