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Water, Environment and Communities

  • Water, Environment and Communities
  • Flooding
  • Water, Environment and Communities

The Water, Environment and Communities Research Group undertakes applied research on a range of contemporary themes relating to water and the environment reflecting the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of issues concerning the development of resilient communities. This is delivered through a portfolio of applied interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange, education, community engagement and advice for decision makers and policy makers at all levels. The Group's work embraces and integrates local, national and international perspectives on water, focusing on environmental challenges towards sustaining resilient communities.

Water Science and Technology

This sub-group focuses on the application of advanced technical and analytical tools to address a range of complex challenges facing the water industry and concerned with improving the quality, supply and management of water with a focus on the areas of activity listed below.

Areas of Activity

  • Hydraulics and fluid dynamics
  • Modelling and control
  • Structures and materials
  • Water distribution and engineering

Water Resource Management

Globally, the occurrence of floods is the most frequent among of all natural disasters. In 2010 alone, 178 million people were affected by floods. The total losses in exceptional years such as 1998 and 2010 exceeded $40 billion. The Environment Agency estimates a total of 5.2 million properties in England and Wales, or one in six homes, are at risk of flooding. This sub-group focusses on the development of contemporary approaches towards improving resilience to flooding with a focus on property level responses and adaptations.

Areas of Activity

  • Flood risk management
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems
  • Water quality
  • Resilience and adaptation

Water Policy and Governance

This sub-group focuses on the development and implementation of appropriate water policy at national and regional levels. This includes the associated governance arrangements to support effective planning and implementation of blue / green infrastructure to support the development of healthy environments.

Areas of Activity

  • Planning and planning policy
  • Environmental history
  • Community engagement and resilience
  • Water for leisure

Find out how our PhD studentships can help your research.   PhD Studentships


Key Publications
  • Making Birmingham a Flood Resilient City: Challenges and Opportunities, Water 2019, 11(8), 1699
  • Building Resilience in Flood Disaster Management in Northern Peru, a report from the Peru Researcher Links Workshop
  • Y Fu And Wenyan Wu Behavioural Informatics for Improving Water Hygiene Practice based on IoT Environment Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 78 (2018) 156-166,,, Elsevier, ISSN: 1532-0464
  • Zhaozhao Tang Wenyan WU X Han M Zhao An Experimental Study of Two-Phase Pulse Flushing Technology in Water Distribution Systems Journal Water 2017, 9 927 ,ISSN 2073-4441
  • Z Tang W Wu,J Gao Po Yang, Feasibility Study on Wireless Passive SAW Sensor in IoT enabled Water Distribution System, the 10th IEEE conference on Internet of Things ( i-Things 2017) Exeter UK June 2017
  • Surminski, Di Mauro, Baglee, Connell, Ingirige, Hankinson, Haworth, Proverbs (2018) Assessing climate risks across different businesses and industries– reflections on methods and approach from the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment process, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Published 30 April 2018. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0307
  • Proverbs, D.G. and Lamond, J. (2017) Flood Resilient Construction and Adaptation of Buildings, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.111
  • Oladukan,V., Proverbs, D. and Lamond, J. (2017) Measuring flood resilience: A fuzzy logic approach, International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Volume 35, Issue 4.
  • Lamond, J. , Bhattacharya-Mis, N. Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2017)  Flood risk mitigation and commercial property advice: an international comparison, RICS Research Report,
Research Students
  • Taiwo Adedeji – The Development of a Measurement Framework for Property Level Flood Resilience
  • Oluwayemi Oladunjoye – ‘A Cost - Benefit Appraisal of Retrofit of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems Towards Improved Flood Risk Mitigation’
  • Varsha Radhakrishnan - Zero Power Energy Management in IoT enabled Smart Water Systems
PhD studentships

Development of a framework to support the resilience of commercial properties to flooding

How to apply

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on Wednesday 1st May 2019.

To apply, please complete the project proposal form and then complete the online application where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement.

You can find further details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply here


The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Prof David Proverbs and Dr Hong Xiao. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof David Proverbs,


Government policy on flood risk and previous research on flood resilience have up to now mainly focused on residential properties. But greater attention is shifting to commercial properties and other critical infrastructure. According to the EA, 185,000 commercial properties are located in flood prone areas in England alone. These properties are valued at £801bn or 15.8% of the value of total buildings and 2.2 per cent of total assets in the UK (Bhattacharya, et al., 2013). Commercial properties have specific characteristics (size, scale, construction methods, business functions, customers, supply chain, etc.), and the financial loss from flooding to commercial properties can be significantly higher than that from the residential properties. This merits a targeted research on the resilience of commercial properties to flooding. This work would support the recently launched National Infrastructure Commission consultation to gather views as part of its new study into the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure network

Proposed Research

• Review of BoK and literature around flood risk; impact on buildings; flood resilience; property level approaches; including UK and international knowledge and approaches

• Development of new framework to help understand, improve and measure the resilience of commercial property to flooding

This will enable UK’s commercial properties to cope with future changes, disruptions, shocks and accidents – from increased risks of flooding due to climate change.

Person specification:

  • A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.
  • Master degree holders with a first degree in a relevant built environment subject such as building surveying / civil engineering / construction management / property management / real estate.


Adediji, T., Proverbs, D. Xiao, H. Oladokun, V. (2018) Towards a conceptual framework for property level flood resilience, International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 8, No 4

Bhattacharya-Mis, N,  Lamond, J. ,Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2018) ’Flood risk to commercial property: Training and Education Needs of Built Environment Professionals, International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-03-2017-0024

Lamond, J. , Bhattacharya-Mis, N,  Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2019) Flood risk insurance, mitigation and commercial property valuation, Property Management (in press)

Lamond, J., Rose, C., Joseph, R. and Proverbs, D.G. (2016)  Supporting the uptake of low cost resilience: summary of technical findings (FD2682), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Proverbs, D.G. and Lamond, J. (2017) Flood Resilient Construction and Adaptation of Buildings, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.111

Rose, C., Lamond, J. Dhonau, M., Joseph, R. Proverbs, D.  (2016) Improving The Uptake Of Flood Resilience At The Individual Property Level, Special Issue of the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 6, No. 3, pp 607-615. DOI 10.2495/SAFE-V6-N3-607-615

Access all of our research publications in our digital archive.   BCU Open Access