Breakthrougs in Water Research

Falling Walls Circle Tables are lending the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

Water is essential to life on Earth, but safe water is under threat around the world. In this Falling Walls Circle Table, the panel discusses breakthroughs in water research that could help combat our water crises. As Joan Rose explains, “we all know the saying ‘water is life’. And we say that water quality is health.”

Around the world, groundwater is being depleted as we dig wells deeper and deeper. These waters can also be contaminated, leading to health threats for present and future generations. Monitoring and modelling the flows of water above – but especially below – ground is difficult. What’s more, climate change is continually shifting the world’s hydrological cycle.

Data is transforming hydrology, as researchers collect more information, which is increasingly accessible across the globe. New techniques enable hydrologists to follow the flows of water in innovative ways, whether that’s by tracking isotopes or through the same PCR techniques used for Covid testing. Ultimately, it is crucial that water research provides detailed information, to enable policymakers to protect our supply of safe water long into the future.

Joan Rose

Michigan State University

Joan B. Rose holds the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University.  She is an international expert in water microbiology, water quality and public health safety.  She has published more than 300 manuscripts.  She currently leads the Global Water Pathogens Project She is the winner of the 2016 Stockholm Water Prize and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.  She is a member of the IWA Board of Directors (2016-curent).  Dr. Rose earned her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Arizona, Tucson and  masters from the University of Wyoming.