Extremes of water availability and water quality under climate change: sensitivity to rainfall re...

University of East Anglia
October 11 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Background, Objectives and Methodology

Climate change has posed a serious challenge to the water security of many regions around the world. Robust assessment of the impacts of climate change, especially changes in the extremes, on regional water resources in terms of both water quantity and water quality is essential to their sustainable management and the development of effective regional climate change response programs.

The objectives are: (1) develop an enhanced hydrological model to simulate the movement of water and the multi-media transport and transformation of water pollutants, (2) evaluate the impacts of the temporal resolution of rainfall on the simulation performance of the model, and (3) evaluate the impacts of climate change on regional water availability and water quality.

Two catchments will be selected from the UK and China. Particular emphasis will be placed on extreme rainfall events and their impacts on catchment runoff and water quality. To evaluate the impacts of climate change on regional water security, rainfall projections of high temporal resolutions by different Regional Climate Models under various climate change scenarios will be used as inputs to the hydrological model. Climate change impacts will be compared and the potential reasons and implications for differences will be explored. Study results will provide valuable scientific evidence for water companies and river basin authorities to develop effective adaptive programs in response to climate change.

Secondary supervisor: Professor Tim Osborn


Through the course of this PhD project, you will gain (1) knowledge in climate change and modelling, hydrological processes and nutrients transport; (2) skills in advanced computer programming, model optimisation algorithms, data management, and statistical analysis; (3) industry experience through working with the CASE partner - Anglian Water (AW); (4) overseas experience through working with Fudan University, Shanghai, China; (5) understanding in decision making through working with AW in England and Huai River Basin authorities in China.

Person specification

Degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geography, Civil Engineering, Applied Mathematics or Computer Science.


This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with over twenty other research partners. Undertaking a PhD with the EnvEast DTP will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 12/13 February 2018.

Successful candidates who meet RCUK's eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship - in 2017/18, the stipend is £14,553. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a stipend. For non-UK EU-resident applicants NERC funding can be used to cover fees, RTSG and training costs, but not any part of the stipend. Individual institutes may, however, elect to provide a stipend from their own resources.

EnvEast welcomes applicants from quantitative disciplines who may have limited background in environmental sciences. Excellent candidates will be considered for an award of an additional 3-month stipend to take appropriate advanced-level courses in the subject area.

For further information, please visit www.enveast.ac.uk/apply.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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