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Water21: tipping the tipping points

Event organised by ICE

08 March 2023

This event has now ended

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Within the water sector the ‘hard' engineering approach is already being complemented by ‘soft’ engineering or Nature Based Solutions (NBS). But how much further can NBS be taken to resolve climate crisis challenges, while also restoring the water industry’s integrity and reducing costs?

In this webinar, Julian Jones of Water21 reviews some of the strengths and failures of NBS within the historical context of their UK introduction. He will talk about the novel challenges posed by the complex topography and hydrology of the Stroud Valleys in the Cotswolds in relation to NBS.

Julian's half century of close observance of land use change and postgraduate student analysis introduces startling insights into amplification of climate change. He will also share perspectives on small hydropower for 'best least-cost power generation' and some novel applications (partial treatment via maceration and aeration of waste waters) within water company assets.


Julian Jones

Julian Jones


water expert volunteer

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Julian Jones

Julian Jones led the team that first introduced hose-reel irrigation, sludge injectors and the ubiquitous 'Bauer Coupling' to the UK. In 1984, he resigned as Bauer UK Sales Director to address public health risks linked with sewage contaminated aerosols spraying from weirs during spates, at a community level. He developed sustainable drainage, or ‘SUDS’, (sewage & rainwater soft engineering) to resolve this, demonstrating this first on BBCTV in 1991. He was involved with the first UK Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) in 1993 for Stroud District Council and the first UK Defra Pilot proposal for eliminating CSOs in 2004. He also worked on the first UK dispersed upstream flood attenuation modelling for Slad FAS (EA / GCC).

Julian has recently advised on retrofitting of small hydropower within water company assets, representing German manufacturers, Ossberger & Rehart. He has honorary posts at Gloucestershire NHS & Cranfield Postgraduate School of Medicine and is a distinguished fellow at the Schumacher Institute, Bristol. He continues to volunteer for Water21, a not-for-profit organisation supporting a network of water experts, industry professionals and local community groups, where he funds and mentors postgraduate environment students.