Announced by International Development Minister Baroness Northover, the seven year research project will receive a £15 million grant from the Department for International Development. A changing and variable climate, increasing demand for water, crumbling infrastructure, unaffordable bills and water contamination have caused a chronic lack of safe, reliable and clean water in the developing world.
Baroness Northover said: 'Access to water is a defining challenge for the 21st century. The UK has already helped 43 million people to access clean water, but there is far more to be done. Research into how water resources can be better managed will help millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Oxford University’s expertise will ensure we can generate new ways to give up to 5 million more people secure water resources in some of the world’s poorest countries.'
The programme’s initial focus will be on fragile states which face great water security risks. Some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people live in fragile states, rural hinterlands, floodplains and rapidly growing urban slums where they have very low resilience to water shortages and the least capacity to cope.