Water security in a changing world

The 2023/24 Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort will focus on five key themes, each supported by an academic theme lead.

Digital pixelated forest

Nearly 80% of the global population is exposed to high levels of water security challenges, with climate change intensifying the water cycle, altering rainfall patterns, and consequently bringing more frequent and amplified hazards to human societies in many regions. This theme will therefore bring together researchers interested in ‘water security’, referring to sustainable access to sufficient quantity and satisfactory quality of water for livelihood and human wellbeing, for ecosystems, and for protecting against water-related disasters (UN-Water). Sub-themes include (1) Inequality of water security; (2) Water for ecosystems; (3) Water-related hazards. 

Meet the fellows

Parimala Renganayaki (1)

Dr S Parimala Renganayaki

Vellore Institute of Technology  (VIT) - India

Dr Renganayaki is an Associate Professor, in the Department of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, at VIT’s School of Civil Engineering. She completed her B.E Civil Engineering, M.E Water Resources Engineering and PhD in the domain of Groundwater Hydrology, Tamil Nadu, India. Her Post Doctorate is from United Arab Emirates University. Her major research areas include water resources management - managed aquifer recharge, surface and groundwater interaction, groundwater modelling, groundwater quality, hydrogeological investigation, and application of isotopes in groundwater studies. She is also the principal investigator of projects funded by India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). She has worked on international projects funded by the European Commission, National water Testing Centre, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as a bilateral project funded by DST.

Dr Temitope Sogbanmu

Dr Temitope Sogbanmu

University of Lagos  (UNILAG) - Nigeria

Dr Sogbanmuis is an Environmental Toxicologist with more than 15 years of experience in the risk assessment and management of organic pollutants in various matrices. This is with a view to develop and provide targeted environmental management advice to regulators and industry practitioners and policymakers. She is a multiple award and grant winning scholar, with several published pieces. She is the founder of the Evidence Use in Environmental Policymaking in Nigeria (EUEPiN) and Environmental Evidence Portal for Nigeria (EEPoN) projects. Current projects include monitoring plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems, investigating the sustainability challenges at the food-climate-biodiversity nexus, and scaling up participatory approaches to facilitate evidence-informed air quality management in Africa. Dr Sogbanmu is a strong advocate of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 11, 13, and 14, and of AU Agenda 2063 Goal 7. She holds a PhD in Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Management and lectures at UNILAG.

Kingsley Orievulu

Dr Kingsley Orievulu

Africa Health Research Institute  (AHRI) - South Africa

Dr Orievulu is a social scientist at AHRI. His research interests are in multidisciplinary approaches to health and development outcomes. His current research focuses on the social dimensions of climate change, and environmental stressors’ impact on HIV positive individuals' care utilisation, and health systems resilience and adaptation. He also leads projects on socio-ethical dimensions of research during disasters, and vaccine perceptions, uptake, and hesitancy among rural and urban populations in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Dr Orievulu earned his PhD in development studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Meet the theme lead

Head shot of Dr Feng Mao

Dr Feng Mao

University of Warwick

Dr Feng Mao is an Associate Professor and Theme Lead, of Complex Ecosystems and Climate Change, at the University of Warwick's Institute for Global Sustainable Development. His research interests lie at the intersection of water, ecosystems, society, and technologies, and focus on topics including water security and its inequality in the Global South, socio-hydrological resilience under climate change, and digital technologies for sustainability, such as serious games, visualisation, crowdsourcing, and low-cost sensor networks.