The Annual Lorch Lecture is a series of lectures by influential figures in water. This year’s speaker is Professor David Sedlak of University of California Berkeley.

Over the past 2,500 years, three technological revolutions have made it possible to quench the thirst of cities, control waterborne diseases and eliminate the pollutants that fouled urban waterways. Water-stressed cities are currently making large investments in new, centralized approaches for obtaining drinking water that can be considered as a fourth water revolution. For example, cities in California, Texas and Colorado are turning to the reuse of municipal wastewater, harvesting of urban runoff and desalination of seawater to substitute for increasingly unreliable imported water sources. But this may not be good enough. Challenges associated with climate change, sea-level rise and competition for water resources may require us to develop new strategies that involve active management of natural systems as well as use of distributed water treatment and distribution systems. Ultimately, the right approach for enhancing water security will depend upon local factors including geography, geology and leadership.

Professor David Sedlak

Professor David Sedlak

David Sedlak is the Plato Malozemoff Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, Co-Director of the Berkeley Water Center and Deputy Director of the NSF engineering research center for Reinventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt). Professor Sedlak's research addresses the use of natural and engineered systems to improve water quality and new approaches for increasing the sustainability and resiliency of urban water systems. Sedlak is a member US National Academy of Engineering, recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the Paul Busch Award for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research and the Clarke Prize for Excellence in Water Research. Sedlak is the author of Water 4.0: The Past, Present and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource and serves as editor-in-chief of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology.

Event Programme

17:00 Event registration with tea / coffee
17:30 Lecture
19:00 Close

Location and travel details

Auditorium, Vincent Building, Cranfield University.

Who should attend

Those with an interest in the environment, water supply and sanitation, and water reuse: industry, policy makers and regulators, academics, students, and the general public.


Free to attend