Product has been added to the basket
Item has been added to bibliography

Bryan Lovell Meeting 2016: Water, hazards and risk: Managing uncertainty in a changing world

24 - 25 November 2016
Add to my calendar
Event type:
Organised by:
Geological Society Events
The Geological Society, Burlington House
Event status:

In November 2016 we were pleased to convene the first of the Society’s new series of flagship conferences, the Bryan Lovell Meetings.

This is a new style of interdisciplinary meeting aimed at bringing together expertise from a wide range of professions and specialisms to contribute to the understanding of societal challenges and how our science can help address them. This meeting brought together the Society’s chosen scientific themes for 2016 (Year of Water) and 2017 (Year of Risk) through a wide-ranging programme that promoted the cross-fertilisation of ideas and information across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The meeting focused on the geoscientific aspects of water and risk and how they intersect in the context of societal challenges such as environmental change and water-related geohazards, including flooding, tsunami, sinkholes and mudflows. It also addressed human and economic impacts, communication, perception and awareness-raising around these issues, in the UK and globally.

An important aspect of the meeting was exploring case studies to consider what insights and understanding can be shared across sectors and applications.

Conference themes

  • Managing uncertainty and water-related geohazards in the geological realm including groundwater flooding, gravity flows, sinkholes and tsunami
  • Water and environmental change: improving understanding, resilience and communication of the risks, including those related to climate change (drought, sea-level change, flooding, glacier retreat, ocean acidification), waste disposal and groundwater contamination
  • Improving perception, awareness and effective communication of the risks posed by water-related geohazards
  • Risks posed by water-related geohazards to people and society, including water security, risk to corporate and personal capital, engineering of the subsurface, ongoing urbanisation and the water-energy nexus

Geology for Society cover

Geology for Society

Many of the topics and themes covered in the Bryan Lovell Meetings are discussed more fully in the our report ‘Geology for Society’ which was published in 2014.

A European version was later published in 2015 in 13 European languages.

Speakers Talks and presentations

Day 1

Introduction -

Policy Briefing

Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra

Water hazards and risk: societal challenges from a policy perspective


Panel discussion and Q&A


Sarah Gordon, Satarla Risk Management and Council Member

Risk, uncertainty and the Bow Tie Method of understanding risk


Session 1 - Water: a Resource and a Hazard

Kevin Hiscock, University of East Anglia

Risks to water supply and quality associated with overexploitation of groundwater resources

Paul Nathanail, Land Quality Management Ltd and University of Nottingham

Risks of novel groundwater treatments: Lessons for nano remediation

Andrew McKenzie, British Geological Survey

Too little, too much or both? UK hydrogeological hazards

Session 2 - Environmental Change

Rob Lamb, Lancaster University and JBA Consulting

Keynote: Challenges and opportunities for evidence-based improvements in flood resilience

Charlotte Adams, Durham University

Tensions and Complementarity in the Water-energy Nexus

Paul Eastwood, Opus International

Ground instability, land use and the impact of historic chalk mining; add water for "the perfect storm". Lessons from the St Albans Sinkhole Collapse, October 2015

Clive Carpenter, GWP Consultants

Drinking Water Security - risk based decision making for communities to reduce disaster risks and increase resilience to climate change.

Peter Styles, Keele University

Sinkholes, Man-Made Earthquakes and Weather

Wrap up              

Day 2

Session 3 - Working with Risk: Intervention, management, mitigation and strategy

Jenny Cooke, Network Rail

Keynote: Water Risk and the Railway - A Ground Engineer's Perspective - Lecture Slides

David Giles, University of Portsmouth

Quaternary geological ground models for the reduction of engineering risk

Dickie Whitaker, Lighthill Risk Network and Oasis Loss Modelling Framework

How to link Academia and the RE(In)surance Industry to mutual benefit

Peter Easton, Easton Water Consulting

Corporate water risk and stewardship. Its current status and future potential

Katie Hill, Hatch

Mining and water conservation

Mark Fermor, ESI Consulting

The Role of Groundwater in Risk from Flooding in England: Methodologies, analysis and preliminary findings

Fola Ogunyoye, Royal HaskoningDHV

Accounting for Residual Uncertainty in flood and coastal risk management

Session 4 - Effective communication and improving public understanding and perception of risk

Robert Muir-Wood, Risk Management Solutions

Keynote: Are Catastrophe models converging on reality or is reality slipping away?

Alison Anderson, Plymouth University

Communicating Uncertainty: The language of risk and climate change

Hazel Gibson, Plymouth University

Rivers Underground: persistent public conceptualisations of water in the geological subsurface and how that can impact on communications

Oliver Lindridge, Kingston University

Investigating Tsunami evacuation strategies to reduce the risk to life in Menorca

Discussion Session

Outputs and recommendations to policymakers


  • Paul Howlett (Royal HaskoningDHV and Hydrogeology  Group)
  • Florence Bullough (The Geological Society)
  • Paul Nathanail (University of Nottingham and Land Quality Management)
  • David Jones(Natural Resources Wales)
  • Sally Thompson (Radioactive Waste Management)
  • Kevin Hiscock (University of East Anglia)
  • Sarah Gordon (SATARLA Risk Management)


2016 was The Geological Society's Year of Water.

2016 - Year of Water