University of Stirling working to monitor water quality in war-torn Ukraine

The University of Stirling is working with a Ukrainian university to monitor water quality in the war-torn country.

Professor of Environmental Science and Scotland Hydro Nation Chair Andrew Tyler is the University of Stirling’s lead in the joint research project which will see remote water quality monitoring carried out using satellite technology.

Professor Andrew Tyler, photo taken by Jeff Holmes – University of Stirling

According to a preliminary assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme, the war has caused untold damage to water pumping stations, purification plants and waste water treatment facilities. This is likely to have caused contamination of ground and surface waters.

Professor Tyler is working with experts at Odessa State Environmental University to build expertise on enhancing and protecting water quality in post-war Ukraine.

Professor Tyler said: “Everything in Ukraine has been impacted by the war, including the quality of freshwater in lakes and reservoirs.


“Water quality is crucial to human health but conventional sampling of aquatic systems is challenging during military conflicts.


“The availability of free-to-access, consistent and long-term Earth observation (EO) data provide the ability to observe aquatic systems remotely.


“Few countries have the capacity to fully exploit the potential of these new satellite data products so our aim is to build the expertise in Odessa State University to exploit the EO opportunities for national monitoring.”


After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the University of Stirling underlined its solidarity with all those affected by the war and condemned the unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian people.

The University of Stirling has supported actions taken by staff and students to support the plight of Ukrainians whose lives have been affected.

The University has been awarded funds through Universities UK International’s (UUKi) twinning initiative to support joint research with Odessa State Environmental University in Ukraine.

A total of £4.42 million made available to universities across the UK will help fortify research capacity in Ukraine’s universities, preventing a brain drain of academic talent and ensuring the country’s universities can play a critical role in post-war reconstruction.

More information about the twinning grants scheme can be found here.


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