Water and Sustainable Development: Scotland’s Water Future

Published: 3 March 2023

Our fourth webinar will commence on Monday 3rd April 2023 at 10.00am (UK Time)

Dumfries River Nith - 1400x400

Water and Sustainable Development: Scotland’s Water Future

Our next webinar will be Monday 03 April 2023, at 10.00am (UK Time). 

Watch Event

The webinar will focus on Scotland’s water future. Scotland may be a small nation, but in terms of water management, it has always punched well above its weight. The webinar will explore how Scottish Water plans to be carbon neutral, what are the Scottish Government’s future water plans, its future water research needs, and what types of education, research and innovation are needed in the 2nd quarter of the 21st century. Four very distinguished water experts will discuss Scotland’s water future.

The webinar will be moderated by Professor Cecilia Tortajada of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow. Professor Fabrice Renaud, Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor in Environmental Risk/Community Resilience of the Dumfries Campus at the University of Glasgow, will introduce the webinar. The panel members will be Jon Rathjen, Deputy Director for Water Policy, Scottish Government; Gordon Reid, General Manager, Net Zero, Scottish Water; Rachel Helliwell, Director of the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and the Hydro Nation International Centre, James Hutton Institute, Scotland; and Bill Sloan, environmental engineer, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow. Closing remarks will be provided by Cecilia Tortajada, Professor in Practice, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, UK.


Professor Cecilia Tortajada Professor in Practice, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, UK; and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She is a past president of the International Water Resources Association, and Member of the OECD Initiative on Water Governance and of the International Selection Committee of the Millennium Technology Prize, Technology Academy Finland. The main focus of her work is on impacts of global events on water resources, food, environment and societies.


Professor Fabrice Renaud is Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of Environmental Risk and Community Resilience, University of Glasgow. Before that, Fabrice was Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services section of the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security in Bonn, Germany. Fabrice leads research on (1) use of ecosystem-based approaches for reducing risks from natural hazards, and (2) broad sustainable development issues with a focus on human-environment interactions.


Jon Rathjen He has over 30 years’ experience as a Public Servant having worked for Customs and Excise and now the Scottish Government. John Rathjen is the Deputy Director for Water Policy [and directorate for energy and climate change operations] in the Scottish Government with responsibility for the Scottish Water Industry including sponsorship of the public corporation Scottish Water and the new Hydro Nation agenda. Scotland the Hydro Nation focuses on the economic, social and environmental development of the value of water resources in Scotland and the raising of Scotland’s international profile through its performance on global water issues.

Rachel Helliwell Director of the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and the Hydro Nation International Centre, James Hutton Institute, Scotland. She works at the science: policy interface delivering evidence and knowledge gathered by Scottish and international academics to the water community of practice (policy, industry and regulators).  She is a board member of the Hydro Nation Chair Programme, member of the Hydro Nation Forum, a representative on the research and innovation committee for the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience Environment and Society, and Scottish Freshwater Group. Rachel also sits on local, national, and global stakeholder consultation groups covering pressing policy issues including net zero, climate crisis, circular economy and resource efficiency.

Gordon Reid He has a background in the petrochemical and water sectors. He has worked across all stages of the asset life cycle including strategy, design and construct through to operations and maintenance. His current role of General Manager Net Zero is focussed on responding to the climate emergency, delivering net zero across all Scottish Waters activities and exploring how to deliver biodiversity net gain and climate change adaptation. Gordon’s special interests are innovation, sustainability and change management.

Professor Bill Sloan Professor of Environmental Engineering, James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow.  He holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies and leads a team exploring novel water and wastewater treatment technologies. His fundamental research on the dynamics of microbial communities used in engineering biology has found wide practical applications.

Closing Remarks

Cecilia Tortajada, Professor in Practice, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, UK.  

 Panel - Water Webinar 4

Pictured: Professor Cecilia Tortajada; Professor Fabrice Renaud; Jon Rathjen; Rachel Helliwell; Gordon Reid; Professor Bill Sloan

First published: 3 March 2023