Research and Innovation

Water Institute

Research Spotlight is a series where we shine a spotlight on the research being undertaken in DCU centres. This month we are looking at the Water Institute.

DCU Water Institute

Never was water a more relevant topic than we see today with poor sanitation issues, water scarcity, water quality and contamination as well as effects of climate change impacting people and societies in different ways across the globe. The DCU Water Institute is a technology-focused institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-making towards more sustainable use of our water resource and a more informed water stewardship.

With over 30 Principle Investigators, DCU Water Institute is a cross-faculty initiative of research and education on water. It works with all stakeholders – a quadruple helix of academia, industry, agency and society in its research and development work. Through research and capacity building, the Water Institute develops solutions to national and global problems in water. We specialize in technology developments across science, engineering and computer science domains with strong communications focus and policy and business drivers

DCU Water Institute focuses its research, capacity building and advisory services under four thematic areas: energy, water & health, marine and sustainable agriculture. These themes are underpinned by technology developments in scientific and engineering domains and driven by policy requirements and water governance. Through applied research and policy consultation, capacity-building in individuals, communication to influence private and public sectors, and linking across sectors, DCU Water Institute aims to stimulate the development of innovative technology-based solutions to our water-related challenges.

DCU Water Institute aims to become the national lead in the area of water research, and a lead player in the international water platform. To this end, we have attracted, to date, in excess of €12 million in funding projects and a large number of water projects across all areas of the university. We have also numerous collaborations both nationally and internationally.

With full details available on our website ( A snapshot of our projects are as follows:

EPA Projects:

Potential Sources and Environmental Fates of Certain Phthalates in the Irish Environment

One-step drinking water treatment using nanofiltration and nanostructured composites

Improving the Resource Efficiency of Wastewater Treatment Plants

The development of new integrated photocatalysts for the removal of pharmaceuticals from industrial wastewater streams

The Role of Passive Sampling in screening and monitoring of new and emerging chemicals

EU-funded projects:

FP7 MARIABOX: Marine environmental in situ assessment and monitoring toolbox 2014-2018(Link)

FP7: Next Generation Analytical Platforms for Environmental Sensing

FP7: COMMONSENSE: Cost-Effective Sensors, Interoperable with International Existing Ocean Observing Systems, to Meet EU Policies Requirements

H2020 Saltgae: Demonstration project to prove the techno-economic feasibility of using algae to treat saline wastewater from the food industry.

H2020 WATERSPOUTT – This project is carrying out a technological development programme to advance three applications based on solar disinfection, in parallel a social sciences programme has been structured to make sure the technologies are adopted by the local communities with the support of the local authorities and in an economically sustainable way.


SFI: Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme. This project aims to develop flexible integrated energy systems, nationally and internationally.



Politicising the sustaining of water supply in Ireland – the role of accounting.

EXEMPLAR: Efficient End-to-end Waste Water Management for Meat Processing Plants

Fluoridation of water: a review of the risks of benefits for the population health in Ireland and an EU wide policy analysis of decisions made around fluoridation.


Having gained official university recognition in 2015, DCU Water Institute is delighted to announce we have exceeded projected targets for 2016.  We will continue our strong growth phase in 2017 and 2018 by continuing to support our membership, expand our expertise and our national and international partnerships, with industry, agency and academics.