Dr Alma Lopez-Aviles

Research Interests

  • Nexus Water-Energy-Food
  • Water Resource efficiency (greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting, green infrastructure)
  • Water sector policy
  • Integrated water resource and catchment management 
  • Climate change adaptation (science, policy and practice in water resources, flood and coastal erosion risk management and the built environment)
  • Fluvial geomorphology investigations: geomorphological processes and potential impacts on infrastructure
  • Hydrological and water resource local investigations for environmental impact assessments and compliance with European Water Framework Directive
  • Flood risk assessments, including hydrological and hydraulic modelling
  • Surface water management and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)
  • Development control and flood risk management policy, planning and regulation (including planning process, planning appeals -UK)

Research Collaborations

University of Oxford 

Addis Ababa University 

TUDelft

Reading University 

Universidad Autonoma Barcelona

Ben Gurion University of the Negev  

Teaching

Civil and Environmental Engineering MSc Programme, University of Surrey, UK 

  • Flood Risk Management policy and regulation in the Water and Environmental Management module
  • Distance Learning material produced on Flood Risk Management policy and regulation

Centre for Environmental Strategy MSc Programme, University of Surrey, UK

  • Flood Risk Management policy and regulation in the Environmental Science and Society module

Civil and Environmental Engineering UG Programme, University of Surrey, UK 

  • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

Affiliations

Chartered member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CWEM), UK since 2005.

Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK since 2006.

Other Skills

Bilingual: English and Spanish;

  • Good organisational and project management skills;
  • Experienced at translating complex scientific issues into non-technical language and policy;
  • Overseas working experience (Africa)
  • Experienced at dealing with challenging situations and objectives;
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills;
  • Experienced in working with institutions and government offices in developing countries;
  • Good understanding of European, Scotland, England and Wales’ Environment Protection Agencies;
  • Good understanding of both the regulatory and private sectors, with vast experience dealing with developers;
  • Excellent track record of engaging with a variety of stakeholders, influencing decision-makers and achieving environmentally sound sustainable solutions that are both satisfactory for private sector clients while meeting the requirements of regulators and planning authorities

Contact Me

E-mail:
Phone: 01483 68 6678

Find me on campus
Room: 01 AA 01

Publications

Journal articles

  • Lopez-Aviles A, Chenoweth J, Druckman A, Morse S. (2017) 'Policy Packaging for grey-water recycling and rainwater harvesting servicizing systems at household level: a case study in southeast England'. World Water Council Water Policy Journal,
    [ Status: In preparation ]
  • Lopez-Aviles A, Van der Veen R, Chenoweth J, Druckman A, Morse S, Kisjes K, Nikolic . (2017) 'Agent-based modelling of the Servicising of domestic water-saving systems in UK households'. Ecological Modelling,
    [ Status: In preparation ]
  • Lopez-Aviles A, Veldhuis AJ, Leach M, Yang A. (2017) 'Energy and emissions in localised food systems: a case study of bread in the UK'. Applied Energy,
    [ Status: In preparation ]
  • Lopez-Aviles A, Chenoweth J, Kaufmann D, Manes A, Hayoon A, Druckman A, Morse S. (2017) 'Are servicizing business models the key for uptake of household water efficiency systems? A comparative study of grey-water recycling systems in England and Israel'. American Geophysical Union Water Resources Research,
    [ Status: In preparation ]
  • Chenoweth JL, Lopez-Aviles A, Morse S, Druckman A. (2016) 'Water consumption and subjective wellbeing: An analysis of British households'. Elsevier Ecological Economics, 130, pp. 186-194.

    Abstract

    While having basic access to water resources is clearly critical for survival, the extent to which water consumption contributes to wellbeing once basic needs have been met is not clear. In this study the link between household water consumption and wellbeing is assessed via a household survey conducted in southern England and actual water consumption data for the same households received from their water supply company. While the study revealed a few correlations, in general no link was found between actual water use and wellbeing. This suggests that high wellbeing is attainable regardless of low water use (assuming basic needs are met). In fact, when assessed through individual rather than composite measures of wellbeing, a weak but statistically significant link was shown between higher water use and some indicators of low wellbeing. Our results also show that actual water use appears to be unlinked to environmental attitudes, attitudes to water use or willingness to adopt water saving measures. This suggests that seeking a sustained reduction in water consumption via attitudinal change alone is unlikely to be effective.

  • Chenoweth J, Lopez-Aviles A, Druckman A, Morse S. (2016) 'Options for reducing household water use in the UK: the potential of servicised systems'. Alexandrine Press Built Environment, 42 (2), pp. 294-305.

    Abstract

    Household water consumption in most high-income countries is well above that required to meet basic needs, but consumption levels vary significantly between these countries. In those where consumption levels are at the lower end of the spectrum as a result of improved efficiency of household appliances, scope for further significant reduction from improvements in efficiency alone is limited. Product-service systems are suggested as a means of significantly further lowering water consumption, there being a diverse range of such systems which could be developed in the water sector. In the theoretical analysis described here servicized greywater recycling systems are shown to have real potential in that they can help overcome maintenance and water quality issues associated with such systems. If servicized greywater recycling systems were introduced in all new-build dwellings in England and also when making major bathroom renovations, an absolute decoupling of population and economic growth, and household water consumption would be possible as a result of savings in mains water consumption.

  • Lopez-Aviles A. (2007) 'Flash flooding in Spain: geomorphological approaches supporting flood frequency analysis, and the implications for the design of structures'. WILEY-BLACKWELL WATER AND ENVIRONMENT JOURNAL, 21 (3), pp. 217-226.

Book chapters

  • Cottee J, Lopez-Aviles A, Behzadian K, Bradley D, Butler D, Downing C, Farmani R, Ingram J, Leach M, Pike A, De Propris L, Purvis L, Robinson P, Yang A. (2016) 'The Local Nexus Network: Exploring the Future of Localised Food Systems and Associated Energy and Water Supply'. in Setchi R, Howlett RJ, Liu Y, Theobald P (eds.) Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2016 (Smart Innovation Systems and Technologies). Special Volume First Edition. Springer , pp. 613-624.

    Abstract

    This volumes consists of 59 peer-reviewed papers, presented at the International Conference on Sustainable Design and Manufacturing (SDM-16) held in Chania, Crete Greece in April 2016. Leading-edge research into sustainable design and manufacturing aims to enable the manufacturing industry to grow by adopting more advanced technologies, and at the same time improve its sustainability by reducing its environmental impact. SDM-16 covers a wide range of topics from sustainable product design and service innovation, sustainable process and technology for the manufacturing of sustainable products, sustainable manufacturing systems and enterprises, decision support for sustainability, and the study of societal impact of sustainability including research for circular economy. Application areas are wide and varied. The book will provide an excellent overview of the latest research and development in the area of Sustainable Design and Manufacturing.

Reports

  • Lopez-Aviles A, Leach M. (2016) Local Nexus Network for Re-Distributed Manufacturing: Energy Feasibility Study. Final Report. Local Nexus Network (LNN)

    Abstract

    Executive Summary. The Food-Energy-Water Local Nexus Network (LNN) for redistributed manufacturing focuses on the development of local nexuses of food manufacturing and energy and water supply which may provide opportunities for rationally customising resource utilisation, production, and consumption while contributing to the shared prosperity between business and community, and between human society and natural ecosystems. This network involves a multidisciplinary academic team across six UK universities working with representative stakeholders that will study the local nexuses along four research themes: engineering, business, policy and society, and systems integration. Two case study locales provide a common background for different research themes to interact and integrate, and will serve purposes ranging from collection of empirical data to stakeholder engagement. These two case studies represent respectively situations of “new development”, (Northstowe, Cambridgeshire, where opportunities exist to introduce a new food, energy and water system), and “retrofitting” (Oxford, where an existing system is to be changed to benefit from the paradigm of local nexuses). The work will be developed through six inter-related feasibility projects. This report covers the work undertaken to date within the Energy Feasibility Study. The specific objectives of the Energy Feasibility study are: 1. Assess requirements for energy supply (electricity and heat of different qualities) to localised food systems (e.g. production, storage), including typical temporal (diurnal and seasonal) variations 2. Assess opportunities for energy integration across the local supply and production chains (e.g. CO2 emissions to be used in green-houses to aid tomatoes ripen, re-use heat loss from cooling down after evaporation etc.). 3. Assess potential for energy recovery from waste arisings from food production across the local supply chain, plus arisings from local water/wastewater treatment systems 4. Develop local energy system scenarios, including other potential users 5. Evaluate energy generation and storage technologies suitable for implementing the scenarios: efficiency, cost effectiveness, safety, and environmental impact Based on the objectives above, existing literature and data were reviewed on the Nexus and the linkages between Energy and Water, Energy and Food etc. A review of existing academic and grey literature and data on energy use for the production of two chosen foo

  • Chenoweth J, Lopez-Aviles A, Morse S, Druckman A, Plepys A, Nebelius A, Mont O, Kaufman D. (2013) SPREE Water Sector Report Deliverable 5.1. SPREE

    Abstract

    Executive Summary The SPREE Water Research (Work Package 4) objectives are: - To develop sector-specific methodological tools in the water sector to measure the impacts derived from the shift towards servicizing; - To broader the understanding why previous policies in the water sector haven't led to absolute decoupling; - To explore existing examples and best practices (if exist) in servicizing systems within the water sector and to identify additional potential servicizing systems opportunities; - To understand the role of ICT and eco-innovation in servicizing in the water sector; - To build a conceptual framework for assessing social aspects of servicizing systems in the water sector, in particular, the links between water and wellbeing; - To identify potential servicizing policy paradigms that can lead to an absolute decoupling in the water sector; - To collect relevant data for the servicizing system and servicizing policy in the sector, according to the general methodologies developed in WP3 (“Methodology development”) and the sectorspecific methodologies developed in WP4. Following pre-defined tasks set out under WP4, the aim of this deliverable is twofold: (1) It sets out the conceptual and methodological frameworks of servicizing in the water sector, and (2) It serves to identify the specific water system to be investigated in the project and presents the appropriate methodologies to be employed for researching this system in the SPREE water sector countries (UK, Spain and Israel). Exploring the key elements and aspects of servicizing in the water sector seeks to clarify also the links between water and well-being and the role of servicizing in decoupling water and well-being.

Internet publications

  • Lopez-Aviles A, Chenoweth J, Druckman A, Morse S, Kauffmann D, Hayoon L, Pereira A, Vence X, Carballo A, González M, Turne A, Feitelson E, Givoni M. (2015) Servicizing Policy Packages for the Water sector. SPREE
  • Lopez-Aviles A, Chenoweth J, Druckman A, Morse S. (2015) SPREE Country Feasibility Study Report: Water Sector in the UK. SPREE

    Abstract

    The SPREE Country Feasibility Study is the key deliverable for Work Package (WP) 7. The objectives of WP7 are: • To test the identified Servicizing systems1 and their impacts on achieving absolute decoupling and social benefits using three sector specific models with local country conditions; • To assess the feasibility of pursuing Servicizing opportunities and anticipated policy outcomes for the different partner countries; • To set the ground for the preparation of the more general Policy Packages using the insights from qualitative assessment, models simulations, and sensitivity analysis.

Cottee J., López-Avilés A., Behzadian K., Bradley D., Butler D., Downing C., Farmani R., Ingram J., Leach M., Pike A., De Propris L., Purvis L., Robinson P. and Yang A. (2016) 'The Local Nexus Network: Exploring the Future of Localised Food Systems and Associated Energy and Water Supply'. In ‘Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2016’, Smart Innovation Systems and Technologies Special Volume, R.Setchi, R.J.Howlett, Y.Liu and P. Theobald (eds.), p. 613-624.

Chenoweth, J., López-Avilés, A., Druckman, A., and Morse, S.  (2016) ‘Options for reducing household water use in the UK: the potential of servicised systems', Built Environment Special Edition, Volume 42, No. 2.

Chenoweth, J., López-Avilés, A., Druckman, A., and Morse, S. (2016) ‘Water consumption and subjective wellbeing: an analysis of British households’, Ecological Economics, Volume 130, October 2016, Pages 186–194.

López-Avilés A., Chenoweth J., Druckman A., Morse S., Kauffmann D., Hayoon L., Pereira A., Vence X., Carballo A., González M., Turne A., Feitelson E. and Givoni M. (2015) 'Servicizing Policy Packages for the Water sector' SPREE project (Servicizing Policy for a Resource Efficient Economy), EU output published online. Published: http://www.spreeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Deliverable-8.2.1_Servicizing-PP-in-the-Water-Sector_FULL_3.pdf  (publication in preparation for an academic journal led by López-Avilés A.).

López-Avilés A., Chenoweth J., Druckman A. and Morse S. (2015) 'SPREE Country Feasibility Study Report: Water Sector in the UK', EU output published online. Publication of part of this work in an academic journal is in the pipeline led by López-Avilés A. (see below).  Published: http://www.spreeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Deliverable-7.1.1_UK-Water-Country-Feasibility-Report_website.pdf (publication in preparation for an academic journal led by López-Avilés A.).

In preparation:

López-Avilés, A., Van der Veen, R.,  Chenoweth, J.,  Druckman, A. Morse, S, Kisjes, K. and Nikolic, I. ‘Agent-based modelling of the Servicising of domestic water-saving systems in UK households’. Prepared and ready for submission after minor edits.

López-Avilés, A., Veldhuis, A. J., Leach, M. and Yang, A. ‘Sustainable energy and water opportunities in localised food production: a case study of bread in the UK’. In preparation for submission to Applied Energy Special Issue.

López-Avilés, A., Chenoweth, J., Druckman, and A. Morse, S.     'Policy Packaging for grey-water recycling and rainwater harvesting servicizing systems at household level: a case study in southeast England’. In preparation for submission to Water Policy Journal.

López-Avilés, A., Chenoweth, J., Kaufmann, D., Manes, A., Hayoon, L., Druckman, A. and Morse, S. ‘Are servicizing business models the key for uptake of household water efficiency systems? A comparative study of grey-water recycling systems in England and Israel’. In preparation for submission to Water Resources Research.

Older publications:

López-Avilés, A. (2012-13) Evaluation reports for UNICEF for seven projects implemented in Ethiopia under the Japanese funded AAP -African Adaptation Program: Climate Change Knowledge Management and Communications Strategy and IT platform developed for UNICEF, Ethiopia.

• Bati Jatropha plantation and biofuel project;
• Tekeze Reservoir buffer zone rehabilitation project;
• Myliham biogas and micro-dam project;
• Lake Logo sustainable land management and fisheries project;
• Kebena River restoration project;
• Guna Mountain rehabilitation project;
• Environmental education in Debre Markos schools project.

López-Avilés, A. 'Technical Briefing papers on Climate Change Adaptation and Flood Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Water Resources, and Climate Change Adaptation and Planning/the built environment', Environment Agency (2005-2006), as part of the EA’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.

López-Avilés, A. ‘Causes, magnitude and frequency of historic floods of the rivers of the Maestrazgo-Bajo Aragón regions (NE Spain).  The study case of the Guadalope Basin’ (2000)  Revista Teruel.  Instituto de Estudios Turolenses, Teruel, Spain.

López-Avilés, A. (2000) ‘Las avenidas históricas registradas en diversos municipios del curso alto y medio de los ríos Guadalope y Bergantes, Maestrazgo-Bajo Aragón (NE Spain)’.  Boletín de Mas de las Matas, vol. 19.  Grupo de Estudios Masinos, Teruel, Spain, pp. 477-559.

López-Avilés, A., Ashworth, P.J. and Macklin, M.G. (1998) ‘Floods and Quaternary Sedimentation Style in a Bedrock Controlled Reach of the Bergantes River, Ebro Basin, Northeast Spain’.  In Benito, G., Baker, V.R. and Gregory, K.J. (Eds) Palaeohydrology and Environmental Change.  Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK, pp. 181-196.

López-Avilés, A. (1997) ‘The problem of sedimentation and its immediate consequences on reservoir siltation in semi-arid regions.  Sedimentation control and retarding techniques’.  Concept Paper, IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development), Ethiopia.

López-Avilés, A., and Macklin, M.G. (1996) 'Las rases site. Floods and Quaternary sedimentation styles in a bedrock controlled reach of the Bergantes River (Ebro Basin)'.  Proceedings of the II International Meeting on Global Continental Palaeohydrology (GLOCOPH’96), Field Excursion Guide, Toledo, Spain, pp. 48-57.

López-Avilés, A. (1996) ‘Aggradation-incision cycles recorded in a bedrock controlled reach of the Bergantes River, NE Spain’.  Proceedings of the BGRG (British Geomorphological Research Group) Postgraduates National Symposium, Sheffield, UK.

López-Avilés, A. (1995) ‘Identification of different sedimentation styles in a study reach of the Bergantes River, NE Spain’.  Proceedings of the BGRG (British Geomorphological Research Group) Postgraduates National Symposium, Leeds, UK.

Project reports:

Multiple project reports plus a number of internal briefings and presentations on climate change adaptation and flood and coastal erosion risk management while working in the EA, ATKINS and SKM Enviros. Examples of projects where Alma was the leading author/technical expert and project manager include the following.

TECHNICAL EXPERT, LEADING REPORT AUTHOR AND PROJECT MANAGER

  • Urban diffuse pollution investigation for the Environment Agency (EA), England and Wales (2009-2010).  
  • Impacts of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) on causes of Climate Change for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK (2009-2010).  
  • Strategy for the sustainable management of the Sweeps Ditch for Spelthorne Borough Council, UK (2008-2009).  
  • Watercourses flood risk, ecological and morphological assessment for Spelthorne Borough Council, UK (2008).  
  • Technical Briefing papers on Climate Change Adaptation and Flood Risk Management, Water Resources and Planning & the built environment, for the Environment Agency (2005-2006).

TECHNICAL EXPERT AND REPORT LEADING AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTOR

  • River Findhorn crossing at Invereen, Scotland, for EURUS Energy (2007-2009). 
  • Eastern Yar, Isle of Wight Flood Defence Strategy Plan, for the Environment Agency.
  • Shellhaven Development for TRANSCO.
  • River Arun Flood Management Strategy Plan, for the Environment Agency.
  • Loddon and Blackwater Flood Management Strategy Inception Study, for the Environment Agency.
  • The Cut, Lower Mole, Upper River Wey Flood Risk Modelling and Mapping studies, for the Environment Agency.

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