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Hutton expert contributes to parliamentary discussion on water management

Speakers at POST event (courtesy Mark Wilkinson)
“The debate focussed on cutting edge reflections on natural flood management that remains hugely topical UK-wide following this winter's floods.

The latest research on water suggests that global demand will increase by 55% by the 2050s and the world could suffer a 40% shortfall in 15 years unless dramatic changes are made in water use and managing water resources. However, are the right policies and incentives in place to ensure these changes are made? The matter was at the centre of discussions at a joint All Party Parliamentary Water Group and Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) meeting, to which James Hutton Institute experts had the opportunity to contribute.

Dr Mark Wilkinson, a catchment research scientist at the Institute, was one of five invited speakers for presentations and a panel at the session held at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster and chaired by Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.

“We’re glad to collaborate with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, the Environment Agency, the universities of Newcastle and Liverpool and other partners to discuss catchment management before an audience of 200 MPs, academics, consultants, land managers and non-governmental organisations.

“The debate focussed on cutting edge reflections on natural flood management that remains hugely topical UK-wide following this winter's floods. The Institute’s work has long been integrated with the leading work from the other speakers and the event is part of our engagement to make larger scale demonstrations of these methods happen in the UK,” Dr Wilkinson said.

Freshwaters are one of the planet’s most endangered ecosystems, with fauna extinction occurring at 4% per decade. In the UK, one in six properties is at flood risk. UK climate predictions are for a five-fold increase in rainfall intensity this century and longer periods of drought. Some of the most challenging societal questions of the next two decades will concern water and well-being.

In addition to Dr Wilkinson, speakers at the event included Professor Louise Bracken (Durham University), Dr Paul Quinn (Newcastle University), Dr David Brown (Environment Agency), Michael Norbury (Liverpool University), Minni Jain (The Flow Partnership) and Paul Nolan OBE (Mersey Forest).

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Printed from /news/hutton-expert-contributes-parliamentary-discussion-water-management on 16/09/19 03:11:57 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.