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New online service to support management of water quality and ecosystems in the UK

Loch Saugh (c) James Hutton Institute
“Such platforms as CaMMP are important for enabling the water industry, policy makers and regulators to know what information and models are available to help them in their decision making”

Scientists from the James Hutton Institute have been involved in a three-year community research project to deliver a new online service to help better manage the quality of water and ecosystems in the UK.

The service, recently launched at an event in London, provides a comprehensive resource base with information on more than 100 datasets and 10 models and tools of practical help for local and national action by government and public agencies, utility companies and conservation organisations who manage and model water quality in catchments.

The Catchment Management and Modelling Platform (CaMMP) provides freely available data, models and tools which are used for informing decisions on catchment management for meeting targets for improving water quality. It also provides resources for exploring the wider impacts of these management practices for other benefits which catchments provide such as food production, carbon storage and habitat for our wildlife.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) hosted the launch of the service which was partly funded by RESAS, Scottish Government. The launch was attended by a range of organisations including Scottish Water, the Environment Agency, Welsh and Northern Ireland Governments, 10 water utility companies and 14 different university and research organisations.

Dr Andy Vinten, principal research scientist at the James Hutton Institute's Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group, said: “Such platforms as CAMMP are important for enabling the water industry, policy makers and regulators to know what information and models are available to help them in their decision making.”

As part of the launch event a number of presentations were given and case studies explored which highlight the benefits of the catchment management and modelling platform. These included looking at the costs and benefits of ways of managing for multiple pollutants, robustness of management solutions in the face of climate change, and how to predict where your management solution may be successfully applied in another catchment.

James Hutton Institute staff who have contributed to the project include Andy Vinten, Rachel Helliwell, Ade Ibiyemi, Helen Watson, Jannette MacDonald, Nikki Dodd and Richard Allan, and previous staff members Sarah Dunn, Leah Jackson-Blake and James Sample. Their contributions to the project and new online service range from leading and working on one of the project case studies to providing datasets and a model which will be hosted on the platform, and promoting the new service through contributions to video production and final event planning.

Case Study 4, Effectiveness of pollution control measures under scenarios of future climate and land cover change at the catchment scale, was led by Andy Wade (University of Reading) and Leah Jackson-Blake (James Hutton Institute, Norwegian Institute for Water Research), with the support of Andy Vinten and Rachel Helliwell at the James Hutton Institute. Its aim was to demonstrate how the catchment-scale INCA-N and INCA-P models can be used to explore the effectiveness of measures to reduce nutrient concentrations in streams, under both current and future climate and land use. Despite the uncertainty in future climate and land use, the team found that large-scale measures put in place today to improve water quality are likely to remain effective in the future in northeast Scotland. Dynamic models can provide useful indications of the likely lag time between the implementation of measures and improvements in water quality. For full details of the methodology, findings and forum issues addressed by the case study, as well as videos from the project lead and a stakeholder, please see the case study webpage.

SUDZ-xy, a new tool for the analysis of cost-effectiveness of field scale sediment-bound phosphorus mitigation measures, was developed by Andy Vinten, James Sample, Ade Ibiyemi, Yakubu Abdul-Salam and Marc Stutter, and is one of five additional tools that will soon be added to the Platform. The tool can be used to carry out spatial and temporal targeting of mitigation measures at field scale across a catchment, to deliver target reductions in export of sediment or sediment bound P to surface water

Besides the James Hutton Institute, the CaMMP project team includes ADAS RSK, Atkins, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Scotland's Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) and the University of Reading. Visit the Catchment Management Modelling Platform website for videos, case studies and details of the models and data.

Additional information on related research and resources can be accessed using the links below:

Press and media enquiries: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).

Printed from /news/new-online-service-support-management-water-quality-and-ecosystems-uk on 06/12/23 11:37:05 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.