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Scotland’s Hydro Nation challenge highlighted in new book

Loch Saugh (c) James Hutton Institute
“Scotland’s Hydro Nation initiative represents one of the first examples of the incorporation of the notion of ‘value’ of water resources into legislation.

Research by the James Hutton Institute and the Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) relating to the role of ecosystem services in meeting Scotland’s Hydro Nation Challenge has been featured in a new book edited by Arup Group, a multinational professional services firm specialising in all aspects of the built environment.

The book, titled “Out of the blue, new thinking on water, social and natural capital” includes a chapter on Scotland as a Hydro Nation, discussing issues such as how to accurately assess and ‘use’ the value of water ecosystem services, as well as the implications for the Scottish water industry.

Bob Ferrier, Director of Research Impact at the James Hutton Institute and co-author of the chapter, said: “Scotland’s Hydro Nation initiative represents one of the first examples of the incorporation of the notion of ‘value’ of water resources into legislation. The Water Resources (Scotland) Act also extends this to non-monetary values and to the full range of ecosystem services delivered by water systems.”

Julia Martin Ortega, senior environmental ecological economist at the Institute and lead author of the chapter, added: “Ecosystem services provide an enabling framework for the water industry to engage in more sustainable and socially beneficial management of water resources. However, for this to become effective, specific mechanisms to promote the active engagement of the water industry and other businesses need to be encouraged.”

The book is available from Arup’s publications website. To learn more about research at the James Hutton Institute on water ecosystem services, please visit our Water Ecosystem Services page.

Notes to editors

The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) is a partnership between the James Hutton Institute, the Scottish Government and its agencies (SEPA and Scottish Water) and Scottish higher education institutes, supported by Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland. It ensures that water research and expertise is available and accessible to the policy community, in a timely and effective manner. Funded by the Scottish Government, CREW is a central pillar of the Scottish Governments Hydro Nation initiative and also hosts the Hydro Nation Scholars Programme. www.crew.ac.uk

More information from: 

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


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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.