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Water resource monitoring

This page is no longer updated. The information presented here formed part of our previous areas of research. This has included research carried out on behalf of our research partners, commerical contracts and also the Scottish Goverment's Strategic research programme during the period 2011 - 2016.

Scottish Goverment LogoWe have left these pages here to provide background information on our previous areas of research. Further details on the RESAS strategic programme of research (2016-21) will be made available.

Further details on why we archive pages can be found on the following page.

Image showing flooding in Bowmont, Scottish Borders
A new term “weather weirding” has captured public imagination succinctly summing up recent meteorological conditions and illustrating the very real problems of trying to manage water quantity extremes.

A new term “weather weirding” has captured public imagination succinctly summing up recent meteorological conditions and illustrating the very real problems of trying to manage water quantity extremes. 

Fast facts of floods winter 2015/16

Background to measurements

European legislation (Flood Directive 2007) requires that all members of the public should have direct and free access to information relating to flood risk and river basin planning. It also recognises the benefit of effective consultation with stakeholders and strong community engagement when managing and mitigating flood risk.

Two initiatives, both reliant on strong community engagement within the context of river basin management and planning form key research sites. The  sites are located in the Tarland catchment, River Dee, north east Scotland and the Bowmont Valley, River Tweed in the Scottish Borders. Due to the geographic location of the Bowmont site  the effects are considered transboundary as the Tweed-Solway river basin district crosses the Scotland England Border.

At both sites we use a three step approach.

Capture information

Information is captured in a variety of ways including automated hydrological monitoring stations, meteorological data from local primary schools, annecdotal evidence and photographs from community members.

Present information

Where possible data is streamed live to websites so that it is immediately accessible.  Members of the public are encouraged to feedback so that the type and relevance of the information can be assessed.

Interpret information

The information is interpreted in order to provide advice and guidance to interested parties. Illustrated responses are provided with respect to specific questions via the website.

At the Bowmont valley site multiple Natural Flood management measure are being implemented  within the catchment as a result of a community response to the devastating floods of 2008 and 2009 during which livestock was lost, homes and infrastructure was damaged and large losses to the local economy were suffered. With support, help and advice from the Tweed Forum an NFM based alleviation programme is now underway. Our objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach with respect to flood mitigation and also in the wider context examining the multiple benefits that this may provide.

In contrast to the recently established Bowmont site over 15 years of catchment based research has been conducted at the Tarland study site. The research has focussed on water quality as well as water quantity related issues. The new programme of study build on these foundations and the effect of land management on channel morphology and hydrology are being investigated. Our established working relationship with the local community has enabled instigation of community led monitoring with meterological stations located in primary schools and the development of a catchment specific interactive web page. Close links with local authorities ensures that the location of monitoring stations are relevant when meeting the requirements of WFD and our data is to be used to underpin a flood alert system provided by the local council.


Areas of Interest

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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.