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Work Package 1.2: Water

The work package combines evidence from catchment sites and experimental studies, catchment-scale modelling (assessing current water quantity and quality responses to pressures and predictions of future change), case studies of water issues examined within a risk vs resilience framework, with analyses and learning through practice of how to make water management more effective. These complimentary methods of research and the main topic areas are described in the figure, below. 

Figure. Conceptual overview of the integration of Research Deliverables within WP1.2.

Figure. Conceptual overview of the integration of Research Deliverables within WP1.2.

The research is contributing to the evidence base of observed and modelled data on issues for both water quantity (floods and droughts, morphology) and quality (sediments, nutrients, pathogens and emerging contaminants) under current conditions and projected scenarios of environmental change. This directly provides concepts and tools for improved water management to resolve current conflicts and gaps in evidence across complex policy interactions. An example of this is the integration of the Water Framework Directive (and delivery via River Basin Management Plans) with catchment-based-systems approaches for flood management, drinking water protection (public and private supply) and wastewaters. We have also clustered research around three major initiatives:

  • Natural Flood Management and other elements of Green infrastructure that can help to provide more sustainable, cost-effective and readily-adopted means of achieving multiple outcomes for water quantity and quality issues.
  • Multiple stressor approaches to ecological impactsand the role of catchment and waterbody sensitivity factors in determining how pressures result in differing degrees of responses in flow, hydrochemistry and ecology in waterbodies.
  • Safe and sustainable drinking waterswith a view to understanding threats and opportunities for catchment-based approaches as well as technical innovations for Scotland’s distinctive water supply context.

Our strategic research works closely with the science:policy Centre for Expertise on Water (CREW) to reach four main audience groups: River basin management planning; Flooding; Drinking waters; Sustainable Rural Communities. This means that we actively engage key stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds, including Scottish Government, agencies such as SEPA, SNH as well as Scottish Water, Local Authorities, land based food and drink industries including farming representatives and practitioners, Estates and River Boards.

WP1.2 consists of four research deliverables, where the links to the outputs of the work can be accessed:

Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project
SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research InstitutesSEFARI is the collective of six Scottish world-leading Research Institutes working across the spectrum of environment, land, food, agriculture and communities – all topics which affect how we live our lives, in Scotland and beyond.


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.