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Understanding and managing uncertainty related to future change in catchment systems – defining and developing Best Practice Guidance.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper

Published

Publication date28/04/2010
Original languageEnglish

Conference

ConferenceCIWEM Conference 2010
CityLondon
Period28/04/1029/04/10

Abstract

There are increasing demands to predict the response of catchments to future change – whether due to climate, land management or urbanisation – for decision making and policy setting. Such predictions are inevitably uncertain if only because the future inputs to the catchment cannot be known accurately. As a result, risk-based predictions for use in adaptive management strategies will be appropriate. Managing uncertainty effectively is all about seeing how knowledge represents an opportunity and understanding that knowing more, leads to better decisions than knowing less. As part of a new NERC supported KT project, the Catchment Change Network (CCN), academics and practitioners are being brought together to understand and manage uncertainty and risk in relation to future change in catchment systems. CCN is exploring the way in which the latest scientific methodologies can inform this process in three key Focus Areas: flood risk; water scarcity; and water quality. The Network represents a pipeline and storage system for the exchange of best practice across the three focus areas and will deliver its objectives via several complementary activities including: CPD training; the mapping of future research needs in collaboration with a wide variety of potential users; and the development of Guidance for Best Practice. A general framework for these Guidance documents is being formulated, informed by the demands and needs of users through consultation activities and practitioner workshops and other FRMRC and EA funded initiatives. These documents will outline the current state of knowledge and science whilst providing practical examples of where key tools have and can be applied. It is expected that these will be evolving documents that can be directly accessed by potential users on the web over the following two years of the project. This presentation will provide an opportunity to disseminate progress and encourage conference participants to feed information into the Guidance documents as they evolve.