CCN News

Assessing Water-Related Business Risks Summary Report
added on 17 05 2012 by Clare Black
The Summary Outputs Report is now available for the NERC workshop 'Assessing Water-Related Business Risks'. The workshop, hosted by the Catchment Read more..


The Summary Outputs Report is now available for the NERC workshop ‘Assessing Water-Related Business Risks’. The workshop, hosted by the Catchment Change Network was held at the Lancaster Environment Centre on 29th February 2012  and attended by 26 invited delegates from across the public and private sectors. This workshop is part of the NERC  Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme.

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Creative Conversations Connected to Coastal Change
added on 08 05 2012 by Clare Black
The film Imagining Change - Coastal Conversations, commissioned for the Planet under Pressure international conference held in London at the end of Read more..

The film Imagining Change – Coastal Conversations, commissioned for the Planet under Pressure international conference held in London at the end of March 2012, shows how important it is for social scientists, natural scientists and artists to work together to re-examine our understanding of environmental change.

Lucy Veale said “The aim was to produce a short film that would showcase the value of arts and humanities research in understanding environmental change, through their focus on landscape, culture and imagination. Titled ‘Imagining Change: Coastal Conversations’, the film features three projects that showcase different kinds of creative engagements between arts and humanities scholars and coastal landscapes. The main body of the film consists of interviews/conversations between Programme Director Stephen Daniels and our kind contributors Caitlin DeSilvey, Mike Pearson and Simon Read. We encourage people to use the film and have a variety of formats available for distribution”.

Please keep Lucy informed about how it is used by emailing: lucy.veale@nottingham.ac.uk

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added on 07 05 2012 by Clare Black
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Polluter pays: But who is the polluter?
added on 01 05 2012 by Clare Black
Currently sat in a workshop with Defra, EA and other colleagues discussing measures for diffuse pollution control. The debate is focussed on the polluter Read more..

Currently sat in a workshop with Defra, EA and other colleagues discussing measures for diffuse pollution control. The debate is focussed on the polluter pays principle.  All well and good but who IS the polluter?  Is it right to lump that blame on the farmer?  I’m not convinced – we all have a role to play up the food chain, we all consume the food and the agricultural products.  Maybe this highlights the importance of identifying the role of the food chain for understanding the complexities of diffuse pollution…..

 

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Catchment Change: A new decade?
added on 01 05 2012 by Clare Black
At the recent EGU meeting in Vienna there was a splinter meeting, organised by the International Association of Hydrological Science (IAHS) and chaired Read more..

At the recent EGU meeting in Vienna there was a splinter meeting, organised by the International Association of Hydrological Science (IAHS) and chaired by Alberto Montanari, to discuss a new decadal programme to follow the Prediction of Ungauged Basins (PUB) initiative which is due to finish this year.  IAHS has no money to support a research initiative, other than organising meetings, but the PUB initiative has been an important focus for research since it started in 2003.  The PUB Science Plan can be found at .  The final PUB meeting will be held in Delft in October (see ).    PUB will result in two publications on the scientific progress and practice to be published by IAHS later this year.   There was also a special session at EGU on the theme of a Visionary Session for the Next Hydrological Decade with invited presentations from Gordon Young (current president of IAHS), Thorsten Wagener,  Huub Savenije, Xavier Sanchez-Vila, Peter Grathwohl, and Keith Beven.   The full programme and abstracts are available at .

 

Unfortunately I had to miss some of the talks because of clashes with papers in other sessions but the theme that was common to both the splinter meeting and visionary session is that the new decade should address the impacts of change in catchments.   It was clear that this meant different things to different people, from the co-evolution of hydrology and society, to the long term impacts of pollution, and the uncertainty of trying to make statements about future climate change.  What was common to all, however, was the view that the stresses to society  resulting from change and long term trends were going to be serious and needed to be addressed with some urgency.

 

It is perhaps worth noting that the prediction of ungauged basins was (and is) really an impossible problem.   We simply do not have enough information about catchment characteristics to be able to predict the response of ungauged areas with any certainty.   PUB was, however, successful in the sense of encouraging a new look at the problem and the science plan was quite explicit in recognising the difficulty of the problem and in suggesting that it was an issue of trying to constrain the uncertainty in making such predictions.   The prediction of change is also an impossible problem.   In this case, the dependence of hydrological predictions on the specification of boundary conditions is the issue.  We simply cannot know enough about future boundary conditions (remember that those arising from climate change models are only scenarios with very specific assumptions, and even then they need fixing by bias corrections and downscaling methods before they can be used with hydrological models).

 

We also cannot know enough about boundary conditions in looking at past change and I also made the point in my talk that except in some rather extreme cases of catchment change, our data are not generally good enough for assessing the impacts of past changes.  I therefore made the argument for using the initiative to commission designs for new, more accurate, measurement systems for all the hydrological variables we need: discharge, catchment precipitation, actual evapotranspiration and changes in catchment storage.   It would be possible to use a design process similar to that used in the specification of satellite and astronomical instrumentation.   I seem to remember that I made a similar suggestion at the beginning of PUB, since one solution to the ungauged catchment problem is to make measurements at a proportional level of investment.   Observational techniques have improved over the last 10 years of course but are still not adequate for doing hydrological science properly.   Given what depends on future catchment water management and its evolution with global society, this would seem to be an investment worth making.

 

If you would like to contribute to the discussions about the next hydrological decade or simply read what has already been posted, there is a public blog run by Alberto Montanari at . When he arrived, he thought it natural that clarendon hall students would play scott’s branch high in frederick douglass learning to read and write essay sports

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