CCN News

Report from the DTC Modelling Workshop at Reading
added on 24 05 2010 by Clare Black
2 days in a room with facilitated post-it notes and people from Defra, the EA, Universities and elsewhere to discuss the (still potential) modelling program Read more..

2 days in a room with facilitated post-it notes and people from Defra, the EA, Universities and elsewhere to discuss the (still potential) modelling program to be associated with the Defra DTC (Demonstration Test Catchments) programme.   One day on the needs and relevance of modelling the impacts of mitigation measures to the DTC, and one day on what might actually need to be done.   The discussions ranged more widely than the DTC project alone, and (somewhat frustratingly) did not get as far as the details of what might be included in a DTC modelling framework (to be worked out by a smaller working group).  However, one of the final small group discussions was assigned to look at some Guiding Principles for modelling in this context.   In bullet point form, these were (as scribbled down quickly today as the group reported):    

  • Models should represent what matters
  • Models should contribute to the solution, they are not a solution themselves
  • Models should be framed by the question to be asked (including level of certainty of required)
  • Models should be adaptive learning tools for interaction with stakeholders as a way of developing understanding and trust
  • Modelling culture should be an important component of decision making
  • Model contributions should aid no regrets decisions
  • The ethical dimension of modelling should require the involvement of stakeholders
  • Uncertainty is not a dirty word
  • Standard inputs and outputs should facilitate model integration and coupling of models
  • Everyone can be wrong from modeller to decision maker to stakeholder.

 

These Guiding Principles gloss over some very difficult issues (such as what level of complexity is implied by “representing what matters”, or how to deal with epistemic errors) but do reflect the emphasis in the discussions on stakeholder involvement in the modelling process and the impact of model uncertainties in the decision making and policy setting process; both of which hold regardless of what particular model structures are considered as components of the DTC modelling framework. 

I thought that the outcome was of interest to the CCN, the concept of Guidelines for Good Practice that underlies CCN was in part developed to address some of the issues raised by these principles (and CCN was already quite well represented at the meeting).  Anyone want to comment on these or add further important principles that should be included……principles of model evaluation are not really included for example unless considered to be implicit in the adaptive learning process.

I am sure there will be more to report on the DTC modelling component, and its links to the NERC Virtual Observatory project in the coming months.

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Day one of planning the future of UK catchment modelling....
added on 21 05 2010 by Clare Black
Just back from day one of this meeting at the Innovation Centre in Reading. Building up the 'whats' and 'whys' of what is needed for a new model framework, Read more..

Just back from day one of this meeting at the Innovation Centre in Reading. Building up the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ of what is needed for a new model framework, exploring the drivers. I was only able to make one of two days but I did find it quite slow progress. I guess that is how these things are. I think the key thing is the provide a generic platform that allows multiple and adaptive models to evolve and grow…of course easier said than done. Perrhaps the Virtual Observatory may be able to pave the way for that (more to follow on this I am sure). I am sure Keith will post a blog about the event as he stayed on for two days. Meantime here is a clip of Keith reporting back to the group on ‘Environmnetal Drivers’ yesterday…. best, Phil

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CCN Conference 2010-Managing an Uncertain Future
added on 05 05 2010 by Clare Black
Our first CCN Conference “Managing an uncertain future: Identifying needs and opportunities for sustainable adaptation in catchment management” will Read more..

Our first CCN Conference “Managing an uncertain future: Identifying needs and opportunities for sustainable adaptation in catchment management” will be held in conjunction with CIWEM (North Western Branch) at LEC on Tuesday 6th July 2010.

More details about the free event and booking details can be found Value-added measures www.eduessayhelper.org rely on state standardized tests to generate the individual teacher estimates and are typically available only in reading and mathematics in grades 4-8

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Irish mini-catchments programme making good progress
added on 29 04 2010 by Clare Black
Last week I joined colleagues from the US and Ireland to chair the steering group of the Irish Mini Catchments Programme, now in its half way point of Read more..

Last week I joined colleagues from the US and Ireland to chair the steering group of the Irish Mini Catchments Programme, now in its half way point of an initial 5 years of funding c 2007-11. On this occasion the meeting was in the West, Co.s Galway and Mayo and this was the first time I had attended the steering group when the team was truely up and running. It reminded me that in any new catchment programme – like the one we are currently rolling out inthe UK – that it takes time to get things running. Phil Jordan and colleagues from Teagasc are doing a most excellent job in taking the initiative forward with some new new long-term data sets from around the country. I think that this is at the moment the best such programme in the world that I am aware f but I am worried that it must continue with funding beyind the current end projected for 2011. Catchment change is a long term game, we must consolidate on investments and see out initiatives into the future. Well done to Phil and colleagues, I look forward to the next meeting. Here are a few pictures from the meeting …..

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SCaMP Conference 2010
added on 26 04 2010 by Clare Black
The SCaMP Conference in Manchester last week hosted by United Utilities was designed to give a broad overview of their successes to date and importantly Read more..

The SCaMP Conference in Manchester last week hosted by United Utilities was designed to give a broad overview of their successes to date and importantly how the benefits of the scheme were being expanded via SCaMP 2 to other non-UU owned land critical for water supply in Cumbria (around Thirlmere and Haweswater), Rivington and the West Pennines.

Positive benefits of the scheme were many and varied including the rise in quality of SSSI designated land via the re-wetting of upland moorlands through grip blocking,  landscape-scale improvements across a range of biodiversity target habitats and species, evidence of improvements in raw water quality (colour, pathogen loading, suspended sediments), increasing the potential for carbon sequestration in upland catchments, and promoting recreation and heritage.

There are areas that need a stronger evidence base. It was recognized that managing land use to reduce flood risk would take a considerable amount of time and effort to quantify. A pilot study by the Environment Agency in the Forest of Bowland has shown that uncertainty in the data was greater than any change that could be measured.  Any baseline for such work is constantly moving as our weather and climate changes (from individual events, seasonal changes and annual variability) and this variability is predicted to become more important into the future, making the gathering of information even more challenging.

It was highlighted on several occasions that impact and evidence for positive change, particularly for water quality indicators was a long-term objective and catchments-scale management was a long-term process principally because of the ecological lag-times between action and response. Crucially, communicating the positive benefits of these schemes with land owners and farmers needs some improvement and engagement strategies will have to find ways of  embedding the principles of sustainable land management with these target groups on which uptake of these schemes are so vital.

What the day showed was that SCaMP has provided a really valuable starting point from which the Demonstration Test Catchments and other catchments scale projects can learn from and from which they can develop and refine their methodologies.

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  1. Ruth Alcock Says:

    Presentations from the SCaMP conference and the year 4 monitoring progress report can be found on the United Utilities website at - http://www.unitedutilities.com/SCaMPdatalibrary.htm

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