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Understanding, communicating and managing uncertainty and risk related to future changes in catchments.

CCN News

China meets UK…on Lake Windermere?
added on 06 12 2011 by Clare Black
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Model Fusion and Making Real Decisions
added on 06 12 2011 by Clare Black
This conference at the Geological Society in London (28/29th November 2011) was primarily driven by the British Geological Survey, in part to present the Read more..

This conference at the Geological Society in London (28/29th November 2011) was primarily driven by the British Geological Survey, in part to present the BGS vision of integrated modelling, including a new scoping study on Data and Research for Environmental Applications and Models (DREAM).  Dennis Peach, Chief Scientist at BGS, opened the conference with a talk on the BGS Vision of the future.  Being BGS of course, their vision was based on new methods for presenting geological structures.  Other visions were also presented including the Open Platform being developed by the Met Office, the NERC funded Environment Virtual Observatory project, and the Community Surface Dynamics Modelling System (CSDMS) from the USA.  Naturally there was much discussion about the need for standards in exchanging data and model outputs, including OpenMI.  There was a recognition that model fusion / integrated environmental modelling was still in its early stages, but an analogy was drawn with the progress that had been made from the early days of aviation to the current range of sophisticated aircraft, though whether the military and public perceive an equivalent need for integrated environmental modelling is a moot point.  This was revealed by the need for a “killer app” to really drive funding and development being mentioned several times.

 

Interaction of stakeholders and users with such integrated models was also the subject of some discussion, as it has been in the CCN project.  Uncertainty and risk are important components of this interaction, and in my talk I suggested that the type of Guidelines or Decision Tree Framework used in CCN might be a useful way forward here, facilitating decisions about assumptions and communication of meaning. 

 

One interesting question that was raised in response was when would a consideration of uncertainty make a difference to the decision that was made.   There are academic responses to this (when the risk function is highly nonlinear etc) but I think that misses the point.  Evaluating uncertainty and risk is about being more scientifically honest and about understanding the role of risk in the process of prioritising spending in being more or less risk accepting.  The decision maker might then choose to make the same “deterministic” decision but should at least be much more aware of what the significance of that might be in relation to how well the science can characterise the system.

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Leaping into Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
added on 02 12 2011 by Clare Black
This event is organised jointly by the Modern Built Environment and Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTN), the British Geological Read more..

This event is organised jointly by the Modern Built Environment and Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTN), the British Geological Survey (BGS) and CIRIA. It will provide a platform for high profile speakers, whilst allowing delegates to contribute to discussions via two breakout sessions on the challenges that lie ahead and the solutions that have already been realised. Leaping into Sustainable Drainage Systems will run on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT) in Nottingham. For more details and to register.

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Water in Production and Products
added on 02 12 2011 by Clare Black
The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published its most recent POSTnote. The water used for production, known as “virtual” water, Read more..

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published its most recent POSTnote.

The water used for production, known as “virtual” water, constitutes 95% of human water use. As pressure on the world’s water supply rises, recognition of the amount of water used within each step of production could play an important role in managing water use.

The August 2011 Number 385  POSTnote examines how virtual water use is calculated and its application within the global economy.

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Implementing the Water Framework Directive: Expert Forum Event for Practitioners
added on 28 11 2011 by Clare Black
Booking is now open for the Expert Forum Event for Practitioners Implementing the WFD – Leeds 17th January 2012. The purpose of the day is to: Collate Read more..

Booking is now open for the Expert Forum Event for Practitioners Implementing the WFD – Leeds 17th January 2012.

The purpose of the day is to:

  • Collate and share knowledge and skills between practitioners from industry, business, academia and policy to increase compliance with the WFD.
  • Establish what initiatives and research is available (either complete or ongoing) to inform implementation of the WFD.

Key themes for discussion are:

  • Agriculture and rural land management
  • Urban planning and diffuse pollution
  • Hydromorphology – achieving good ecological potential

 

More information, together with the programme for the day, can be found in this flyer If you would like to contribute to discussion, please contact Viki Hirst for information on how to register to join ( a small fee is payable on registration).

To book a place at the forum, please visit the booking page.

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