UK 2: Holistic water and soil management in East Anglia
Responsible beneficiary: RT
The aim of the project is to develop an improved, more joined up and climate resilient framework for the management of sub-surface water and the surrounding land. The region of East Anglia is one of the driest in Europe and yet the region is reliant on water availability to support some of the most productive agriculture, valuable and vulnerable habitat and species and a growing demand from a rapidly increasing population. In addition much of the region is artificially drained, at risk from tidal flooding and increasingly prone to surface water flooding during periods of high rainfall. Balancing the different demands and management objectives in a fair and equitable way is essential for the sustainable management of water in the region and further afield. The project will include a number of exemplar case studies across the region addressing the key water management challenges in order to develop an overall holistic approach at a regional scale.
The objectives are:
• Develop and refine sub-surface and hydro-geological models (‘knowledge’) in key areas where there is potential conflict between the different “beneficiaries” of water (primarily Agriculture, environment and society)
• Translate this ‘knowledge’ into a shared understanding (by all beneficiaries) of the current and future pressures on water resources and/or quality at each site.
• Determine and implement the management interventions required to improve the management (including climate resilience) from the perspective of all beneficiaries ‘multiple benefits’.
• Examine whether existing management frameworks are sufficiently flexible to enable the interventions determined in objective 3 to be delivered across the region and further afield.
• Use the knowledge developed throughout the TOPSOIL project (both within the pilot and through transnational working) to develop a toolbox of ‘best practice’ for improved management of sub-surface water.
Stakeholders: Water Companies, Abstractors, Drainage Authorities, Farmers and Representative Organisations, Regulators, Environmental and Conservation Organisations, Local Authorities, Industry, Public.