There are increasing demands to predict the response of river catchments, whether due to climate change, land management or urbanisation. Such predictions are inevitably uncertain, if only because the future inputs to the catchment cannot be known accurately. As a result, risk-based tools for use in robust, adaptive management strategies will be crucial for prioritising decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Major future investment will depend on the methodologies selected and guidance is needed to inform and benefit this process. Catchment Change Network is exploring the ways in which the latest scientific methodologies can inform this process.
The Catchment Change Network (CCN) brings together a broad range of scientists and practitioners to consider the assessment of future changes across catchment systems. It is intended to enable the exchange of knowledge between the NERC research base and science user community to understand and manage uncertainty and risk related to future changes in catchments.
Led by Keith Beven, CCN will explore the way in which the latest scientific methodologies can inform this process in the three Focus Areas of change in flood risk (Keith Beven, Lancaster University) , change in water scarcity (Enda O’Connell, Newcastle University) and change in diffuse pollution (Phil Haygarth, Lancaster University) with significant contributions from the N8 Universities, Cascade Consulting, JBA Consulting, Northumbrian Water, United Utilities, Environment Agency and other end-users. NERC have funded CCN for a period of 3 years to support network activities including the development of Guidance for Good Practice in the Focus Areas, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Training, an Annual Conference, and an evolving assessment of future research needs in collaboration with a wide variety of users across government and industry.