Evidence or Action ?

Water conferences – there was an excellent one recently on ‘Ecosystem’ service – promote both evidence from stakeholders and action from operating authorities. Sometimes, often for reasons of cost, these two worthy goals conflict.  For the supply and control of water within catchment ecosystems, challenging questions arise.  So, what would be best for community resilience:-

  1. More guidance ? . . .  Y:
    • To facilitate automated online assessment of ‘Present-Value’ and ‘Cost-Benefit’ to aid submission to funding authorities – for example, methodical computation of the ‘Eco-Value’ of high-friction floodplains (hedgerows and woodlands) in respect of biodiversity, pollution, amenity, infestation, morphology and flooding;  ie to quantify the multiple benefit potential of rural ‘sponges/filters’ which surround urban vulnerability.
  2. More evidence ? . . .  Y:
    • But primarily to join-up existing evidence, plans (RBMP, CMP)  and directives (WFD, soil, floods)
  3. More actors ? . . . Y:
    • River Trusts active in all catchments funded by PES beneficiaries to broker buyers and sellers in the Ecosystem market, and to facilitate delivery of Ecosystem good practice
    • Water supply industry connection in all catchments
    • Insurance industry representation of urban value-at-risk
  4. More sectors ? . . .  N:
    • Just joined up thinking covering both water supply/quality (ie asset issues) and conveyance/control (ie liability issues) . . .  for example, the role of the Vyrnwy water supply reservoir in Flood Risk Management.

Answers given above reflect a public-interest flood-prevention perspective.  Diffuse solutions favour adaptive action over lugubrious evidence gathering.

(For the 2008-2011 numerical research, data, reports, etc  click  here .)

Keywords: Ecosystem, PES, Trusts,

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