Integrated catchment management: from rhetoric to reality in a Scottish HELP basin
Integrated catchment management: fromrhetoric to reality in a Scottish HELP basin Alan Werritty 1, Chris Spray1, Tom Ball 1 Mike Bonell 1, Josselin Rouillard 1, Alan MacDonald 2, Luke Comins 3 and Roy Richardson 4 1 UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee 2 British Geological Survey 3 Tweed Forum 4 Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Outline• UNESCO HELP programme: promoting ‘healthy rivers’• Policy drivers for river restoration: Eddleston Water• Characterisation and current status• Proposed measures• Opportunities, constraints and barriers• Conclusions
UNESCO HELP programme• Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) established by UNESCO in 1999• Global network of c. 90 basins “delivering social, economic and environmental benefits to stakeholders through research towards sustainable and appropriate use of water”• Articulation between stakeholders and scientists means breaking the paradigm lock yielding rapid and agreed solutions and, if needed, resetting policy.• River Tweed designated a HELP basin in 2008 – Eddleston Water proposed for river restoration 2009
Paradigm lock in integrated catchment management
Policy drivers for river restoration: Eddleston Water Two main policy drivers: • EC Water Framework Directive => Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003: Eddleston Water characterised as having “poor” ecological status • EC Directive on the Assessment and Management of Floods => Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009: section 20 requires SEPA to assess whether the “alteration ... or restoration of natural features and characteristics ... could contribute to management of flood risk” often referred to as natural flood management
Characterisation and current status: topography Eddleston Water a south-flowing tributary of Tweed draining 69 km2 • fractured greywackes mantled with highly variable covers of till, fluvio- glacial outwash and peat • annual precipitation: 850 mm (valley floor)-1500 mm (summits) • steeper slopes east of main stem => flashy runoff: gentler slopes west of main stem => delayed flow. QMED c. 23 m3s-1 , Q10 c. 38 m3s-1 • ideal exemplar of “source-pathway- receptor” flood risk management model
Characterisation and current status: land cover Land cover • improved grassland dominate valley floor and lower slopes • extensive Forestry Commission woodland west side of catchment • small areas of fen and incipient wetlands adjacent to main stem Km
Characterisation and current status: landscapes Sources Pathways
Characterisation and current status: channelisation Roy Map Main stem sinuous c.1750: but extensively channelised by 1811 Minimal recovery since and main reason for ‘poor’ WFD status because of current hydromorphology
Characterisation and current status: habitatBad Poor Moderate Satisfactory Good Very good
Characterisation and current status: fisheries
Characterisation and current status: hydrometry Poor current hydrometry: 2 stage only gauging stations and 1 raingauge. Estimates of bankfull discharge on tributaries (blue) and main stem (yellow) Waterheads: c. 3 m3s-1 Eddleston Village c. 10 m3s-1 Peebles c. 19 m3s-1
Characterisation and current status: flood risk Annual flood Return Discharge risk probability period (yrs) (m3s-1) QMED 2 22.8 0.2 15 31.7 0.1 10 38.1 0.05 20 47.1 0.02 50 54.8 0.01 100 63.5 0.005 200 73.2 Source: JBA Consulting 2008 Peebles flooded every 5-10 years. Currently no structural Scottish Borders defences, Council identifies 589 only flood properties within warning SEPA’s 1:200 year flood scheme. envelope.
Characterisation and current status: summary • fails to achieve WFD ‘good’ status – because of ‘poor’ hydromorphology • channelised reaches of main stem poor habitat (poor mix of channel types, lack of riparian vegetation) • highest runoff from eastern tributaries and rapid increase in downstream bankfull discharge • catchment ideal exemplar for flood risk management measures (source-pathway- receptor) no structural defences
Proposed measures: overall aim... “to restore river and its whole catchmentwhilst at the same time promotinglivelihoods of those who derive incomefrom the sustainable management offarms, forests and fishery”:• improved physical habitat;• reduction in flood risk;whilst promoting sustainable management offarms, fisheries and forestry and recreationalopportunities for tourists.
Proposed measures: typologyGroups of 15 measures:1 and 2 designed to improve habitat (planting riparian vegetationand restricting stock access to the channel); 3, 4 and 5 create more natural channel morphology (increasedsinuosity with decreased plane beds and greater differentiation intopools, riffles and glides) 6, 7 and 8 (breaching/removing embankments, planting floodplainforests, introducing large woody debris) to provide temporary floodstorage, increase roughness and enhance riparian habitat9 to 15 to reduce flood risk by decreasing the rate at which runoff isgenerated in source areas:• by increasing infiltration and storage of surface and soil water(9, 10, 11, 12 and 13)• by slowing rate at which runoff is conveyed via tributaries tomain stem (14, 15).
Proposed measures: location Selected groups of measures: A: breach/set back embankments, new fence margins, riparian woodland, wet woodland, large woody debris C: re-meander channel, riparian woodland L: Reduced stocking density, tributary woodland, floodplain forest N: create ponds, wetlands, riparian woodland block ditches, large woody debris
Opportunities, constraints and barriers • Interviews with key stakeholders: Scottish Govt, SEPA, Tweed Forum, Scottish Borders Council, SNH, Tweed Foundation, Scottish Water, NFU(Scotland), Scottish Wildlife Trust, Country Landowners Business Association. • Interviews with five landowners (three floodplain and two upland famers) middle-aged, male, long-term landowners in the valley (>30 years) with several sources of income.
Opportunities, constraints and barriers: institutional • Legal constraints: EC Environmental regulation (Water Framework Directive and Habitats Directives) operation of statutory duties by SEPA and SNH; • Land use policy: high quality agricultural land on floodplains for food or flood control? Delivery of agri-environmental schemes over longer timespans (eg planting woodlands); • Land tenure: contrasting planning horizons for tenant farmers, owner-occupiers and large estates – value of multiple benefit measures (eg Coed Cymru project in Central Wales); • Quality of science: nature of science evidence base crucial in persuading land managers;
Opportunities, constraints and barriers: farmers• understand aspirations andland tenure systems of thefarming community – a realopportunity and a threat;• develop trust and a commonvision for aims of the restorationprogramme;• role of intermediary,stakeholder-led organisation, viatechnical and social supportnetworks (Tweed Forum highlyvalued);
Opportunities, constraints and barriers: farmers • local expert knowledge must be factored in to any planning; • financial incentives must be set at the right level – to sustain farm units and to attract engagement; • long-term, guaranteed contractual arrangements to deliver focused outcomes; • simplicity in any contractual arrangements.
Conclusions• Scientists lose some professional autonomy and deliver toagendas set by the stakeholders – this a challenging change;• Significant time and effort to engage with the localcommunity and landowners in framing project prior toimplementation – building up trust key to success;• “Politics is the art of the possible”. Insights in terms ofpotential legal, organisational, socio-economic, cultural andscientific barriers should facilitate next phase and increasechances of success;• Crucial to work ‘with nature’ in ways that sustainablymaintain livelihoods of those who derive their living fromthe river basin.