Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and partners have produced an evidence review on river and floodplain management, as part of an Evidence Directory recently launched by the Environment Agency.
The Directory aims to provide better guidance on utilizing natural processes to counter flood and coastal erosion risks. It focuses on the benefits of managing flood risk across the whole catchment in a more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way.
Written by Drs Mark Wilkinson and Steve Addy, both from the Institute’s Environmental and Biochemical Sciences group, the chapter is one of four in the Evidence Directory. They also contributed towards three case studies and a monitoring guidance chapter.
Dr Wilkinson said: “There has been much research on Working with Natural Processes (WWNP) in the past, however it is dispersed and has never been synthesized into one location. This has meant that it has been difficult for flood risk managers and practitioners to access up-to-date information on WWNP measures.”
“WWNP to reduce flood and coastal erosion risk involves implementing measures that help to protect, restore and emulate the natural functions of catchments, floodplains, rivers and the coast. It takes many different forms and can be applied across catchments and coastal areas.”
The Evidence Directory summarizes the effectiveness and confidence levels of WWNP measures from a flood and coastal erosion risk perspective, as well as the wider ecosystem service benefits they may deliver. It includes fourteen one-page summaries of each of the WWNP measures, which provide a high level summary of the material included in the directory.
The directory is just one of three interlinked projects which together make up the WWNP evidence database, said the institute.