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Taking Care of our Waters: People, Policy and Practice Professor Laurence Smith 5 th March 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Taking Care of our Waters: People, Policy and Practice Professor Laurence Smith 5 th March 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Taking Care of our Waters: People, Policy and Practice Professor Laurence Smith 5 th March 2014

2 Outline 1.Introduction – from the global to catchments 2.Two 2 approaches in our research: understanding rural water pollution as a wicked problem? understanding what the people getting it right do? 3.Some solutions 4.Q&A – but a selfie

3 The big picture, water, what have we got to manage? A finite resource: total volume of water = 1.4 billion km 3 oceans 97% freshwater 3%, of this: ice caps and glaciers 77.2% groundwater & soil moisture 22.4% lakes, wetlands, rivers, streams 0.36% Falkenmark, 1995 Ringersma et al., 2003 So how we manage land matters!

4 CountryRenewable freshwater per capita, m 3 (World Bank) Water footprint per capita, m 3 (Water Footprint Network) USA90442842 China20931071 India11841089 UK23111258 UAE173136 Kenya4931101 Global6000 (approx.)1385 Is there enough water? Yes, but: location matters seasons and cycles matter consumption matters trade in food & fibre matters wealth and power matters energy use matters sustainable stewardship matters The challenges are complex, location specific and getting tougher! agriculture accounts for 70% of all blue water withdrawals the poorest households in the developing world depend on groundwater, soil moisture and fisheries 1.1 billion people lack a safe source of drinking water 3 900 children die every day from water borne diseases (WHO 2004) pollution and degradation of water quality is widespread

5 UNEP GRID-A 2009 From the Holocene to the Anthropocene, global water challenges: atmosphere now at 398ppm CO2 (January 2014), >350ppm risks unpredictable and damaging climate change compared to pre-industrial times, surface ocean acidity has increased by 30% rising demand for food and water from population growth to 9 billion(?) in 2050 > 45,000 dams above 15m high hold back 15% of the flow of rivers globally (> 6500 km 3 ) (Nillson et al, 2005) from the High Plains of North America, to southern and north-west India, and the northern plains of China groundwater is being extracted at rates that far exceed recharge

6 From the Holocene to the Anthropocene, global nutrient challenges: 150% increase in nitrogen fixed on land – we convert more nitrogen from the atmosphere into reactive forms than all the Earth´s terrestrial processes combined 8.5-9.5 million tonnes of phosphorus reaches the oceans annually, 8x the natural background influx eutrophication - excess N&P over-fertilizes the water and the volumes of algae and other biomass consumes all the oxygen in the water (as it dies and decomposes)

7 Closer to home – catchment scale Data from Environment Agency and Defra

8 Westcountry Rivers Trust

9 Blocked gutters Water discharging onto ground Westcountry Rivers Trust


11 The catchment management problem: How to protect and manage water resources in a catchment in which people can live, work and play? How to achieve a living and sanitary landscape with a healthy ecology?

12 Westcountry Rivers Trust


14 The mix of these needs to be well tailored to local conditions, and delivery by multiple agencies and NGOs needs to be collaborative and coordinated. Measures and best management practices to address diffuse farm pollution currently range through: baseline good practice regulations win-wins e.g. soil testing and nutrient management capital investment e.g. increased slurry storage, fencing streams lower intensity (income foregone) e.g. reduced stocking density land use change (income foregone/deferred) e.g. afforestation land acquisition for protected areas Defra Area coverage The Mitigation Framework

15 The Lancaster Env Centre UEA

16 Westcountry Rivers Trust

17 And its not just about farming A mix beyond the capacity of one organisation, needs collaboration and coordination household septic systems sewage treatment works soil loss in construction stream corridor management restoration of river morphology and wetlands spatial planning and economic development education and awareness raising research, monitoring, modelling road runoff urban runoff water supply other waste management

18 2 approaches in our research: Understanding rural water pollution as a wicked problem? Understanding what the people getting it right do?

19 inter-related problems of water quality, over abstraction and flood risk pollutant sources are numerous, dispersed, with multiple & uncertain pathways monitoring and regulation are relatively costly problems are multi-sectoral polluting activities produce food, rural jobs, tourist income, etc. how to share costs? how to capture benefits & fund improvements? Catchment management challenges

20 complex dynamic, uncertain diverse legitimate values and interests no definitive problem formulation many externalities multiple trade-offs intractable for a single organisation (Rittel & Webber, 1973) (Ludwig, 2001) Wicked problems: societal uncertainty technical uncertainty wicked problems easy problems

21 A wicked diagnosis leads to: inclusive stakeholder engagement a broad response by civil society, businesses, local and national agencies and scientists decentralised collaboration and partnership working a coordinating intermediary or lead agency a twin-track (analytic-deliberative) adaptive management approach Rogers, 2007 US EPA, 2005 Explicit recognition and understanding of this can inform policy, process and governance design.

22 IRC/IAD/TCE/PCFSCFACF and ADR Institutional Rational Choice Institutional Analysis and Design Transaction Cost Economics Political Contracting Framework Social Capital Framework Advocacy Coalition Framework Alternative Dispute Resolution collaborate if: benefits > costs s.t. resources available and bounded rationality virtuous circle of trust-reciprocity-networks fosters collaboration advocacy coalitions share normative beliefs and perceptions, and collaborate for common objectives transactions costs are keynorm-driven behaviour and trust can reduce transaction costs degree of belief conflict is key, institutional rules are basis for trust and reducing transactions costs trust is a social norm that can substitute for rules trust can be difficult to achieve, but facilitated processes of conflict resolution can work e.g. Ostrom, 1990; North, 1990, Egertsson, 1990; Lubell et al, 2002; Sabatier et al, 2005; e.g. Putnam et al, 1993; Coleman, 1988; Leach et al, 2002; Coglianese, 2002. e.g. Sabatier et al, 1993; Carpenter et al, 1988; Susskind et al, 1999.

23 A Conservation District Coalition using a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under NY and PA state law that allows multi-District agreements. The Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District is designated as the USC Administrator, responsible for all contractual and other legal obligations. A network of 16 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in New York and 3 Conservation Districts in Pennsylvania.

24 Delaware County Action Plan: NYC Watershed From farm BMPs to wider measures: education and information campaigns monitoring and modelling farm nutrient management environmentally sensitive waste mgt. communities (septic systems) control of highway, storm runoff and road salt application control of soil loss during civil works stream corridor management restoration of river morphology and wetlands integration into planning and economic development Multiple barriers: source landscape stream corridor

25 DCAP Partners DCAP integrates all levels of government authority, coordinates actions at County level by agencies and other bodies, and preserves local planning prerogatives. Local Local Planning, SWCD, CCE, Eco.Dev, Farm Bureau, DPW, Communities, NRCS, Chamber, IDA, WSAPlanning, SWCD, CCE, Eco.Dev, Farm Bureau, DPW, Communities, NRCS, Chamber, IDA, WSA Regional Regional CWC, DEP, WACCWC, DEP, WAC State State WRI, DEC, DOH, DOS, DOT, Ag & Mkts, NYSSWCC, Cornell, ESFWRI, DEC, DOH, DOS, DOT, Ag & Mkts, NYSSWCC, Cornell, ESF Federal Federal EPA, USDA, Army CorpsEPA, USDA, Army Corps

26 Healthy Waterways Partnership: Operating principles and governance SECRETARIAT (15 staff members) Administration Science and Monitoring Planning and Implementation Healthy Waterways Campaign Water Sensitive Urban Design Capacity Building Program Scientific Advisory Group (scientists from 5 local universities, CSIRO, State Agencies) Traditional Owners Advisory Group Community and Industry Advisory Group (~20 community, catchment, industry, environmental groups) Policy Council/Board 9 Local Governments 6 State Agencies Community & Industry rep Science Rep NRM Regional Organisation Chair CEOs Committee South East Queensland 5 Implementation Groups Implementation Groups (5 Groups: Northern, Moreton Coast, Moreton Bay, Western, Southern) commitment to working in a coordinated partnership structure in which all partners can be heard, contribute to decision-making and implement agreed actions within their own spheres of responsibility; formulation of management strategies on the basis of sound science, rigorous monitoring and adaptive learning. implementation of management actions at the most appropriate level within a regional framework.

27 Components of a catchment management template An Adaptive Management Cycle the complexity, dynamics and trade-offs of catchment management require an adaptive management approach and a twin-track of deliberative partner and stakeholder engagement supported by targeted scientific research Source: US EPA Handbook 2005

28 Build and Maintain Partnerships Engage Stakeholders Characterize Catchment Identify Problems and Solutions Set Goals Prioritize Solutions Design and Planning Implement Plan Monitor Progress Make Adjustments Improve Plan Key Pathways Evaluation Deliberation Science

29 Components of a catchment management template Governance Partnerships cross-sectoral and multi-level collaboration and coordination based on recognised responsibilities and duties Stakeholder engagement integrate higher level policy for environmental and public health criteria with local economic and social objectives enhance implementation with local knowledge, acceptance and ownership Locally led decision-making at the level appropriate to responsibilities for land and water management, with provision for inter-locality cooperation and coordination Transparency and accountability Funded – core (public) and from diverse sources

30 Components of a catchment management template Capacity Locally accepted technical providers trusted experts and intermediaries to analyse, advise and mediate Comprehensive condition and threat assessments and planning ideally one integrated strategic plan to guide action plans, in accordance with higher level regulation and policy directives Knowledge exchange synthesis and communication of information to decision makers, partners and stakeholders through skilled intermediaries and communication and decision-support tools Monitoring of performance and outcomes inherent to adaptive management, and to sustaining partner and stakeholder engagement, and funding evaluation criteria to include environmental quality and sustainability, cost effectiveness, and an accepted distribution of benefits and costs

31 Q&A – a selfie 1)Is this just academic? Can these principles be put into practice? Can I get involved?

32 The catchment based approach (CaBA) is being rolled out nationally (93 management catchments in England and Welsh borders). Objectives are: To deliver positive and sustained outcomes for the water environment by promoting a better understanding of the environment at a local level; and To encourage local collaboration and more transparent decision-making when both planning and delivering activities to improve the water environment. See: http://www.environment- ent-based-approach-improving-the-quality-of-our- water-environment The CaBA will develop partnerships and locally owned catchment plans, filling the gap between higher level river basin plans and local projects.

33 2) What about the floods?

34 Technically, we know the solutions. It is a lack of political will that stands in the way Professor Richard Ashley, University of Sheffield Im really sorry we took the advice…..we thought we were dealing with experts Minister, UK government Adapted from a slide by Ben Surridge, 2014 Floods are like snowflakes, none is quite like another Andrew McKenzie, British Geological Survey Princes William and Harry have joined troops trying to protect homes BBC

35 3) How does local action connect to global challenges?


37 My key partners include: UEA, Lancaster University, Cornell University, Westcountry Rivers Trust, The Rivers Trust, Defra Water Policy Team, AEPI Tianjin, plus many others. Thank you for listening, for more information, please contact: Laurence Smith +44 (0)20 3073 8328

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