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Key Lessons – EA Midlands HMWB MMA Investigations Arup Campus, Monday the 28 th of May 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Key Lessons – EA Midlands HMWB MMA Investigations Arup Campus, Monday the 28 th of May 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Key Lessons – EA Midlands HMWB MMA Investigations Arup Campus, Monday the 28 th of May 2012

2 2 Running Order – Lessons Learned Purpose of the Presentation Understanding workload Meetings and Consultation The Investigation Process Site Visits Working Conditions Summary Running Order

3 3 Purpose - The project A reminder of what we are trying to achieve: To prescribe site specific morphology-focused, appropriate and cost proportionate mitigation to HMWB in order to improve them to GEP To define what GEP might be per HMWB, based on what mitigation is appropriate and acceptable A big challenge!... Requires common purpose and involvement from various specialists and knowledge holders. An understanding of Fluvial Geomorphology and physical habitat is key. Running Order

4 4 Correcting Morphological pressures in heavily modified waterbodies. Tregaron, Wales

5 5 Purpose - The presentation This presentation aims to: -discuss our experiences in the Midlands -introduce the team and working arrangements. - talk about the key lessons that have been learned -explain what worked well (offer some hints and tips) -describe what could be done better -describe complicating factors (often unavoidable). Purpose

6 Environment Agency Project Manager Tim Pickering Arup Nottingham Matt Johnson Environment Agency Tewkesbury Area Richard Bolton Environment Agency Lichfield Area Bethan Flynn Arup Solihull Natalie Walker Environment Agency Nottingham Area Vicky Candlish Arup Cardiff Patricia Xavier EA MIDLANDS REGION/ARUP WFD Mitigation Measures Investigations – Project Team Project Director Katherine Pygott Project Manager David Hetherington The Team...

7 7 Workload Understanding Workload Very difficult to quantify or predict accurately. Total work varies per Area, and can change temporally with reassessment/update/reclassification of WB Time taken per WB assessment can vary lots. Influencing factors include: WB length % urbanisation Asset number Importance and local EA ambitions Complexity 3 rd party involvement

8 8 Workload Understanding Workload Numbers from the Midlands MIDLANDS WEST ( 106 investigations on 49 waterbodies) - Total River Length 340km, 25% urban, 75% rural, 11 Lakes and 2 transitional MIDLANDS CENTRAL (90 investigations on 67 waterbodies) - Total River Length 420km, 50% urban, 50% rural, 6 Reservoirs MIDLANDS EAST (85 Investigations on 66 waterbodies) - Total River Length 650km, 41% urban, 59% rural),12 Reservoirs

9 9 Completion rates Numbers from the Midlands MIDLANDS WEST ( 106 investigations on 49 waterbodies) days per investigation (extremes of 0.5 days to 6 days approximately) MIDLANDS CENTRAL (90 investigations on 67 waterbodies) days per investigation – fairly consistent (inc 1 day review, 1 day mapping WB, 1 day write up, 1 day mitigation and mapping). MIDLANDS EAST (85 Investigations on 66 waterbodies) days per investigation (similar to central)

10 10 Completion rates Planning workload. An early session to identify: Total River Length (and number of other WB). % urbanisation / number of assets Any local Area specific requirements (e.g. treatment of bridges, outfalls, and degree of 3 rd party involvement). Create Programme Higher Priority: Local EA priorities, Planned work, high 3 rd party involvement, impending site visits for other reasons. Lower Priority: WB with a clear EA vision. WB subject of status review or uncertainty.

11 11 Some specific experiences … The two waterbodies that took the longest were relatively small, very urban rivers through Nottingham and Mansfield. These had many online structures including weirs and culverts, and featured sections of different hard banks. The reasons for the long assessment times were: -Lots of different “significant” modifications. -Lots of waterbody variation, and resulting reach segragation. -Technical feasibility and practical issues needed a lot of consideration Completion time was often extended when no mitigation measures were suggested by the EA teams, resulting in very open-ended review and consideration. A predominant cause of lengthy assessment time was WB length. Quicker assessments were associated with WB with little variation along their course. Experiences

12 12 Early Meetings Main Inception – To understand how the regional team will function. Area Introductions (key) To familiarise new staff with general EA protocol, terminology, acronyms/initialisms, team names and functions. To familiarise the area team with each other, identify: key people, key sources of data, and common MMs / morphological presures, useful case studies, area wide initiatives and area-specific sources of data. Identify WB with an obvious vision. To plan a bulk print of Mapping. Training on EA systems and protocol.

13 13 Other Meetings Subsequent to Programme creation….. Schedule WB meetings in EA area offices (as soon as the programme has been created). Dates in diaries. Progress and update (Regional) Teleconferences would usually suffice, especially considering that we now have a model for the process. Face to face meetings involve much within region travel for EA staff. Close out.. (to celebrate!....)

14 14 Consultation Consultation within the EA KEY. A pre project “heads up” within the EA would be useful preparing local staff. Good to pre plan meetings for multiple WB (4 or 5) as soon as the programme is complete (allows preparation, and maximises the chances of people being available). FRB, Ops, and ASM were very useful (varied per area). Contributions came from all teams. Planning and EM offered valuable information on certain WB, including information on planned and current developments. Dedicated/scheduled time for EA people to be involved is useful.

15 15 Consultation 3 rd Part consultation As early as possible… A common source of missing data on non main WB. Better to be delivered from EA staff as they are more familiar with the correct language, and might appear more “official”. In Midlands 3 rd parties tended to be Local Authorities. Received information varied in amount and quality. Some waterbodies have little of no associated information (time for a site visit?)….

16 16 Process The Investigation process – lessons (1) Splitting the WB into reaches was sometimes unnecessary (only really required where reach based MMs are apparent). More detailed information on the cause of failure would be useful in prescribing MMs with more detail / purpose. This reduces the requirement to “unravel” the causes of failure by re- examining WB during the investigation. A more detailed mitigation cost spreadsheet, or other sources of cost information are needed. A consistent way is needed to assess and mitigate for pressures in aggregate (e.g outfalls).

17 17 Process The Investigation process – lessons (2) Cost-benefit is difficult to address in a ‘short’ mitigation assessment. More robust prioritisation techniques are needed (we have prepared a draft version that could be developed further). The process as it stands allows screening out of technically unfeasible mitigation measures, and prioritisation of site specific measures based on cost vs benefit. No absolute/objective screening out based on cost vs benefit (due to limited guidance). More work is needed to develop the guidance for this aspect of the process. Early GIS involvement is helpful.

18 18 GIS Region wide early involvement is beneficial in: Sourcing data Formatting data Ordering data (into convenient and logical filing systems) Identifying gaps Identifying efficiencies GIS in common layers provide added value for future stages, and projects.

19 19 Site Visits Were not undertaken as part of the Midlands work Would be very useful in understanding key pressures and assets. Accepted that at this stage in the project site visits might be more of a ground-truthing exercise at Area level (Central had 650km or WB). Site visits would allow flexibility and the power to react. In turn, more confidence - and provision should be made if possible. Site visits should be planned strategically, and early site visits may have multiple benefits……

20 20 Site Visits Site Visits – EA experience Early site visits can allow an insight into what elements might be causing failure and what constraints exist in reality. Site visits can also help in understanding how to apply guidance. Site visits help to combine the ideas of different specialists in front or real examples. Useful to ground truth measures. Helpful in assuring consistency if you can have multiple team members on site to discuss common approaches.

21 21 Working Conditions What worked well: Being Integrated (when Arup staff were “embedded”) Consistent conditions (desk, PC, surrounding staff) Co-located EA staff having time and vested project interest Existing knowledge of the MMA process What slowed progress: IT and access to EA systems (log-ins and passwords) EA staff being very busy on other projects

22 22 Potential Improvement (Investigation Process) More GIS-based process Consultation/discussion with ‘preferred options’ Greater flexibility in spreadsheet for different contexts More initial filtering of measures (feasibility, relevancy and cost) Potential Improvement Spatially Linked Relevant to waterbod y Quick! Decision Making

23 23 Potential Improvements to the WFD tool A regional / national WFD tool could include: - Mapping for WFD (Allowing printable mapping at a suitable scale). - Useful GIS layers (needed for review of data for WFD assessments). - Information on Relevant Specialists. The details of the people concerned with the investigation as contacts and other useful staff (i.e. those linked with current and past projects on those rivers). - Much of this is produced as part of the MMA Investigation process.

24 24 Agenda Key Lessons Learned (1) Contributions from EA staff are vital to successful prescription of appropriate MM. Level of detail required by the EA needs to be clearly defined (this varies per area and per WB). Useful information needs to be defined, collated and made more readily available. Time needs to be allocated to account for IT problems. A clearly defined system for storing data, and space to store it.

25 25 Agenda Key Lessons Learned (2) The investigations benefit from collaboration as part of a team/unit with common objectives (sometimes being seen as a consultant who was there to simply get a job done was not beneficial). Be as generic as possible in early stages to free up time to be detailed later when the MM prescription matters. A platform for all disciplines to contribute equally to each MMA investigation was useful (often this was simply not practicable). An overhaul of ASM data for WFD assessment would be useful. Ongoing projects / works on WB need to be announced as early as possible to avoid wasted time on Investigations. (via talks with planning). A defined, consistent review process would be useful.

26 26 Thank You for Listening…. Questions….? Questions


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