Use of tools and data (C9)

Background

In Phases 1 and 2, considerable work has been undertaken on developing tools and data to aid river basin planning & decision making.  Although the use of these tools and data is increasing, its uptake is being limited by the capacity of the local Catchment Partnerships. Follow on support to the Catchment Partnerships is needed in order to ensure that the use of these tools and data is properly embedded in the routine functioning of these organisations.

What we are doing

The activities are focussed on embedding this work into normal working practices.  The transformation of new techniques into standard working practices is often very dynamic, and it is difficult to predict exactly what problems may come up. We will focus on activities to provide support to the local Catchment Partnerships to respond to emerging problems and questions. This support will remain flexible, in order to adapt to emerging needs. It is envisaged that this support will be provided through both a national and a regional structure, and will focus on upskilling the Catchment Host organisations.

National

The Rivers Trust Data & GIS team will provide national level support for using the tools and data, providing advice (technical or otherwise) to the Catchment Partnerships on their use. The team will also ensure that strong links are maintained with any approaches being developed through the national level Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) work programme.

Support will also be provided to the regional level structure, which is likely to include technical and strategic aspects.

Regional

Some of the larger Catchment Host organisations in the North West River Basin District are more advanced in the use of tools and data, with staff in place who are skilled in these aspects. We intend to mobilise these staff members for them to provide support to the other Catchment Hosts and Catchment Partnerships. The idea is that each of these regional staff will be teamed up with certain other local Catchment Hosts, for example in the same general area where stakeholders and underlying issues might be similar. Regional level support will incorporate both adhoc input (responding to specific issues) and long-term mentoring. Working in this way aims to build the capacity of individual Catchment Host organisations whilst promoting peer-to-peer learning and support. It also aims to build the capacity of the North West River Basin District Catchment Partnerships as a group to promote evidence-based decision making.

By taking this approach, it is hoped that by the end of Phase 3 the use of tools and data will have become embedded in the standard operating procedures of the Catchment Partnerships, resources for them will be included in individual project bids from the Catchment Host organisations, and hence their use will be financed sustainably.

Who else is involved?

The Rivers Trust and its local Affiliates.

Project location

Throughout the North West River Basin District

Latest update

National & regional support structure and staff are in place, and the data and evidence has built capacity and has employed another 2 members of staff.

42 Requests for support have been addressed by national and regional level teams

The lessons learnt through this project will be a valuable source of information for other River Basin Districts and the national CaBA movement. If the support structure trialled here proves to be successful it could be rolled out as a model for other River Basin Districts in the UK. It will also be a valuable source of information for other LIFE IP’s whether they are in the UK or other EU Member states.