In some of the WaterLIFE Demonstration Catchments, the project provided additional technical support to help build capacity and expertise and realise the following benefits to collaborative working;
• A collective partnership understanding of the pressures facing their catchment.
• Provision of a mechanism for engaging and building collaboration.
• Identification of opportunities for intervention, including those that give rise to multiple benefits.
• Collective prioritisation of those interventions.
• Securing funding for delivery.
• Ability to challenge and engage in River Basin management.
This support created web-based information platforms that capture a range of project work and provide a visual “storybook” of the issues impacting the catchment. As an example, the Soar Platform is viewable at http://arcg.is/1T7pmZ6. A wide range of spatial datasets were summarised into scores at the sub-catchment scale, to highlight areas which present the greatest priority for action and where multiple benefits can be realised by collaborative action. “Wagon Wheel” symbols were used to represent the scores for each of the four themes of the Catchment Plan; Biodiversity, Water Quality, Flooding and Disadvantaged Communities.
This approach was also upscaled to the River Basin level. For example, as a means to draw closer engagement between partnerships across the Basin, and help to drive future collaboration, a shared information platform was developed for the Severn River Basin. This captures data and evidence in mapped form that illustrates the key pressures impacting at the catchment scale, collectively agreed priorities for action, outcomes, and potential opportunities for delivery.
The Severn Platform was designed collaboratively by the partnerships across the River Basin during dedicated workshops, a process that in itself drove greater engagement. Harmonised datasets were captured and embellished with locally derived information, for example data from walkover surveys and Riverfly monitoring. The Platform illustrates the programme of work at the catchment partnership scale, but also presents data that cuts across catchment boundaries that can signal opportunities for wider collaboration.
View the Severn Information Platform: