- 3rd December 2021
- Posted by: Dom Senior
- Category: Projects
Location: River Tweed Client: Tweed Forum
The Eddleston Water Natural Flood Management Project is a pioneering Natural Flood Management (NFM) project focused on a tributary of the River Tweed. The project aims to simultaneously provide an opportunity to study the effectiveness of NFM measures to reduce flood risk to downstream communities, whilst restoring and improving habitats within the catchment. As part of the project, the Tweed Forum wanted to understand the potential wider ecosystem service benefits of the measures.
In line with the client’s requirements for a time-efficient assessment with a focus on valuation, we were able to deliver a natural capital income statement which forecast the Total Economic Value of a range of ecosystem services benefits delivered by the habitat improvements concerned. Peer-reviewed biophysical and monetary evidence was applied to rapid value transfer approaches to estimate the present value benefits delivered in terms of carbon storage, non-use biodiversity values, timber yield and educational and water quality benefits.
Scepticism remains over the benefits delivered by NFM measures, over and above traditional hard engineering approaches to flood risk management. The study demonstrated the significant economic benefits generated in terms of environmental gains associated with NFM measures. It is hoped that, combined with our work to develop a combined hydrologic and hydraulic model of the Eddleston Water catchment to deliver empirical measurements of the effectiveness of the interventions, the study will promote NFM measures as a viable alternative to decision-makers.