Wading into Water – The assessment and management of our aquatic environment

The annual CIEEM Irish Conference takes place in Athlone on 28 February. With a very exciting line up planned, the event will cover a range of topics that are of interest to ecologists, hydromorphologists and all people working in the water environment.

Knowledge sharing – hydromorphology and ecology

JBA Holnicote after the Floods
Holnicote after the Floods

We will be contributing to the conference by providing a joint hydromorphology and ecology presentation on recent river restoration projects. These projects achieved restoration of not just local processes and impacts, but those at a larger catchment scale of both hydromorphology and ecology.

River works were based on an understanding of catchment-wide interactions and dynamics, sediment sources and sinks, river flow regimes and interactions with ecological receptors.

Our poster presentation will highlight the Holnicote project, a Somerset case study on Natural Flood Management (NFM), and ways of working with natural processes.

Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the project was to produce hard evidence to support a range of NFM measures using a partnership approach. The Holnicote project had some tangible outcomes including the following successes:

  1. During the extremely wet winter of 2013/14 in Somerset, there was no flooding in the vulnerable villages in the catchments that had experienced regular flooding in the past, containing nearly 100 properties at risk with an insurance value of £30M.
  2. The creation of flood storage areas helped to deliver a 10% reduction in flood peak during a severe storm in late December 2013.

Click here to read the full case study.

Catchment management

You will also get the opportunity to hear about the Catchment CARE and Pearl Mussel projects at the conference. With talks by the River Restoration Centre, Irish Water, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and distinguished keynote speakers such as Mary Kelly-Quinn from University College Dublin and Ken Irvine of the IHE Delft Institute, this conference is one not to be missed!

Key topics for discussion will be how the River Basin Management Plans are to be rolled out and what this will mean for current waterway management practices. Also, what innovative approaches in catchment management may do to help improve our water quality and assessment approaches.

We look forward to learning much about Ireland’s water environment from a regulatory and scientific perspective and to meeting the professionals behind the key changes soon to be implemented.

A full programme of the day’s events can be found here.

Want to know more?

Email Niamh Burke for more information on the CIEEM conference and our work in Ireland. You can also find out more on our catchment and river restoration web page.

Leave a Reply