CSEI’s Dr Mijic to lead Systems Water Management Framework development
The recently released 25 Year Environment Plan recognises the need to put the environment at the heart of planning and development to create better places for people to live and work. Its supporting evidence highlights the need for taking a more systems based approach to water environment management, and the need for better understanding of complexity across water systems, including their interaction with land management and use.
Within the 25YEP, the Cumbria Catchment Pioneer led by the Environment Agency (EA) is aimed at testing new governance models for the environmental management of river catchments as a whole, which is assumed to be a key enabler for the successful implementation of the natural capital accounting. The key challenges within the Cumbria Catchment Pioneer include complex interactions between water availability, quality and flood risk management, land management, visitor and rural economy and habitat decline. Therefore, significant progress will only be made by recognising wider water environment uses and priorities, and working more coherently across stakeholders and their interests.
These challenges will addressed through Dr Mijic’s recently awarded NERC Innovation Fellowship. In collaboration with the EA and their wide range of stakeholders, the project will apply systems thinking and systemic approaches to understanding, structuring and measuring the catchment water system complexity of the Cumbria Pioneer. It will develop a novel Systems Water Management framework for Catchment Scale Processes (CASYWat) that will guide and support practical interpretation and demonstration of the key concepts underpinning the 25YEP. The framework will define the components of the system, relationships between these components, and a shared meta-model that integrates these elements. This will enable the complexity to be communicated to, and understood by the stakeholders, so that they can develop a shared purpose and collective strategy for integrated catchment management in the Cumbrian context, and engage in effective decision-making. The work will be strongly linked with the recently awarded NERC RISE programme grant (CAMELLIA), where Dr Mijic is leading the development of the Systems Water Management Framework for Urban Scale Processes (USYWat) with the focus on London.
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