The Pas-de-Calais and Kent regions face the same water management challenges and have similar issues of flooding, drought and pollution of waterways, which damage our shared ecosystem, the Channel, and affect local communities and businesses alike. Flooding alone costs millions of euros in France and the UK annually, and traditional flood and drought management through hard engineering can be expensive and ineffective. Climate change is also likely to increase the likelihood of extreme weather events, which could have a severe impact on water resources.

The H20:Source2Sea project intends to demonstrate how solutions based on nature reduce water management costs while improving freshwater quality, reducing pollution, and benefiting the wildlife and local communities through the implementation of Natural Flood and Drought Management measures (NFM and NDM).

Partners of the project will implement NFM and NDM measures on pilot sites in the catchment of rivers flowing into the Channel: the Authie in France and the Stour in the UK. The project will bring together all stakeholders including local communities, and provide a new economic tool to support decision and policy making.

Aims:

The H20:Source2Seas project aims to improve water management and quality from the source to the sea, and to adapt to climate change by:

  • Identifying, valuing and encouraging the wider roll-out of natural flood and drought management solutions to supplement and overcome the high costs of hard infrastructure in the Channel area;
  • Reducing the total costs of managing water issues and climate change;
  • Restoring ecosystems in lowland areas;
  • Enhancing the evidence base for climate resilient decision making;
  • Addressing the fragmentation of policy across the water system;
  • Increasing stakeholder engagement in integrated water management decision-making;
  • Including local communities in Citizen Science Programmes to monitor water quality.

Anticipated outcomes:

  • Demonstrated value of natural flood and drought management in the Channel area;
  • Reduced pollution of transnational and coastal waters;
  • Restored ecosystems;
  • Improvement of water quality (reduced amount of nutrients, pollution and sediment)
  • Reduction of water stress and improvement of fresh water usage;
  • Tools and guidance to deliver adaptive water management measures tailored to local scenarios.

Nausicaá has expertise on environmental and climate change communication and public outreach, and will support the partnership in managing the communication strategy. Through this project, we will raise awareness of the importance of water quality and management, from the source to the ocean. We will also work with local communities to improve water quality and protect wildlife in the Hauts-de-France region.

 

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