Drought is a recurring problem with serious economic, social and environmental cost to the France (Channel) England area.
Chalk aquifiers are a major source for municipal water, agriculture and support internationally rare habitats. However, climate change and increased competitivity for water drives the need for new management approaches to increase resilience in the Channel area.
For example, the agri-food sector employs over 228,000 people in the England channel area and has a turn-over of €36bn in the France channel area, but it is estimated that 10%-20% of this is at risk from drought.
Existing water management systems in England and France do not support optimal planning. Planning does not sufficiently account for uncertainty on future scenarios of water supply and demand and decision-making does not involve all relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of solutions.
The Water for Tomorrow (WfT) project will address this by bringing together relevant stakeholders to co-design and implement new management tools and systems. These new tools and systems will include new data collection methods, hydro-economic models and new software to improve water allocation and early warning of water scarcity. Together they will deliver innovative, flexible and more cost-effective solutions.
In so doing, WfT will increase the resilience of the local economy, with potential economic benefits of €10m per river catchment per year.
Image credit: Ewan Bellamy via Flickr