WRc has been working with the Environment Agency to assess the impacts of climate change on river ecosystems through a project designing a new river monitoring network.
The temperature of water has a fundamental influence on aquatic organisms, ecological processes and the potency of many pollutants. Water temperatures in the UK are expected to rise under projected climate change, but the rate of change remains uncertain and it is unclear how land use and flow regimes in different catchment types could be managed to limit effects of temperature increases and protect fish from lethal temperatures.
The Environment Agency commissioned WRc to consider the optimum spatial configuration and sampling strategy of an idealised monitoring network as a precursor towards the development of a dedicated monitoring programme to map and measure temperature trends across England and Wales.
Statistical analysis of the Agency’s Water Temperature Archive was used to develop a stratified sampling scheme and to compare the performance of different sampling frequencies. The project provided recommendations for the design of an efficient water temperature monitoring network.
Harriet Orr, the Environment Agency’s Climate Change Evidence Manager, said: “It's been a pleasure working with WRc and I hope we will do so again in the future. It was a treat to work with consultants so focussed on working out how to get me what I wanted.”
For further information contact Dr Andrew Davey at email@example.com or 01793 865023