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Catchment Science and management: providing evidence for environmental directives
Convener: Mark Wilkinson  | Co-Conveners: Marianne Bechmann , Paul Quinn 
 / Mon, 13 Apr, 08:30–10:00
 / Attendance Mon, 13 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Catchment scale monitoring experiments, engagement, models and decision support tools are needed to provide a robust evidence–based evaluation of methods or measures to meet policy needs of environmental directives (for example, in Europe the Water Framework Directive and the Flood Directive). Policy and stakeholder issues must be addressed at many scales in order to underpin sustainable catchment management. In addition to natural variability, the uniqueness of many catchments is in the intensity of the farming, pressures on water resource management, the wide range of recognised environmental concerns, a highly regulated governance regime and a vulnerability to climate and demographic changes. How do we overcome the challenges of addressing the ‘uniqueness of space’ in catchments with different farming intensity, different pressures, drivers and issues? How can we address multi-disciplinary benefits whilst maintaining the basic need for food and water production? How can we do more for less? As food production is critical for our growing world population, how can we sustainably intensify our farmed landscape and what impact does this have on the catchment hydrology? Many hydrologists and catchment scientists believe that the astute management of hydrological flow pathways throughout catchments is the key to resolving this multi-disciplinary issue. How does land use and management alter flow pathways that either cause or cure problems?

Examples of cross cutting studies that cover water resource management, water pollution, flooding, drought and ecology are at the heart of this session. We invite (but not limit to) papers that demonstrate good quality hydrological experiments; new developments within monitoring of water quality at various scales; and studies that help to isolate the effect of mitigation methods or effect of weather changes. Field monitoring and modelling studies that help to underpin catchment policy are also strongly encouraged. We particularly would like to invite papers on multi-scale catchment experiment and modelling, environmental observatories, stakeholder engagement/uptake and decision support tools.