LANDWISE calls on IEA data skills
The IEA’s data analytics and visualisation skills are helping landowners and farmers learn about how effective different land use and management strategies are at delivering natural flood management (NFM) benefits that could protect homes, businesses and agricultural land from flooding. In LANDWISE – a £1.25m project that has already created a lot of interest in the media – the IEA is working with organisations as diverse as the National Trust, National Farmers’ Union, Environment Agency, local authorities and local flood action groups and farmers.
It is focussed on the West Thames Basin where an estimated 112,000 properties are at risk from flooding if rivers burst their banks, and is led by the University of Reading, funded by NERC, the Natural Environment Research Council.
Data for decision-makers
Using our expertise in turning environmental data from multiple sources into meaningful information for decision-makers, we will look at visualising information on current land use and management collected by the project through integrated technical data from field studies, existing monitoring data, sensors, Earth observation, drones with local knowledge about what happens on the ground.
The research could inform crop choice, tree planting and land preparation based on evidence gathered and results from new predictive models, aiming to reduce the amount of water that runs off land into streams and rivers by allowing more rainwater to infiltrate below ground.
Easy-to-use interactive data visualisation
The IEA will work with LANDWISE partners to co-design an easy-to-use interactive data visualisation tool that will enable everyone in the project team to evaluate data sources at every level – from ground to satellite –and to provide evidence to scale-up advice to others areas in the UK.
The project leader is Dr Joanna Clark, associate professor of environmental science at the University of Reading, who commented: “Currently, there are many unanswered gaps in knowledge that make it hard to include land-based NFM measures in flood risk mitigation schemes. The Environment Agency tell us that there are no case studies on land-based NFM measures to support decision making, with most focusing on leaky barriers made from trees. Yet, land-based NFM measures have potential to do more than just reduce flood risk, including improving water quality, biodiversity and sustainable food and fibre production. So in LANDWISE, we will work with our partners to carry out research to help to fill this evidence gap.”
Find out more about the IEA’s skills and projects.