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The December 2013 edition of CREWs NEWs is available now. Find out about CREW events, projects, contract opportunities and competitions as well as news and events from the wider water sector. If you have any comments about CREWs NEWs or would like to advertise an upcoming event please get in touch.

1st March 2015

Surface water flood forecasting for urban communities: A Review

Road race; Cover photograph courtesy of: Road race at the Games © Evening Times

In urban areas, the impacts of surface water flooding can be very severe as such environments are generally densely populated and contain vital infrastructure. In recent years there have been regular occurrences of urban flooding in many parts of the UK with surface water flooding accounting for approximately one-third of flood risk from all sources (Houston et al., 2011). Within Scotland, the National Flood Risk Assessment (SEPA, 2011) estimates that around 125,000 properties are at risk of flooding from all sources and that surface water accounts for approximately 38% of the predicted impacts. Modelling, and real-time forecasting, of urban flood inundation is therefore increasingly relevant given the magnitude of potential loss and disruption.

This project aimed to assist SEPA in increasing its capabilities through developing an appropriate modelling methodology for surface water flood forecasting that could be operated in real-time. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (July 2014) offered a suitable opportunity to test the methodology. It provided a real situation where the risk of flooding was considered a major concern to strategic operations and where a forecasting system could be highly beneficial for the emergency response community.

1st August 2013

Optimising Water Framework Directive River Basin Management Planning Using an Ecosystem Services Approach

River basin; Cover photograph courtesy of: Chris Spray

This project was undertaken for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, via a request to the CREW call down service as part of a range of SEPA initiatives under their Embedding Ecosystem Services work stream. The objective of this report is to review the process of River Basin Management Planning and identify how and where an Ecosystem Services Approach might assist SEPA in improving their delivery of the Water Framework Directive.

1st October 2013

Natural Flood Management in the context of UK reservoir legislation

A short policy paper has been requested by Scottish Government via the call down service, detailing the issues managers come up against when implementing NFM in relation to UK reservior legislation.  Information is sought on whether these issues still apply under the new Reservoirs Act.

Fats, Oils and Greases; Cover photograph courtesy of: Severn Trent Water

There are approximately 200,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year. It is estimated around 75% are caused by FOG (Mills, 2010). Problems caused by FOG in the sewer system not only affect the performance of the sewer system and waste water treatment works (WWTW) but may also reduce asset life and increase maintenance costs. This will have an economic impact on the responsible water authorities and will ultimately be reflected in increased prices for customers. In addition, FOG related blockages can result in sewer overflows either as a result of reduced capacity or burst sewer pipes.

This report outlines the current state of knowledge regarding best practice for FOG management at UK and international level. In addition, opportunities for reuse of recovered FOG are explored.

1st July 2013

Innovations in aquatic monitoring

This report is in response to a request from SEPA via CREW to highlight examples of monitoring where personal monitors have the potential to be, or currently are, being used. In this report, we review existing technology for acquiring, processing and reporting on environmental data in the field. The objective is to demonstrate whether or not it is possible to use off-the-shelf technology for water monitoring.

1st July 2013

Reducing pollution from forestry related activities in the Galloway and Eskdalemuir forests: A review of Best Management Practices to reduce diffuse pollution

This report, in response to a call down request by SEPA, aims to collate existing information on forest management practices from national and international case studies. It reviews the effectiveness of these measures to help reduce non-point sources of pollution entering water courses.


This short newsletter is produced quarterly and provides updates on CREW projects, publications and the use of CREW outputs in the policy environment.

1st April 2013

UK and Ireland natural flood management practitioner workshop

Cover photograph courtesy of: Mark Wilkinson (Belford catchment, Northumberland offline storage  pond in action during a flood)

On the 19th of February, 2013 a practitioners’ NFM workshop was held in Edinburgh. The main objective of the workshop was to exchange knowledge about practical aspects of NFM implementation. By gathering NFM practitioners together and people researching the impacts of NFM, key sticking points and suggested solutions could be shared to avoid duplicated resources. A total of 33 participants attended from a range of organisations including the James Hutton Institute, Scottish Government, several universities, SEPA, OPW, consultancies and rivers trusts (see participant list in Appendix I). This report captures and highlights the opinions and discussions of the delegate who attended this meeting.

1st March 2013

The potential risks to water quality from diffuse pollution driven by future land use and climate change

Part of the WFD Article 5 reporting requirements is an element of horizon scanning to the middle of this century to identify potential risks to water quality from diffuse pollution driven by future land use and climate change.

A review has been carried out and the key changes that might result from these drivers are an expansion in woodland cover and an increase in the area under arable production as a result of climate change providing enhanced opportunities for agricultural production. These were discussed and agreed at a project workshop and formed the basis of the land use change scenario used in the project. Other potential drivers such as CAP reform, planning and renewable energy development were also reviewed.


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