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Protecting the environment and sustaining water supplies
- Research is safeguarding endangered habitats and securing freshwater sources long-term
The abstraction of river water for societal needs – agriculture, domestic, and industrial – combined with climatic events – including droughts and floods – can have devastating impacts on the environment. Therefore, it is essential that we manage freshwater ecosystems sensitively and efficiently.
The work of Loughborough academics is making a significant contribution to the conservation and management of freshwater environments across Europe.
Their research – exploring the health of freshwater ecosystems and the fauna they are home to – underpins our understanding of the effects of natural and human activity on the ecological status of river systems.
As well as informing UK and European policy, their work has been used by a range of organisations – including WWF-UK and Natural England – to raise public awareness of the consequences of household water use on freshwater environments as well as the impact of climate change on conservation areas and their species.
Between 2006-13, the researchers contributed to national scale workshops to define and set standards for appropriate levels of abstraction – now adopted within UK water legislation.
IMPACT OF RESERVOIRS
They have provided technical support to UK Water Industry Research – resulting in industry approved guidance around the impact of reservoirs on river ecology.
Their work has also influenced the implementation and delivery of the EU Water Framework Directive.
The European Commission’s guidance on freshwater management in a changing climate – circulated to all member states – made extensive use of the research.
The research has significant international impact across the water sector.