South East Rivers Trust (& the Wandle Trust)

The Rivers Trust Spring Conference – launching PROWATER in Canterbury, March 5th

© Alan Glicksman

This year, South East Rivers Trust is hosting the annual Rivers Trust Conference and putting the focus on protecting and restoring water resources in a changing climate.

We are using the opportunity to launch our Interreg 2 Seas project, PROWATER, which we are delivering in partnership with other organisations in the South of England as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

The project is aiming to create landscapes more resilient to climate change by providing incentives for land managers to manage their land in a way that allows more water to infiltrate into the ground or be stored in the landscape. Across a catchment, this will reduce the risk of drought and increase the availability of raw water and provide a wide range of ecosystem services.

This is the first time we have hosted the Rivers Trust conference, and we are delighted to welcome our partners and supporters to join us at this free one-day event in Canterbury.

The conference and pre-conference dinner can be booked here:

The day will include keynote speeches from Ian Dickie (Director, eftec) and Jan Verheeke (Flemish Environment and Nature Council, Belgium) on how a natural capital approach can help us adapt to the various challenges of climate change. Focusing on key aspects of how to facilitate adaptation, the conference will be split into 3 sessions:

Session 1: Creating resilient catchments – measures to protect and restore our water resources

This session will focus on on-the-ground delivery of adaptation measures to protect our water resources and will include presentations by:

  • Barry Bendall (Director, Water and Land – The Rivers Trust) on work in the Catchment based Approach community on taking an ecosystems approach to protecting water resources;
  • Bronwyn Buntine (Sustainable Drainage Team Leader – Kent County Council) on delivering SuDS for groundwater recharge;
  • Tom Ormesher (Environment and Land Use Adviser – National Farmers’ Union) on adapting agriculture to water scarcity;
  • Shaun Dowman (Agricultural Advisor – Affinity Water) on the effects of land management on water resources;
  • Emmanuel Van Houtte (Intercommunal Water Company, BE) on water re-use and infiltration.

Session 2: Enabling adaptation – innovative approaches to funding and financing

In the second part of the day, we will focus on innovative ways in which funding can secure the provision of ecosystem services. Presentations will include:

  • Arlin Rickard (Chief Executive – The Rivers Trust) on sustainable funding mechanisms, such as Green Bonds;
  • Liz Lowe (GB Sustainability Manager – Coca Cola) on ‘Replenish’ and the business perspective on water resources;
  • Hazel Kendall (Head of Land Management – Westcountry Rivers Trust)on developing business partnerships for catchments;
  • Emma Claydon (Economist – Environment Agency) on developing innovative finance mechanisms in the EA;
  • TBC – South East Water on funding resilient catchments.

Session 3: Proving Success – monitoring impacts and targeting measures for water resources

  • Michelle Walker/Anneka France (GIS and Data – The Rivers Trust) on data and evidence available to Catchment Partnerships for water resource management;
  • David Johnson (Director of River Ecosystem Services – The Rivers Trust) on evidence for protecting and restoring groundwater resources;
  • Jan Staes (Department of Biology – University of Antwerp) – on developing a tool for quantifying and evaluating scenarios for ecosystem services;
  • Jane Herbert (Project Manager – Essex and Suffolk Rivers Trust) – on first evidence from groundwater recharge trials in Suffolk;
  • Emma Rothero (Floodplain Meadows Partnership Manager – The Open University) – on evidencing ecosystem services of floodplains.

The day will include panel discussion, time for networking and poster presentations from Rivers Trusts and partners. Please check the box for more details.