Water resources in the region are subject to acute pressures due to high population density and low rainfall. It is also forecast that the South East is the region most likely to be affected by climate change.
A three-year project, funded by the EU LIFE-Environment programme, will offer free advice and management plans to landowners, businesses and local authorities on how to address issues such as pesticide use, erosion and more efficient water management in preventing continued damage to the water environment.
The South East is the second largest regional economy in the UK after London. The high level of economic activity and employment has attracted workers to the region, leading to an increase in population and high demands for water supply to homes and businesses.
Professor Ed Maltby, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Water, Integrated Management and Ecosystem Research (SWIMMER), said: “The South East has low rainfall relative to other UK regions and less available water per capita than drought-stricken Sudan. Hotter summers will mean even lower river flows and higher demand for garden watering and irrigation, leading to inevitable restrictions by the water providers.
“This new project tackles problems of low water supply by employing the Ecosystem Approach, a methodology to aid decision making which will help achieve sustainable use and conservation of water-dependent natural resources. Our project advisors will work closely with stakeholders to help reduce pollution and advise on strategies for the more efficient use of water. Without these methods in place the cost of water will continue to rise; permanent hosepipe bans may be put in place and stretches of river will dry up, destroying wildlife habitats.”
At the conclusion of the project the team hope to see increased awareness in sustainable water use, improved water quality and provision of habitats in restored wetlands.
Joanna Robotham | alfa
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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