Operating within the framework of the MaRIUS project we were looking for a place where people could be interested in working with us on issues associated with drought. We settled on the River Kennet in Wiltshire. We knew that the upper Kennet had been badly affected by the 2012 drought. In the past there had also been major controversy over the abstraction of water resource by the Thames Water company. We also undertook a preliminary human geography field study in the locality that suggested that the impact of water management on the river could be an issue of interest to local residents.
Because the MaRIUS project investigated impacts of drought by combining several computer modelling perspectives from different fields, including climate change, hydrology and macro-economics, we could construct an ECG that could address a range of topics. We were also joined by local residents from a wide range of backgrounds.
Over the course of the six meetings the group made extensive use of the INCA model for water quality, investigating processes affecting the upper Kennet. We also dipped into water resource and groundwater modelling to consider how different management actions and environmental changes might impact on the river in the future.
The Kennet ECG’s work is accounted for in the 2017 report Active Water Resilience: Incorporating local knowledge in water management of the River Kennet catchment