Events

Jo Bradley: Is this the road to Hell: what is road runoff doing to our rivers & streams?
February 24 @ 19:00 – 20:00
Free. All Welcome.
Click here to register in advance and joining instructions will be sent to you.

Jo Bradley will describe the problem of pollution from road runoff and provide some examples of data and polluting outfalls. She will explain what solutions are available and how they should be funded and operated. Then Jo will outline some of the emerging research on the pollution from tyre wear particles and the effect it may be having on wildlife & humans. Jo hopes that by discussing this topic with the CAA, she can understand the impact on Chalk Streams better, and begin to identify priority locations for improvements to be made on the Chalk Streams.

Jo has worked in the field of pollution control for over 30 years, many of them at the Environment Agency in Lancashire. She worked for a treatment device manufacturer for a while, but now leads a new not-for-profit organisation, Stormwater Shepherds UK, which is working to reduce plastic pollution with a particular focus on road runoff and microplastic tyre wear particles. Jo has tried almost everything to improve the regulation of road runoff without much success, so she hopes that by mobilising a gang of like-minded people to shout out about this problem, we might see some changes in the next 5 years.

photo of Jo Bradley
Jo Bradley
@Stormwater Shepherds
Kate Heppell & Paul Jennings: ChessWatch – a co-designed online observatory for the River Chess
December 16 @ 19:00 – 20:00

River Chess is a chalk stream in South East England (UK), under unprecedented pressure from over-abstraction, urbanisation and climate change; consequently the river currently fails to meet good ecological status. The community-led ChessWatch project is designed to raise public awareness of threats to the River Chess and involve the public in river management activities using a sensor network as a platform. In 2018 four water quality sensors were installed in the river to provide stakeholders with real-time water quality data (15-minute intervals) to support catchment management activities. The dataset from the project is intended to support future decision-making in the catchment as part of the five-year ‘Smarter Water Catchments’ approach run by Thames Water.
This presentation will review the successes and drawbacks of the ChessWatch project to date and examine the challenges of linking the data collected by the project to policy and practice in a catchment with multiple stakeholder groups. Kate Heppell and Paul Jennings will present the results of a participatory mapping exercise held at local community events to capture the public use of, and concerns for, the river revealing concerns for low flows and water quality issues linked to abstraction and runoff. They will show how dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, chlorophyll-a and tryptophan measurements made by the sensors are enabling local stakeholders to better understand the threats to the river arising from urban runoff and changing rainfall patterns, and they examine the challenges of data presentation, sharing and usage in an urbanised catchment with high water demand and multiple conflicting interests.

 
Professor Kate Heppell is a researcher at the School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London. Kate specialises in understanding the linkages between hydrology and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial and aquatic environments such as rivers, wetlands and lowland peatlands. She has worked extensively in chalk stream environment to improve understanding of the relationships between groundwater and surface water; and the controls on flow, sediment transport and water quality.
Paul Jennings is chairman of the River Chess Association.
Free, all welcome. Register here and joining instructions will be sent to you.
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