Maintaining healthy rivers and lakes and reducing flood risk is important for us all and is central to the economy and livelihoods, not least because we all need clean water to survive! Rivers and lakes provide us with drinking water, are a crucial for industry and farming, support a diverse array of flora and fauna and offer lots of opportunities for recreation! Managing our freshwater environments can be very complex and requires balancing the needs of water supply, industry, agriculture, recreation and wildlife, whilst reducing flood risk.
The Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) was introduced nationally by Government as a framework to encourage organisations and communities to work together to help identify, understand and tackle the pressures that are impacting on our water environment. The West Cumbria Catchment Partnership was set up in 2015 to bring together a wide range of people with an interest in improving the management of the river catchments in West Cumbria.
The 2015 winter floods brought flood risk to the forefront of our agenda. The West Cumbria Catchment Management Group was established as part of the Cumbria Strategic Flood Partnership, to bring together partners with an interest in, or responsibility for, reducing flood risk in West Cumbria. In practice, the Catchment Management Group integrated with the existing Catchment Partnership, bringing a wider range of stakeholders around the table, including community Flood Action Groups and flood risk authorities. The group recognises that we need a integrated approach across a whole catchment from source to sea, and that by working together in a coordinated way we will be in a better position to make positive changes.
This vision encompasses flood risk and environmental outcomes, reflecting that truly integrated working gets better outcomes, for every pound spent, for people and the environment. The aim of the Partnership is to develop and deliver cost-effective projects with multiple benefits. This is made possible by sharing information, knowledge and expertise and ensuring joint decision making. A number of working groups have been established for developing projects, meeting notes can be viewed here.
As a partnership, we have produced a Catchment Mapping Portal to summarises the characteristics, current condition and key issues in each of the catchments, as well as mapping where current and previous work has been carried out. From this information, the partnership will agree the strategic priorities and create Catchment Action Plans.
Creating these Catchment Action Plans is an on-going process and they will be updated as more information becomes available. If you have any comments, or your local group, community or organisation would like to be involved then please Contact Us.