Living Uplands

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Future innovation required

23rd Nov 2021

Living Uplands had the pleasure of participating in the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival at the end of last month. This four-day festival has become a significant place for exchange of ideas and finding new ways of working, with many topics around water, environment and infrastructure in the North West. It has built momentum to the point where in 2021 it involved around 4000 people, from 40 countries, with people from business, conservation and academia joining across more than 50 events.

Living Uplands was part of a four-day online examination of understanding "Better Land, Better Water" looked at the challenges of how might it be possible to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship across the region between land management and water management.

In addition to contributing to a panel discussion, Living Uplands also made a 'Lightening Presentation. This outlined a the broad lack of fundamental data on ecosystem services beyond basic habitat designations alluding to what ought to be there, and how this constrains an ability to build a detailed biodiversity audit that would be essential to any natural capital assessment.

Within this one event there was a fantastic exchange of ideas across contributors from business, conservation and agencies; a positive exercise that provided a constructive overview of current data deficiencies as well as highlighting the outstanding work going on around the country.

A big thanks to Northumbrian Water for the invitation, and to all those who attended throughout the week. This was a very valuable four days that certainly helped Living Uplands in thinking around some of the issues ahead.

As we approach winter it may seem that water is everywhere, and in some abundance. However, with climate change happening - COP26 was about limiting, not halting change - it is going to be a huge task for us all to assure that the clear water resource of the uplands is sustained and assured in the future.