Water management is defined to a large degree by Directives such as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Floods Directive, and the implementation of UK legislation including the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. Our work includes managing water resources (too much and too little water), water in the wrong place (fluvial, pluvial, coastal, groundwater and other sources of flooding) and water that is in the wrong condition (water quality).
RPA’s work in the water sector involves all aspects associated with assessment and appraisal. This includes identification and assessment of impacts in qualitative, quantitative and monetary terms. We also consider the identification of options to reduce the negative impacts, and to determine how much these options might cost, who might benefit from them and who should pay for them. Our main area of expertise is in developing and applying assessment frameworks and methodologies to better inform decision-making.
Our approaches involve combining qualitative, quantitative and monetary information in order for all impacts (economic, social and environmental) to be taken into account during decision-making in a structured, evidence-based manner. We have a strong reputation for innovative approaches towards assessment, using skills developed in one area of our work to enable us to make assumptions and develop new methods in another area. Our approaches focus on bringing together the evidence to enable ever increasing levels of quantification and monetisation, while still being auditable and transparent by recording all of the assumptions made.
Many of our studies include stakeholder consultation to enable local information to be fed into assessments and appraisals, thus ensuring that outcomes are relevant and appropriate. Such studies (for example, the two Defra coastal Pathfinder projects that we have contributed to) involve working directly with people at risk of coastal flooding. We also develop frameworks and toolkits for water managers including tools to enable those involved in water management to show the benefits of their work to their stakeholders.
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