One of the key recommendations in the CaBA Chalk stream restoration strategy was the publication of an online resource and data hub for chalk streams. I, for one, strongly felt that a large part of what has held back progress in the rehabilitation of our chalk streams has been a lack of knowledge and data – hence my own website chalk stream.org. Those who care about these rivers have been disenfranchised from the information needed to make arguments, to even join the debate. The relationship between groundwater abstraction and flows, for example, has been kept beyond the reach of the ordinary stakeholder because the figures just aren’t available, and the modelling is complex and inaccessible.
I could make the same point with regard to water quality. In fact, it was the publication of the WWF report Flushed Way in 2017 – brainchild of Rose O’Neill and Kathy Hughes – which brought the sewage scandal to light and compelled the collation of data which can now be used to quantify the issue and catalyse change.
Knowledge is the power to make change and we need knowledge on all sides of the table.
I’m delighted to say that the CaBA chalk stream data hub is now up and running. It is by no means yet a complete set of the data and information that will eventually become available: I hope we will be building it for a long time to come.
The hub can be found HERE
Take a look, for example, at the fascinating, interactive water quality dashboard.
I will post notifications on this blog as and when more data is published.