Adaptation measures for climate change impact – benefits for Flemish Government, water company (Watering van Sint-Truiden), landowners, communities and the environment.

Impact: Environmental Impact, Economic Impact, Societial Impact

Who is affected

• Flemish Government – this can be corroborated through testimonial
• Watering van Sint-Truiden (as the broker who used the information to influence the Flemish Government) – this can be corroborated through a testimonial
• Landowners (farmers) – who continue to received funding for delivering environmental benefits through land-management practices. This can be corroborated by the broker, Watering van Sint-Truiden, potentially also by the Government (who will be showing the value of their investment in the land management scheme)
• Communities – through reduced flooding due to sustainable land management practices. This can potentially be corroborated by both the Flemish Government and Water van Sint-Truiden.


Underpinning research narrativeStrong development of underpinning research, with plenty of ‘firsts’ and novelty in terms of the science. The research itself is laid out in the following key papers undertaken at QUB:1.Climate impacts on soil erosion and muddy flooding at 1.5°C vs 2°C warming. Mullan, D., Matthews, T., Vandaele, K., Barr, I., Swindles, GT., Meneely, J., Boardman, J. & Murphy, C., 30 Oct 2018, In: Land Degradation and Development. p. 1-442.Modelling the effectiveness of grass buffer strips in managing muddy floods under a changing climate. Mullan, D., Vandaele, K., Boardman, J., Meneely, J. & Crossley, L. H., 01 Oct 2016, In: Geomorphology. 270, p. 102-120 19 p.3.Addressing key limitations associated with modelling soil erosion under the the impacts of future climate change. Mullan, D., Favis-Mortlock, D. & Fealy, R., 2012, In: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 156, p. 18-30 13 p.Other papers of less direct relevance to the impact can also be included here. Working relationship with water company ‘Watering van Sint-Truiden’ since 2011, and particularly with their Erosion Coordinator (Vandaele), who is included in joint publications. This is an important part of the narrative, and leads into the subsequent impacts. Impact details Watering van Sint-Truiden is a public administration that contributes to the realisation of integral water management within its area of responsibility. Watering is also the driving force behind the Inter-administrative Cooperation Land & Water and is host to the Provincial Support Center Land & Water. The agency coordinates land management in the area, and acts as an honest broker between the Flemish Government, and the landowners of the area (mainly farmers). In 2018 the Flemish Government had planned to implement a policy decision cutting approximately 20M Euro of funding for land management – a decision that would have impact severely on farmer income, and provision of ecosystem services through the system of land management that had been established and funded since 1998.Acting as a broker between landowners (farmers) and government, Watering van Sint-Truiden used the QUB research outlined in papers 1 and 2 (above) to make the case that the 20M Euro funding was crucial to successful land management outcomes. This was successful, and as a result the funding has continued, resulting in sustainable management of the land, and continuation of farmer income stream (for delivering environmental benefits and a range of ecosystem services for surrounding communities).
Impact statusIn preparation
Impact date20122019
Category of impactEnvironmental Impact, Economic Impact, Societial Impact
Impact levelBenefit