People sitting around a table in a council meeting room

Modelling and Adapting

Blue Heart project partners swapped their usual places of work – from flooded ditches, spare bedrooms or open offices – for the more formal Council Chamber at Eastbourne Town Hall. The aim of the day was to share and review the computer modelling work taking place behind the scenes. And to consider how we leave a positive legacy when the project ends.

Colleagues from JBA Consulting combined data from project partners and other organisations to create an ‘integrated’ digital model of the Blue Heart project area. This is an important step as, in the past, different organisations have monitored specific kinds of water – rivers or sewers for example. However, we’ve not had a tool to bring them all together. We know that climate change is altering our weather patterns and making severe and sudden rainfall, for example, more common. That means we need to understand the increased likelihood of surface water flooding, and how that water will interact with existing water sources.

Integration At Work

We now have a more holistic digital representation of the area which can then be tested with different scenarios to see what might happen in the future – with climate change, new developments, or changes to the way the water is managed.

At the meeting, partners were asked to have a look at the model and use their in-depth knowledge of particular areas to assess whether the work so far is accurate.

The Blue Heart Role

In the afternoon, we explored how the Blue Heart project fits into the national picture of adapting to climate change, recognising that its impact will only increase, and affect all areas of life. Our approach therefore needs to be collaborative across organisations, sectors and specialisms; interconnected and holistic; looking beyond individual issues such as flooding in isolation. Our starting point was to respond to the six key elements of the (as then unpublished) Third National Adaptation Programme, NAP3, in which the government sets out the actions that government and others will take to adapt to the impacts of climate change from 2023 to 2028.

The report has now been published: