LAWPRO host a community information meeting in each Priority Area for Action before fieldwork begins in an area. The meeting serves a number of purposes and is open to all to attend, but is primarily an awareness meeting about the work that is planned in order to better understand the deterioration in water quality in that PAA, and also to collate any information attendees may have in particular where they are aware of pressures on their local waters. Meetings are advertised in local newspapers; on the LAWPRO website and social media pages; by the Public Participation Network, and agencies and local authorities working in the water area are also made aware of the schedule of planned meetings.
Network, and agencies and local authorities working in the water area are also made aware of the schedule of planned meetings.
The meeting opens with an overview of LAWPRO, who we are and why we were set up, and gives a flavour of the work our Community Water Officers undertake. Some of the projects that are ongoing in the area or in the county will be outlined, and attendees are invited to contact the CWO with any ideas they may have for future projects. Funding sources for projects are also outlined such as our own Community Water Development Fund. This is following by a presentation from the Catchments Team. The Catchments Team provide an overview of the water quality status in the PAA, a focus on the geographical areas we will be covering in our assessments and outlines how we undertake our surveys. In advance of the meeting, an extensive data collation and analysis exercise to try to understand as much as possible, all aspects of the water environment in a given PAA is undertaken, and summaries from this work can be found here. This includes a review of water quality information from a multitude of sources, plus a review of spatial mapping such as soils, geology, land use, pressures modelling, aerial imagery etc. The main findings from this work are shared at the meeting.
When both presentations are complete, the discussions begin and questions the attendees have are answered where possible or we take note of queries and revert to them at a later stage. The discussions generally continue over tea and coffee, where there is more time to talk one to one with members of the LAWPRO team and also look at water quality maps that are available in large scale at the meeting. Phone numbers are often exchanged and the start of many projects can often originate from such meetings.
A schedule of future meetings is available here