Several academic institutions are involved in CaBA working both within partnerships on specific issues and more broadly through the development and application of predictive models, research software and innovative monitoring techniques.

CaBA provides a large and diverse end-user community in which to apply, refine and develop these academic tools, whilst the partnerships themselves directly benefit from their use through an improved understanding of the pressures impacting their catchments and better identification of the most appropriate solutions. This collaboration also helps to identify knowledge gaps in the scientific understanding of a range of catchment issues, stimulating new avenues of research.

Examples of academic engagement in CaBA include; knowledge exchange across partnerships with respect to natural flood risk management, driven by a Natural Environment Research Council Programme; the widespread application of Scimap, a tool developed by Durham University, to predict soil erosion risk and proven to be a very useful means of farmer engagement and; application of a sediment fingerprinting technique by Southampton University to identify the sources of sediment in a catchment. See some examples below.


SCIMAP is a risk-mapping framework designed to identify where in the landscape diffuse pollution is most likely to be originating.

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Sediment fingerprinting

Sediment fingerprinting technology relies upon identifying significant differences in the chemical properties of soil from different sediment sources.

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Natural Flood Risk Management Modelling

The Rivers Trust uses modelling to quantify the potential impact of NFM on peak flows in four of the Defra Pioneer catchments, by working with JBA and Lancaster University.

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