Organisation: Westcountry Rivers Trust
Location: South West England
Link: Visit Website
The Extended Nutrient Export Coefficient Model (ECM+) has been developed by the University of East Anglia under the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) Programme and part-funded by the Westcountry Rivers Trust.
ECM+ has been developed to predict the effects implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) (Cuttle et al. 2007) will have on sediment, faecal indicator organisms (FIOs), phosphorus and nitrogen inputs into watercourses.
Put simply, the model uses export coefficients for different land-use types to calculate exports of these pollutants based on the following input data:
What makes the ECM+ model such a powerful tool is that it is constructed with the participation of farmers, water company representatives and other stakeholders in the catchment and this allows all of the input data to be ‘ground-truthed’ before it is added into the model. The model is also calibrated at the sub-catchment level with real-world, in-stream measurements of pollutant load derived from Environment Agency monitoring data.
Another important component of the ECM+ model is that, once it has been built, it is then possible to develop and run a number of scenarios with the stakeholders (which can include different blends of both Best Management Practices on farms and improved sewage treatment measures) and observe their effects on the export of pollutants to the watercourse.