Aquatic Management of Catchments for Health and Environment

Project Details


Aquatic Management of Catchments for Health and Environment (AquaManche) was a cross-border initiative, supported by the Interreg IVA France (Channel) England Programme, which set out to deliver practical tools to improve prediction, mitigation and management of river and coastal waters in the France (Channel) - England region. The project focused on four river catchments – the Yealm (Devon), Ouse (East Sussex), Mignonne (Brittany) and Ay (Normandy).

The research project aimed to improve our understanding of risk prediction, pollution prevention and our ability to respond to wastewater and agricultural pollution of surface waters in the region and provide a public resource for rational risk prediction, pollution prevention and response to wastewater and agricultural pollution of surface waters in the region.

The aims of the AquaManche project were met through four primary objectives:

Sound science:

The France (Channel) – England Interreg IVA region contains four institutions with an international reputation in the field of microbial source tracking. The project enabled these four partners to work closely together through the creation of a cross-border centre of scientific excellence. This fostered quality research through partner peer review exchange and sharing of expertise at all stages of the project.

Knowledge transfer:

The project promoted cross-fertilisation and cross-border mobility of research expertise through the exchange of both senior and early-career scientists between partner institutions for training purposes. Open dissemination of project design and findings were promoted through a bilingual project web site, presentation at appropriate international conferences, and publication in high quality international research journals, appropriate environmental management trade publications and

Practical solutions to regional problems:

The project enabled the partners to develop and apply effective and practical tools from current ‘research level’ techniques. Techniques used by each partner underwent thorough testing during the initial Action of Phase 2. During a second Action, river catchment studies on the Yealm (Devon), Ouse (East Sussex), Mignonne (Brittany) and Ay (Normandy) were combined, with MST methods and established environmental modelling techniques (such as agro-hydrologic and hydrodynamic models and GIS) to support aquatic risk management in the cross-border region.

Public participation:

RiskManche included a variety of interactive events in France and the UK that were designed to stimulate debate on water pollution issues between scientists and the stakeholder groups in the region.
University of Brighton; Université de Caen, Basse Normandie; EA National Laboratory Service, Starcross; IFREMER

Key findings

AquaManche brought together the research expertise of several French and UK institutions in the cross-border region and laid the foundation for a regional approach to monitoring and predicting waterborne disease hazards.
1.Development and validation of host- specific MST markers2.Application to river catchment (watershed) studies: The Ouse (Sussex), The Realm (Devon), L'Ay (Nomandy), La Mignonne (Bittany)  3. Modelling4. Public participation
It led to the subsequent RiskManche project in the following years.

Microbial source tracking methods used in AquaManche> University of Brighton:  Detection and enumeration of somatic coliphages and bacteriophages infecting source specific species of Bacteroides> University of Caen Basse-Normandie: Genetic screening of E. faecalis strains using PCR with oligonucleotides in order to amplify specific fragments of DNA to discriminate human, bovine and ovine sources> Environment Agency (England and Wales): Development of QMST methods targeting Bacteroidales host-specific 16S rRNA gene markers specific to human, pig and ruminants by qPCR> IFREMER: Identification of host-specific clusters of Bacteroidales 16S rRNA genes from human and animal faeces and effluents; Development of QMST methods targeting F-specific RNA bacteriophage

Outputs and outreach
AquaManche stakeholder event flyer May 2012 (English)
AquaManche stakeholder event Brighton May 2012 (English)
Introduction to Microbial Source Tracking (English)
Experiences from the River Yealm catchment, Devon (English)
Experiences from the River Ouse catchment, Sussex (English)
Experiences from the River Daolas, Brittany (English)
Experiences from the River l'Ay catchment, Normandy (English)
Public participation initiatives in the River Ouse catchment, Sussex (English)
Presentation on Rivers Adur and Ouse (UK Environment Agency) (English)
Aquamanche Annual Report 2010 (English)
Newsletter July 2009
AquaManche broader impacts and global networks> The ‘International Collaboratory for Sewage’ Collaborations with Stanford University, California> Possible European COST network> Informing EU environment policy
Short titleAquaManche
Effective start/end date1/01/0931/12/12


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