People gathered in Totnes on Thursday 12 Sept to join our call to become more water resilient.

We have been restoring and protecting the regions waterways for 25 years and in recognition of this, we hosted our first Water Resilience Summit, in partnership with South Devon’s Bioregional Learning Centre. We aimed to encourage participants to learn more about current, and future, access to water in challenging climate circumstances.

Organiser and head of evidence and engagement at WRT Nick Paling said: “With the Summit, we created an innovative, interactive and inspiring way for people to learn about how they can be more water resilient, now and in the future.

“In recent months, the public debate around climate change has begun to change significantly, with the campaigning activities of David Attenborough, Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strike movement (to name but a few) resulting in a significant increase in the number of people talking about the issue and speculating as to what the impacts might be over the coming years.

“Now, for the first time, people are talking about these potential impacts, not as a challenge that will be faced by future generations or by people in far-flung lands around the world, but as one that we will face in our lifetimes, here in the UK.

“Environmental crisis can make many people feel anxious and at a loss at what they can do to alleviate the problem.

“This open forum enabled more than 120 attendees to talk about their concerns and discuss options and potential solutions with several water-related organisations, professionals and academics.”

The Summit provided insights into how the health of the water environment effects our lives and about the work being undertaken to determine how resilient it, people, communities and businesses are.

It took place during the South Devon Bioregional Learning Centre’s week-long Bioregional Learning Journey, which highlighted how South Devon is building climate resilience across a range of topics such as farming, fishing, urban living, and infrastructure.

WRT is launching its Water Resilient Hub as part of its #BeWatertight campaign to support people in learning more about, and taking action on, water resilience.

The Hub will travel across the South West in the coming months, offering interactive ways for individuals and communities to get involved with caring for their water environments. Contact [email protected] to find out how you could use the Hub as part of your own sustainability projects.

Funding from the EU-funded Interreg 2 Seas Prowater project enabled the Water Resilience Summit to take place.