Risk Aqua Soil

Atlantic Risk Management Plan in water and soil

Our Soils MATTER film highlights the importance and diversity of soils, and how their health impacts upon all of our lives. Healthy soils have a positive impact on food production, air quality, water quality, carbon sequestration, climate mitigation, flooding and so much more. 

Made for The Westcountry Rivers Trust by Filmmaker Justin Owen

Risk Aqua Soil aims to build resilience in our catchments and adapt to the impacts of climate change (in terms of increased flooding, drought and water pollution). It is is an EU INTERREG Atlantic Arc project supported by Euorpean Regional Development Funds.

Due to the geographic position bordering the Atlantic ocean the Atlantic Area has high exposure to climate change. Increased intensity and frequency of storms, drought and flooding, altered hydrological cycles and precipitation variance have implications for the agriculture landscape. There are huge uncertainties in the way climate change will directly and indirectly affect agricultural and food systems.

Since the landscape in the Atlantic Area is predominantly agricultural, and due to the high dependence of this sector to the climate variability, a transnational approach was set up to work on the following topics:

  1. Climate change effect on soil management: soil erosion, compaction and desertification have been pointed out as other key threats of the Atlantic natural resources.
  2. Climate change effect on water management: river floods have severely affected some of the Atlantic territories in recent years and in other regions droughts have drastically increased.
  3. Lack of local community involvement and skills in risk management and climate change adaptation: in most of the European countries damage compensation systems do not foresee the participation of local communities when applying these compensating measures.  Moreover, increasing the adaptive capacity of farmers and systems, both to recover from shocks and to be prepared for changes is crucial.

The project aspires to strengthen the resilience and planning of the Atlantic regions to natural disasters and the consequences of climate change in rural and agricultural areas.
Locally the Trust will be piloting catchment resilience actions and installing high resolution monitoring so the community can see live data about the state of their river.

The project utilises links with the University of Plymouth through a PhD on the water quality acid water flushes coming from the moors as well as a technical PhD with the University of Cardiff to set up high resolution monitoring.



As part of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy, INTERREG Atlantic Area supports transnational cooperation projects in 37 Atlantic regions of five countries: France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, contributing to the achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion. The Programme overall objective is to implement solutions to answer to regional challenges in the fields of innovation, resource efficiency, environment and cultural assets, supporting regional development and sustainable growth


See some examples of our #RiskAquaSoil social media posts below. Follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date.

Visit Devon & Cornwall Soils Alliance to find out about this soils advice and support project.