CM1 The River
The first Community Modelling project focussed on analysing nutrient levels in Salmons Brook in East London a tributary to the River Lea. Water quality is a long-term problem in this area and it has attracted discussion in the scientific literature. One example is a 2004 article in Hydrology and Earth Systems Science (Snook, D. and Whitehead, P.G. (2004) A Review of Water Quality and Ecology of the River Lee, in 2013 the issue was addressed by Deborah Patroncini in a PhD thesis.
The River Lea is a tributary to the river Thames and it is an important part in London's water supply system. The Lea is also of historical interest as it has played an important role in the industrial past of London.
The Lea became a focus of interest in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012 because it runs through the Olympic Park and had to be considered in the construction of the Olympic venues. The re-generation of East London associated with the Olympics has prompted the development of the Lea as an urban green space with public access. New housing development also makes the Lea more visible in the urban landscape and brings new residents to the river.
Thames 21 East has a programme with staff and volunteers focussing on the Lea doing different projects and arranging public events. Some projects address water quality through river restoration efforts, creating new structures that capture pollutants, removing them from the watercourse. In Salmons Brook one such project organised volunteers in the construction of three new wetlands.