Clara Todd, Water Sensitive Cambridge

How can we change our relationship to water? How can we build little pockets and corridors for nature and water to move through the city?” – Clara Todd

Clara is a regenerative economist, water advocate and permaculturist with Water Sensitive Cambridge.

Clara co-founded Water Sensitive Cambridge with three other Cambridge residents after talking about how water could be managed differently. The group builds awareness and action to support the urban water cycle. For example, the group makes rain gardens using existing green spaces to put water into the ground instead of the drain. This supports trees, reduces surface flooding, and cleans the water when it does find its way to the river. Clara takes inspiration from many groups and individuals who bring the arts, sciences and economics together for restorative projects around water.

Clara believes the community has a central role in making more places for nature in our neighbourhoods. Taking action can start with just observing what’s happening nearby, and accepting that we are all part of the ecosystem. We can all contribute to making our city a better place to live, with a better relationship with water. For example, each of our waterways that thread their way through Cambridge have their own name and story. Clara has found just following a waterway to find where it goes will lead to special places. And just like these waterways, we each have our own paths, and our unique ways of contributing to what’s around us. We are all learning, and we are all in it together. Despite all the challenges, life persists. We can still find these beautiful clear springs and brooks, and that gives Clara hope, to see life continuing and adapting. Across the world, others are restoring groundwater, reducing flood risk and bringing more nature into cities. It’s possible there, so why not here?