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The Water Resources Sector (Phase 1 report to the National Climate Change Risk Assessment)

By Nick Reynard

Abstract

The Environment Agency’s Water Resources Strategy (March 2009) states: \ud \ud “Climate change will affect the amount of rain that supports river flows and replenishes groundwater, and when it does so it will also influence the demand for water and its quality, as well as the way land is used – all of which will put pressure on water resources.”\ud \ud This statement summarises the often conflicting pressures on the management of the water resources system and the additional stress that climate change could place on this. However, the UK water resources sector is undoubtedly one of the more advanced sectors in terms of addressing the potential consequences of future climate change. Indeed, it is virtually unique world-wide in explicitly incorporating climate change into the water resource management process. Both the water industry and regulators have a sound understanding of the potential risks and have provided quantitative evidence of the potential climate-change risks to their business. This understanding has fed into methodologies for incorporating climate change within water resources planning, for both water supply and demand, for the last three Periodic Reviews. These include guidelines from regulators on appropriate methods and data sources and the results of climate change modelling within water company plans.\ud \ud While the majority of the quantitative work has focused on water supply, the water resources sector also needs to understand the potential risks to water demand and water quality, and some quantification of the potential risk to these from climate change have been considered within water resources planning.\u

Topics: Meteorology and Climatology, Hydrology
Publisher: Defra
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:10272
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