Dealing with Climate Change

Appropriate consideration of the implications of climate change is a critical component of effective water resources planning.

 

The impact of climate change on water resources is a complex issue, and requires a sound scientific approach which recognises the uncertainties inherent in any predictions. Future climate predictions are available for a range of national and international sources based on the outputs of global circulation models. UK based data include the UKCP09 datasets provided by the Met Office, and outputs of the Environment Agency Future Flows project.

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We have a strong track record in combining climate predictions from these recognised sources with robust quantitative hydrogeological and hydrological skills to assess potential impacts of climate change to water resources on a regional and source (deployable output) scale. A range of predictions can be applied to analytical or numerical modelling techniques to aid water companies plan and adapt to various potential future climates, allowing the risk to both water sources and critical infrastructure to be understood and mitigated.

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We have undertaken climate assessment for several of the UK’s water companies, including for all of United Utilities groundwater assets, Three Valleys Water (now Affinity Water), and across the London Basin and North Downs aquifers for Thames Water. As part of these assessments, we also examined the impact of simulated changes in water levels on source deployable output. Informative results were achieved by examining deployable output curves and manipulating these according to groundwater level changes predicted by the numerical and analytical models. The process enabled us to deliver predicted changes in deployable output by resource zone, enabling the water companies to assess the vulnerability of these to climate change and plan appropriately.

Please contact us for more information about Dealing with Climate Change.