A reliable water supply is fundamental to human health and wellbeing – water availability is already under pressure from factors such as population growth and land-use change. Without adaptation measures, climate change will intensify this pressure, leading to an increase in the demand for water and a reduction in the availability of supplies.
- reduction in river flows and ground water levels, limiting sustainable abstraction of water
- limited water supplies, particularly in south-east England and the Midlands
- failure of the sewage and surface water run-off systems during extreme rainfall events
- flooding of water industry assets.
Water companies are working to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change – complex interdependencies with other sectors must be understood and addressed to ensure adaptation measures are appropriate.
- ARCC-Water – assessing future water supply systems and adaptation options taking account of environmental sustainability, energy costs and public acceptability (focussed on south and east of England).
- DOWNPIPE – adaptation of property drainage systems to cope with predicted changes in high-intensity rainfall events with implications for flood management.
- Liveable Cities – delivering global and societal well-being through radical engineering solutions, while adhering to a low-carbon, resource secure future.
- MaRIUS – developing a risk-based approach to managing drought and water scarcity in the UK, the project aims to understand drought impacts from household through to institutional level.