Towards risk-based water resources planning in England and Wales under a changing climate


The publication of the UKCP09 climate change projections for the United Kingdom provides the opportunity for more rigorous inclusion of climate change uncertainty in water resources planning. We set out how the current approach to incorporating climate change and other uncertainties in water resources planning may be updated to incorporate the UKCP09 projections. In an uncertain future, the frequency with which customers will experience water shortages cannot be predicted for sure, so a water company cannot predict definitely whether it will or will not fulfil its Level of Service commitments. We therefore go on to propose that the probability of failing to meet Level of Service (for given populations of customers) provides an appropriate metric of risk, which conveniently summarises the uncertainties associated with supply and demand, including climate change uncertainties. We sketch out how this risk metric can be calculated based upon simulation modelling of the water resource system.

Water and Environment Journal
Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Professor of Climate and Environmental Risk

Prof. Jim Hall FREng is Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the University of Oxford and Director of Research in the School of Geography and the Environment.