A report has been published today by Water UK (13 September) which shows the national risk of drought across England and Wales is significant and growing.
The group which led the work comprised of water companies, regulators and government representatives across England and Wales and was independently peer reviewed by a panel of academic experts.
The Water UK Long Term Water Resources Planning Framework highlights a significant and growing risk of severe drought impacts, arising from climate change, population growth and environmental drivers.
The report advises that immediate action can offer a significant reduction of the potential risks of drought, and that the costs of these measures are relatively moderate against the significant expected benefits. It also suggests a twin-track approach to improve levels of resilience, with supply enhancement alongside demand management initiatives.
The level of population growth is set to be very high in the East compared to other areas of the country, and with levels of annual rainfall that are comparable with Jerusalem and a third of the landmass below sea level, the potential impacts of drought could be much worse in this region.
Jean Spencer, Regulation Director at Anglian Water, chaired the Water UK Steering Group and also is a member of the WRE Leadership group. The WRE project will be closely aligned with the Water UK work, looking at its findings at a local level and bringing partners together to find collaborative solutions to the region’s challenges.