Water System Resilience (ARCC-Water)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

Reliable water supply is fundamental to human health and wellbeing, and in the UK is underpinned by inter-linked infrastructure for abstraction, storage, treatment and conveyance of potable and wastewater. Climate change has the potential to affect the UK water system in a number of ways: through changes in the water available for abstraction and storage, especially through altered drought frequency and intensity, changes in demand and changing risk of infrastructure failure.This project aims to develop a set of analysis tools and data on climate change and future demand that will enable users to identify packages of options that results in heightened reslience of the UK water system to these uncertain future drivers. The multi-criteria approach to be developed will also allow alternative adaptation options to be assessed against other criteria, such as environmental sustatinability, energy costs and public acceptability.The focus of the study is South and East England, an area that is already experiencing water system stress, and likely to be subject to additional stresses in the future due to climate change and demographic changes.The methods and results of this research will enable the UK to better plan for adaptation of the water system to climate change, and will help identify the polciy and regulatory changes that would be needed for adaptation to take place.The project has been designed in collaboration with stakeholders from government (DEFRA, EA, OFWAT, GLA), the water industry (UKWIR, Water UK and a number of water companies) and NGOs with an interest in water. These same stakeholders will be involved throughout the project as project partners.

Publications


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Hoang L (2016) Water resource vulnerability: simulation and optimisation models in Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability

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Hoang, L (2012) Uncertainty analysis of an integrated water system in southern England: exploring physical and socio-economic uncertainties in Proceeding of the 6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Leipzig, Germany

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Hoang,L (2012) Robust adaptation for water resource systems: a case study of drought planning under deep uncertainty in Proceeding of the 10th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, Hamburg, Germany






Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/G061181/1 01/09/2009 11/01/2012 £82,107
EP/G061181/2 Transfer EP/G061181/1 12/01/2012 11/05/2013 £32,538
 
Description We have developed new and improved research methods to enable long-term water resources planning under deep uncertainty. The future is inherently uncertain because of climate, socio-economic and regulatory changes. Our research involved the integration of a cascade of uncertainty on water resource planning including: climate uncertainty, climate post-processing uncertainty, hydrological uncertainty, water resource model uncertainty and demand uncertainty. The research was applied to a water resource zone in Sussex in collaboration with Southern Water and Atkins. We found that post-processing uncertainty is the dominant uncertainty until the 2030s, but by the 2050s demand and socio-economic uncertainty becomes the dominant uncertainty. Despite the large climate post-processing uncertainty, the main hotspots of water deficits remains similar across the climate products and are driven by network bottlenecks and the continually high dependence of the system on water sources around the Hardham area. The research also indicates that inter-regional transfers might not be as reliable as assumed.
Exploitation Route The findings and research methods need to be digested, embraced and adjusted by water regulators (e.g., the Environment Agency and Ofwat) and other stakeholders (water companies, consultancies, etc.). These types of methods need to be applied more widely (e.g., in other sectors) to assess their wider utility for long-term planning under deep uncertainty.
Sectors Environment,Other
URL http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/5567/1/PhDThesis_LanNHoang2013.pdf
 
Description Southern Water and Atkins have used our findings to inform the company's Water Resources Management Plan 2015-40.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Environment,Other
Impact Types Societal,Economic
 
Description Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Firth Assessment Report (AR5)
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/
 
Description Member of the IPCC's Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.shtml#tabs-4
 
Description Member of the UKCP09 (formerly known as UKCIP08) User Panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/
 
Description How do UK streamflow projections compare with recent observations?
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EPSRC 03/10 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2010 
End 03/2011
 
Description Public perceptions of drought and climate change in Southern England
Amount £48,120 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/G041040/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2009 
End 09/2012
 
Description University of Exeter Climate Change and Sustainable Futures studentship
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Exeter 
Department Climate Change and Sustainable Futures
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2010 
End 12/2013
 
Title Robust decision analysis 
Description The tool/framework provides an integrated approach to assess the impacts of climate change uncertainty on adaptation decisions via the use of robust simulation and optimisation combining with adaptation pathway assessment. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The tool has been applied to the research project to demonstrate the dominant role of climate change products on the final adaptation decisions. 
 
Title Robust decision analysis 
Description The model was an integrated model utilising GAMS and VB.NET to analyse complex climate and hydrological data for adaptation decisions 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The model contributes towards understanding of how uncertainty cascades from model to model and their implications for adaptation decision 
 
Description HR Wallingford 
Organisation HR Wallingford Ltd
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We contributed to the research project and tools developed at HR Wallingford
Collaborator Contribution They provided data and advice to develop an analysis methodology
Impact produced a water resources model based on a tool of HR Wallingford
Start Year 2009
 
Description Southern Water 
Organisation Southern Water
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborated with Southern Water and Atkins Ltd. to work on one of Southern Water's water resource zone and helped explore the uncertainty associating with climate change impacts
Collaborator Contribution provided data and advice for the research
Impact produced an analysis methodology specific to the study area but also applicable to other sites.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Southern Water 
Organisation WS Atkins
Department Atkins Asset Management
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborated with Southern Water and Atkins Ltd. to work on one of Southern Water's water resource zone and helped explore the uncertainty associating with climate change impacts
Collaborator Contribution provided data and advice for the research
Impact produced an analysis methodology specific to the study area but also applicable to other sites.
Start Year 2009
 
Title Robust Decision Analysis tool 
Description The software can take climate and hydrological data to produce analysis on failures and robustness of water resources systems, based on a combination of simulation and opimisation techniques. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact The software led to a more comprehensive analysis of uncertainty impacts on adaptation decisions 
 
Description World Bank workshop on Decision Making under Uncertainty 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presented a talk on Robust Decision Analysis, which sparked questions and discussion afterwards

Some delegates shown interest in the methodology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013