Developments in water resources planning in the United Kingdom: balancing bottom-up and top-down approaches

Tsarouchi, G. and McBride, A. and Counsell, C. and Durant, M. (2019) Developments in water resources planning in the United Kingdom: balancing bottom-up and top-down approaches. In: AGU Fall Meeting 2019, 9-13 December 2019, San Francisco, USA.

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Water companies in the United Kingdom are required to produce long-term plans of water resources for their supply area every five years, outlining how they plan to maintain secure and sustainable supplies, taking account of social and environmental impacts as well as economic costs. As a result, the water environment is highly regulated to ensure competing demands are satisfied. A quarter of the population lives in the south-east of the country, with water supplied by six different water companies. This region faces long term challenges of population growth, which is projected to grow at a rate exceeding the national average, and some areas predicted to face water supply deficits in the near future. The recent WaterUK long term planning framework report concluded that large-scale inter-regional transfers of water could offer the best value to securing water resources on a national scale. However, the planning guidelines suggest that the complexity of the water resources planning method applied is proportional to the challenges faced by the individual water company. With the first regional water resource plans programmed for publication in 2022, regional bodies are facing the challenge of amalgamating results from the wide range of methods applied within their region. The absence of a one size fits all approach poses difficulties in assessing and modelling the viability and timing of such schemes. We address how water companies and regional bodies are working together to produce integrated regional water resources and investment models to arrive at optimal solutions. Recent work by HR Wallingford demonstrates the benefits and limitations of such an optimised approach, as well as highlighting the initial challenges of planning a strategic inter-basin water transfer from the perspectives of water companies, regulators, and stakeholders in a region facing some of the most challenging water resources issues in the country.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Water > Water resources
Divisions: Water
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:54
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2020 20:26

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