Forecasting the impact of drought on water resources using seasonal rainfall forecasts

Brown, E. and McBride, A. and Hodgson, R. and Counsell, C. and Almond, S. (2020) Forecasting the impact of drought on water resources using seasonal rainfall forecasts. In: Irish National Hydrology Conference 2020, 17-18 November 2020, Online.

Full text not available from this repository.


Water is considered to be one of the main mechanisms through which people will experience climate change, with the number of people estimated to become exposed to water scarcity projected to increase sharply in the future (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, 2011). Water resource managers in the UK have access to a range of meteorological and hydrological indicators of drought. However, these data are limited in their utility to directly forecast how systems should be managed to reduce impacts on water users. At present, forecasts are typically used in a qualitative manner, with seasonal forecasts not widely used to inform operational or planning decisions. To increase uptake in the use of seasonal forecasts, water resources managers need concise visualisation of the data in a format which can readily be communicated and understood by both their management and customers. This requires inclusion of key historical information and metrics which are used across the industry to assess the current water resources status. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) implements the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) on behalf of the European Union. At the heart of the C3S infrastructure is the Climate Data Store (CDS), which provides information on the past, present, and future climate. We have explored the potential of these data to support UK water companies manage their resources in periods of prolonged dry weather and droughts. We combined C3S data with both operational practices and the latest UK water resources planning developments to provide metrics of value tailored to the needs of water resource managers. This analysis is presented via an app. Our app is currently operational and being updated with new forecast data as they are made available each month. It has been tested and trialled over the summer by three UK water company stakeholders. The App allows users to view and analyse seasonal forecasts and explore how valuable these forecasts are in relation to predicting potential upcoming droughts based on historical performance. Forecasts are put into context against key industry metrics of value and meaning to water resources managers. Verification metrics are presented to help the users understand how well the forecasts have performed in the past. Visualisation of results has been developed in collaboration with industry stakeholders to ensure maximum value.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Floods > General
Water > Water resources
Divisions: Floods
Depositing User: Helen Stevenson
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2020 11:44
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2020 11:44

Actions (for site administrators only - login required)

View Item View Item