Testing the resilience of water supply systems to long droughts

Watt, G. and von Christierson, B. and Hannaford, J. and Lonsdale, K. (2012) Testing the resilience of water supply systems to long droughts. Journal of Hydrology, 414-41. pp. 255-267.

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Public water supply systems are designed to maintain water supply through extended periods of dry weather without excessive cost or environmental damage. During a drought, water suppliers can take further measures to enhance supplies or reduce demand. The introduction of drought measures is usually formalised in a drought plan, but there is often little evidence that the plan will prove successful during a range of feasible droughts. As the climate changes, recent hydrological data may be a poor guide to future drought, and planned actions may prove insufficient to maintain adequate water supplies. This paper describes a method for testing the resilience of water company drought plans to droughts that are outside recent hydrological experience. Long severe droughts of the nineteenth century provide an opportunity to test water supply system behaviour in a range of realistic droughts. The method developed combines system modelling with an interactive approach that asks water system managers to work through the actions that they would take at different stages of the drought, without knowledge of subsequent drought development. The approach was tested for two contrasting English water resource systems. In both cases, the existing water supply and drought planning measures succeeded in maintaining water supply, but significant demand restrictions and engineering measures had to be introduced. Wider use of the method by water supply planners should allow the refinement of drought and water supply plans, and will also create increased awareness of the actions necessary to manage a range of droughts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Water > Climate change
Water > Water resources
Floods > General
Water > General
Divisions: Floods
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email i.services@hrwallingford.com
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 11:15
URI: http://eprints.hrwallingford.com/id/eprint/877

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