Strategic analysis of the drought resilience of water supply systems

Anna Murgatroyd*, Helen Gavin, Olivia Becher, Gemma Coxon, Doug Hunt, Emily Fallon, Jonny Wilson, Gokhan Cuceloglu, Jim W. Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Severe droughts can result in shortages of water supplies, with widespread social and economic consequences. Here we use a coupled simulation model to assess the reliability of public water supplies in England, in the context of changing scenarios of water demand, water regulation and climate change. The coupled simulation model combines climate simulations, a national-scale hydrological model and a national-scale water resource systems model to demonstrate how extreme meteorological droughts translate into hydrological droughts and water shortages for water users. We use this model to explore the effectiveness of strategic water resource options that are being planned in England to secure water supplies to most of England's population up to a drought return period of 1 in 500 years. We conclude that it is possible to achieve a 1-in-500-years standard in locations where strategic resource options are used, while also reducing water abstraction to restore the aquatic environment. However, the target will be easier to achieve if effective steps are also taken to reduce water demand.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20210292
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2238
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported in this paper was undertaken as part of the National System Simulation Model project, funded by England's Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID). It is also based upon research conducted as part of NERC project NE/L010364/1: MaRIUS: Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of droughts and water Scarcity. Acknowledgements

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors.


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