Climate change-induced water shortages: improving decision-making in an uncertain future

Harris, Christopher Nicholas (2014). Climate change-induced water shortages: improving decision-making in an uncertain future. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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An innovative approach to translating probabilistic UKCP09 weather generator information into a usable and replicable risk-based climate change impacts assessment and a basis for robust adaptation planning in the England and Wales water sector is described. Applying metrics of risk in the form of crossing control curves at a reservoir, quantitative assessments of the extent to which a Water Resource Zone (WRZ) can be considered robust to climate change-induced water shortages given the application of adaptations options are made. It is shown in a case study of the North Staffordshire WRZ that in its current set-up, the system cannot be deemed robust to climate change from the 2030s onwards. Applying demand and supply-side adaptation options to the WRZ increases the robustness of the system to varying extents. The approach used shows that it is possible to make decisions on how the WRZ can be made robust to future conditions by identifying key metrics of risk, and applying an acceptable probability of not satisfying that risk in the future. Furthermore, a novel analysis of two sources of uncertainty involved in climate change assessments is produced in terms of water shortage probability for the first time, and two downscaling techniques are assessed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering


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