Wednesday, 11th July 2012
Climate change – is the UK preparing for flooding and water scarcity?
Source: Committee on Climate Change (UK)
From the Foreword:
During the first six months of 2012, the country suffered first from too little water, and then from too much water: drought followed by flooding. The year started with a second dry winter in a row. This together with an unusually hot and dry March caused drought conditions in many parts of England. Seven water companies imposed hose-pipe bans, affecting more than 20 million customers.
This was followed by the wettest spring (April – June) on record. Many parts of the country were affected by flash-flooding. Rivers burst their banks and roads turned to rivers as a result of surface runoff, after some areas saw a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. This led to serious flooding of at least 1,200 properties from Sussex in the south of the country to Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire further north. The news reports underlined the devastating impact of these floods on people’s lives and livelihoods.
It is not possible to attribute current weather events to climate change. However, the latest climate models tell us that extremes of the kind seen this year are likely to become more common in the future. The Government’s Climate Change Risk Assessment, published earlier this year, identified increasing frequency of floods and increased pressure on water resources as two of the most significant climate risks facing the country now and in the future.
The Adaptation Sub-Committee has analysed how well the country is preparing for these key climate risks. In this report we use national indicators to show that the country has become more exposed to future flood risk through continued development in the floodplain and paving over of front gardens. At the same time, climate change combined with population growth is likely to increase the risk of water scarcity.
+ Direct link to Report (PDF; 2 MB)
+ Interactive Version (PDF; 7.6 KB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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