In Preparation For The Shocks Of A Changing Climate
There’s no escaping the topic of climate change these days – and nor should there be. Discussing such a severe existential threat is a must if we’re to adapt to and mitigate the effects of global warming, protecting both the natural environment and our way of life.
What is now widely accepted by experts all over the world is that the changing climate will bring with it more extreme and more frequent severe weather conditions, although these will vary from country to country… which means that each individual nation and potentially each individual region within that nation will need to find their own specific solutions to the crisis.
In England, more extreme weather events are already being seen more often, with parts of the country seeing both drought and flooding simultaneously. We also saw the driest February in 30 years this year, with the wettest March in 40 years hot on its heels… proof positive that we are no longer able to rely solely on the weather to shore up water supplies.
During its most recent meeting on May 24th, the National Drought Group (NDG) focused on collaboration and how regulators, water companies and the government can work closely together to prepare effectively for the ongoing shocks and erratic weather patterns that we’re likely to see in the future.
Although above average rainfall in April was a welcome relief for a lot of the country, parts of East Anglia and Devon and Cornwall are both still classified as having drought status.
And advice from the Environment Agency now is for water companies to put their drought preparedness plans in order so that they’re ready should drought conditions make a comeback.
The NDG (which is made up of representatives from the government, the Environment Agency, the Met Office, farming and environmental groups and water suppliers) heard during the meeting that collaboration is absolutely key in order to drive environmental improvements and build water resilience so that there is sufficient amounts available for people, wildlife, the environment and agriculture.
John Curtin, NDG chair and chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “This spring’s wet weather continues to improve water availability. But increasingly extreme climate shocks, such as last summer’s hot and dry spell, can change everything in an instant.
“We need to be better prepared for future climate-driven drought, as well as learn from what we have already experienced.That is why government, regulators, water companies and all water users will continue to work together, using the latest science and best practice, to ensure our water resources are prepared for more extreme events in the future.”
Back in May, the NDG issued a statement saying that it is now preparing itself for the worst case scenario of hot and dry conditions come the summertime.
Action is now being taken to manage water resources appropriately to help reduce drought risks, while water companies must now work to reduce water leak rates across their regions, as well as reducing water consumption and improving drought resilience.
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