Britain’s Infrastructure ‘Under Threat’ Of Climate Breakdown
Vital infrastructure in Britain, including water utilities, energy networks, transport, communications and other essential services, is under increasing threat from extreme weather and climate breakdown, unless urgent action is taken to protect the country against drought, flooding and heatwaves.
This is according to a new report on resilience from the National Infrastructure Commission, calling on the government to set clear resilience standards for infrastructure operators, as well as bringing in stress tests monitored by regulators, such as those already seen in the financial sector.
The framework sets out six aspects of resilience – anticipate, resist, absorb, recover, adapt and transform – with the aim being to help support change across different sectors.
The evidence base featured in the study was carried out before the pandemic took hold and it is currently too early to fully assess and learn from the crisis. Instead, it focused on flooding incidents in the UK over the years, the wide-scale power outage seen in August last year and the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans back in 2005.
Chair of the Environment Agency and UK commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation Emma Howard Boyd said: “The climate emergency means shocks to the economy from record weather events are following each other with increasing speed.
“Creating more resilient infrastructure, and building back better after a climate-induced shock, doesn’t just reduce risks, it’s an economic opportunity too. This report will help people better understand that opportunity.”
Chair of Resilience First Simon Collins made further comments, saying that businesses the length and breadth of the country are proving how resilient they can be under difficult circumstances, but it’s important to be able to rely on infrastructure to provide the required support to face whatever the future holds.
Businesses worried about how they might continue to operate if disruptions were seen to water supplies in the future can do a lot to protect themselves by prioritising sustainable water stewardship now.
There are various strategies you could consider but perhaps the first step you can take is to have a water audit carried out so you can see if you have any leaks on site. Repairing these will help save lots of water from being wasted – and reduce your water bills at the same time.
You can also reduce your reliance on mains water by setting up a rainwater harvesting system, which stores rainwater that falls on your roof to be reused for toilet flushing and so on, or using recycled greywater (water that has been lightly contaminated through the use of showers).
We all need to play our part when it comes to protecting our precious water resources and there is a lot that can be done. If you’d like to get the ball rolling, get in touch with the team here at H2o Building Services to see how we can help.