DRY (Drought Risk & You) Final Conference July 3rd

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Location: UWE Bristol Exhibition and Conference Centre, Filton Rd, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8QZ

Register: Click here

Interdisciplinary explorations in ‘DRY Thinking’ – bringing together stories and science for better decision-making in UK Drought Risk Management

Come and join the ongoing conversation at the final event for DRY (Drought Risk & You) part of About Drought, the UK’s £12m drought and water scarcity research programme.

Drought in the UK is a pervasive, creeping and hidden risk.  How can ‘the hidden’ be revealed and how can science and stories work together, in this process, to support better decision-making in UK drought risk management?

This conference is the next stage in an ongoing dialogue, not only between different disciplines, but also but between researchers and stakeholders.

Over the past five years, DRY has worked with diverse sectors in seven catchments in England, Scotland and Wales – co-researching droughts past and scenario-ing droughts future, with strong attention to thinking about adaptive solutions and behaviours. DRY has explored how science and narrative can be brought together, in different ways and on different scales, to support statutory and non-statutory decision-making of a wide range of stakeholders, the general public and communities.

Core to this research has been a series of ‘creative experiments’, exploring how science can be used as a stimulus for stories and stories as a stimulus for science.  This has included creative scenario-ing of possible drought futures and explorations in how drought might be visualised using science interweaved with storying.

DRY’s interdisciplinary team has involved drought risk scientists (hydrologists, ecologists, agronomists) working with hazard geographers, social science researchers in health and business, along with those working in media and memory, and applied storytelling.

This conference shares themes researched within the DRY project, including how we might:

  • Rethink ‘drought data’ – its hybridity and variations in scale
  • Explore drought values and perceptions that influence behaviours
  • Scenario future drought working with science and narrative
  • Exploring drought cultures within the UK
  • Develop ‘DRY Thinking’ as a process – Drought Risk and You

The conference will be accompanied by the DRY Exhibition, showcasing resources generated by the DRY process, including the DRY Story Bank, the DRY Utility and DRY Action Learning Resources (e.g. around UK Drought Myths in engagement).

Organised by Professor Lindsey McEwen (UWE, Bristol), Emma Weitkamp (UWE, Bristol), Joanne Garde-Hansen (University of Warwick), Antonia Liguori (Loughborough University), Mike Wilson (Loughborough University) and the DRY consortium

For any further information, please email: DRY@uwe.ac.uk

Drought and public water supply

Tuesday 2 July 2019
Location: Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford
Online registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/drought-exchanges-water-supply-registration-63381974191

DROUGHT Exchanges: Water Supply

We invite you to attend this free event to hear about the datasets and findings of the UK Droughts and Water Scarcity research programme that specifically focus on public water supply and the water industry. This event will be of interest to all those involved in managing water resources, from water companies, regulators, consultancies, researchers, and many others.

This workshop follows one held in October 2018, and has the objective of raising awareness of the national and regional datasets available now and forthcoming, report on progress with the research and feedback at the October event, and gain insights on the water industry’s specific needs so we can shape the final outputs. We are very keen that this is a participatory, two way exchange and hope to have your contribution and insights on what data and outputs are of use to your work. You do not need to have attended the October workshop to come to this event in July.

By attending this event, you can:

  • Hear about the programme of research examining the effects of drought and water scarcity in the UK
  • Learn about the datasets, information and findings arising from the research programme, with a specific focus on information of relevance or of interest to public water supply
  • View ‘drought libraries’ that integrate new historical and future hydroclimatic datasets, for stress-testing water supply systems
  • Find out about the hydrological modelling undertaken in the Drought and Water Scarcity programme, and datasets arising, free to use
  • Hear about the latest developments in national-scale risk-based water supply modelling
  • Interact with new prototype real-time drought monitoring and early warning systems
  • Share your work, information and decision-support needs in relation to drought and water scarcity
  • Meet others interested in this subject
  • Discuss the current and forthcoming findings and outputs to ensure its suitability and usefulness for practitioners and regulators in the public

Groundwater supply during droughts workshop

Monday 1 July 2019
Location: Priory Rooms, Birmingham
Registration: Online registration

Aims of the workshop

Groundwater supply during droughts: image of draft programme
Groundwater supply during droughts: draft programme

As part of the UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme funded by NERC, we are planning a one-day workshop for groundwater professionals with an interest in water supply. The workshop will be held at the Priory Rooms in Birmingham on Monday 1 July. The aim of the workshop is to generate evidence and take guidance from the community for the production of two outputs. The first output will be a short policy brief on groundwater drought planning and management in the UK, similar in form to the Houses of Parliament POSTnotes series. The second output will be a longer commentary-style article for the peer-reviewed literature on the current state-of-the-art related to groundwater drought planning and management practices and an assessment of future applied research directions and requirements.


We believe that opportunity to reflect on the status of the UK’s current groundwater drought planning and management practices and on future research needs is timely given a range of recent government and industry initiatives. Reducing the risk of harm to people, the environment and the economy from natural hazards, including drought, is one of the core goals of the Governments’ 25 year plan to improve the environment that was published last year. In England, water supply companies are just completing revisions to their Water Resource Management Plans and Drought Plans and will soon be preparing for the next planning cycle. In addition, over the last couple of years there have been a number of significant technical developments, for example publication of the UKWIR Drought Vulnerability Framework in late 2017; outputs from the NERC-funded UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme, and the opportunities offered by the publication of the UKCP18 data.


We envisage that the workshop will be of interest to a wide range of groundwater and water resource professionals. Such as water company hydrogeologists responsible for groundwater aspects of drought management planning and operational water resource issues (e.g. groundwater resource situation reporting and forecasting); environmental regulators with responsibilities for groundwater resources, such as Environment Agency staff; and, consultants and academics with an interest in groundwater supply and drought.


Registration for the workshop is online and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note places are limited so early registration is encouraged. The draft programme is available to download.
Workshop convenors: Matt Ascott, John Bloomfield and Rob Ward (British Geological Survey)

Contact: Matt Ascott at British Geological Survey email: matta@bgs.ac.uk phone: 01491 69 2408

Draft programme

The draft programme is available as a PDF download: draft programme.

About Drought: Agriculture and ecological impacts

Thursday 7th March 2019, 6.30pm to 8.00pm
Location: The Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, London (Nearest tube: Westminster)
Event organiser: About Drought and BHS
Event type: Meeting
Bookings: No registration is required. No charge.

BHS and About Drought (UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme – ENDOWS Engaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK Drought and Water Scarcity) initiative invite you to this evening discussion of cross-sectoral impacts of drought on agriculture and river ecology.

Prof Ian Holman, Cranfield Water Science Institute

The 2018 drought – lessons for the agricultural sector
2018 was a very challenging year for the agricultural sector. This presentation will review some of the impacts experienced by the agricultural sector last year and consider how lessons from last year can be taken forward to inform increased drought resilience in the sector.

Dr Francois Edwards, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

The ecology of drought in rivers

The presentation will delve into the ecological impacts, resilience and recovery of rivers subject to drought.

There is no charge to attend this meeting and both BHS members and non-members are welcome. No registration is required.

Enquiries: Victoria Crellin (01372) 756813, victoria.crellin@atkinsglobal.com

Seasonal forecasting: Meeting user needs

24 – 25 January 2018
Location: The Link Hotel, Loughborough
Event organiser: British Hydrological Society
Event type: Lecture
Booking: Register for this event

Reliable seasonal forecasts can support planning of water resources for a variety of purposes, including allocation for urban and rural water supply, irrigation scheduling, reservoir operation, routine maintenance of infrastructure, and preparedness for hydro-meteorological extremes. In recent years, improvements have been made in seasonal forecasting skill. However, without translation of these state-of-the-art forecast products into direct, actionable information, little ‘real’ progress can be made. The aim of this workshop is to focus on the seasonal forecast needs of users and practitioners, and to identify ways of improving the dissemination, uptake and operationalisation of seasonal forecasts by the water and agricultural sectors.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • The EFAS seasonal forecasting system (Louise Arnal, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts)
  • Advancing the science behind operational seasonal forecasting: the Hydrological Outlook UK (Jamie Hannaford, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
  • Seasonal forecasting for effective water management on the canal network (David Mould, Canal & River Trust).
  • Seasonal weather forecasts and British farming (Ceris Jones, National Farmers’ Union)
  • The Global Flood Awareness System (Rebecca Emerton, Water @ Reading University)
  • Ensemble projections, scenarios and forecasts: operational assessment of water resources prospects (Richard Davis and Karen James, Environment Agency)
  • Improving seasonal drought forecasting for user-decision making: The IMPETUS, EdGE and ENDOWS projects (Shaun Harrigan, Simon Parry, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)

Abstract submission: Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are welcomed. Please send your abstract (up to 300 words) including title, authors and affiliations to SeasonalForecasting@lboro.ac.uk by Friday 15th December 2017.

For more information, please email SeasonalForecasting@lboro.ac.uk. Please register at: https://www.ice.org.uk/events/seasonal-forecasting-meeting-user-needs.

Co-sponsored by the British Hydrological Society, the RCUK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme, Loughborough University, and Water @ Reading