Report back from Drought & Water Scarcity Conference

Drought and Water Scarcity: addressing current and future challenges, International Conference

View presentations below

This international event was held at Pembroke College, University of Oxford over 20-21 March 2019.

Speakers from around the world gathered to present and discuss their research on drought and water scarcity.  There was an impressive range of data, topics, in-depth knowledge and communication insights which demonstrated the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of research into drought and water scarcity.

Delegates heard that drought and water scarcity are expected to become more severe due to the influence of climate change and pressure on water resources from economic and demographic changes.  The impacts of this affects hydrology, agriculture and farming, industry and communities.  Water and the lack of water effects every aspects of society and the environment, and the lack of water has profound consequences.

You can see the full programme here.

A number of the oral and poster presenters have kindly given permission to share their work.  You can access the presentations by clicking on the links below.

 

Presentations available to view

 

Amanda Fencl, University of California, Davis – “Interconnections between Research on Groundwater, Drought and Climate Change

Anne van Loon, Birmingham University – “Drought in the Anthropocene: vulnerability & resilience

Antonia Liguori, Loughborough University – “Learning around ‘storying water’ to build an evidence base to support better decision-making in UK drought risk management

Ayilobeni Kikon, National Institute of Technology Karnataka – “Application of Optimized Machine Learning Technique in Drought Forecasting Using SPI

Caroline King, CEH; co-authored with Daniel Tsegai, Programme Officer, UNCCD Secretariat – “A review of methods for drought impact and vulnerability assessment

Cedric Laize, TBI & GeoData Institute – “Relationship between a drought-oriented streamflow index and a series of riverine biological indicators

Christopher Nankervis, Weather Logistics Ltd – “Use of Copernicus seasonal climate forecast model data to improve the accuracy of long-term forecasts: the UK Summer Rainfall Insights project.”

Daniela Anghileri, University of Southampton – “Strengthening research capabilities for addressing water and food security challenges in sub-Saharan Africa

Emma Cross, Environment Agency – “The 2018 heatwave; its impacts on people and the environment in Thames Area

Elizabeth Brock, Met Office; Katherine Smart, Anglian Water – “Re-analysis of historical events using up to date extreme value techniques, to determine the return period of historical and stochastic droughts, with particular reference to ‘severe’ or 1 in 200 year return period events

Feyera A. Hirpa, Ellen Dyer, Rob Hope, Daniel O. Olago, Simon J. Dadson, University of Oxford – “Finding sustainable water futures in the Turkwel River basin, Kenya under climate change and variability

Fiona Lobley, Environment Agency – “2018 dry weather and its impacts; looking ahead to 2019

Frederick Otu-Larbi, Lancaster University – “Modelling the effects of drought stress on photosynthesis and latent heat fluxes.

Granville Davies and Miranda Foster, Yorkshire Water – “Water resources in Yorkshire, UK in 2018: drought management, perception and communication

Harry West, University of the West of England, Bristol – “Examining spatial variations in the utility of SPI as a 3-month-ahead environmental drought indicator

Henny van Lanen, Wageningen University & Research – “The 2018 NW European Drought: warnings from an extreme event

Katherine Smart, Anglian Water; Elizabeth Brock, Met Office – “Re-analysis of historical events using up to date extreme value techniques, to determine the return period of historical and stochastic droughts, with particular reference to ‘severe’ or 1 in 200 year return period events

Kerstin Stahl, Freiburg – “Customizing drought indices to improve drought impact monitoring and prediction

Kevin Grecksch, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford – “Achieving water efficiency through social norms in the public sector

Len Shaffrey, NCAS, University of Reading – “Has climate change increased the chance of events like the 1976 North West European drought occurring?”

Lucy Barker, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology – “How severe were historic hydrological droughts in the UK? Insights from a systematic characterisation and ranking of events back to 1891

Mark Smith, Hydro-Logic Services (International) Ltd – “Recent trends in water resources planning and management, and the rising importance of planning processes in reflecting the ‘consequences’ of relevance and interest to customers and stakeholders

Massimiliano Pasqui, CNR – “A customizable drought monitoring and seasonal forecasting service to support different users’ needs

Matt Fry, CEH – “The Historic Droughts Inventory: an accessible archive of past drought impact information for the UK from diverse documentary sources

Miranda Foster and Granville Davies, Yorkshire Water – “Water resources in Yorkshire, UK in 2018: drought management, perception and communication

Mike Morecroft, Natural England – “Drought impacts on the natural environment and lessons for climate change adaptation

Nikos Mastrantonas, CEH – “Drought Libraries for enhanced resilience in long term water resource planning in the UK

Paul Whitehead, University of Oxford – “Impacts of climate change on water quality affecting upland and lowland rivers, wetlands and delta systems

Peter Anthony Cook, NCAS-Climate, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading – “Variations in the West African Monsoon from reanalysis and model results

Peter Kettlewell, Harper Adams University – “Mitigating drought impact on crop yield by applying film-forming polymers

Rob Wilby, Loughborough – “Challenging the mantra of wetter-winters, drier summers in the UK

Ruth Langridge, University of California, Santa Cruz – “Groundwater management in planning for drought: experience from California, USA

Sandra Santos, Wageningen University – “Improving institutional frameworks integrating local initiatives from communities exposed to drought and water scarcity in Ecuador

Stephen McGuire, SEPA – “Assessing the impacts of water scarcity in Northeast Scotland through the summer of 2018.”

Wiza Mphande, Harper Adams University – “Elucidating Drought Mitigation with Antitranspirants in Spring Wheat

 

DRY Weather and an allotment – what would you do on the allotment with less water?

Wed 23 May 2018, 10:00 – 16:00
Location: UWE Frenchay, BS16 1QY
Event organiser: UWE
Event type: Public workshop
Booking: Register online

The workshop will be hosted by the NERC DRY (Drought Risk and You) project, the National Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association (NSALG) and About Drought (knowledge exchange about drought).

Background: In the DRY project, we are keen to work with different groups who may be able to give early warning of dry conditions in their communities and who are already aware of when there is a lack of rain and when the soils are dry. Allotment holders are one such group. We are also interested in different ways of using water in growing food (e.g. across cultures) and the seasonal demands that different crops have for water.

Aims and outcomes:

At this workshop, we will:

  • share story and videos developed with allotment holders and Allan Cavell, NSALG in the DRY (Drought Risk and You) project.
  • ask ‘What if’ for different drought risk futures under different climate projections in the Bristol Frome catchment. We will share some of the new science on forecasting and prediction in easily accessible ways so we can think about what the implications might be for growing on allotments.
  • explore together what we might do on an allotment with less water. What options are available?
  • seek your advice about what sorts of resources would be useful as outcomes from the UK Drought and Water Scarcity research. What would be useful to allotment holders? (e.g. seasonal water advice; drought resistant planting).

The day will be interactive and we will have a cartoonist working with us to capture our discussions.

Who will this workshop interest? Allotment groups who have worked with the DRY project, other ‘growing’/ ‘food’ groups, those interested in community adaptation to water risk and climate change, those involved in plant growing/horticulture in different ways, those involved in teaching, and others…

FAQs

There is no cost for the workshop but we ask you to register by clicking this link by 18th May 2018. A buffet lunch will be provided so, if you have specific dietary requirements, please email dry@uwe.ac.uk.

For information on how to get to UWE Bristol please visit http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/about/visitus/howtofindus.aspx

If you are coming by car you will need a parking space to be booked for you. Please email dry@uwe.ac.uk with your car registration details.

For more information on the DRY projecthttp://dryproject.co.uk; NSALG www.nsalg.org.uk; and About Drought http://aboutdrought.info/

Meet the Researchers: Drought Risk and You

Mon 30 April 2018, 10:00 – 12:30
Location: UWE Frenchay, BS16 1QY
Event organiser: UWE
Event type: Public open day
Booking: Register online

Join University of the West of England for a field trip with the researchers to discover the real-life effects of drought on our local grasslands, as part of Bristol Festival of Nature’s City Nature Challenge.

DRY project field site at UWE, copyright UWE
DRY project field site at UWE, copyright UWE

The Drought Risk and You project integrates physical science with social science and narrative to produce a decision making tool to help individuals and policy makers plan their response to drought.

Drought is a natural part of the UK climate but is predicted to become more frequent and severe in the future. Grasslands are by area the most important agricultural crop in the UK, and an essential feature of most parks and gardens.

You will learn about the experiments being done by UWE’s researchers as they look at the effects of drought on plants and pollinators, learn about the types of measurement they make and why, and see some of the preliminary results. You can also help the team by making your own survey transect across the field and submit your findings to Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre.

Booking essential, details of where to meet and parking available on application.For more information please contact: dry@uwe.ac.uk

Please note: we will be meeting on UWE’s Frenchay campus and walking down to the research site through a rough woodland track. The track and fieldsite are not accessible for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Please dress appropriately for working outdoors.This event is suitable for adults and older children (10+).

About Drought Showcase Event

14 March 2018
Location: Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham
Event organiser: Drought and Water Scarcity Programme
Event type: Showcase
Booking: Online registration form

Showcasing latest developments and hands-on access to outputs from the £12m NERC-funded Drought and Water Scarcity Project

This free event is aimed at all involved in supporting improved decision-making and communication in relation to droughts and water scarcity for a range of sectors, including:

  • water suppliers, energy suppliers and regulators
  • agricultural sector
  • environmental policymakers, stakeholders and regulators
  • UK businesses, ranging from high volume industrial water users to local small and medium-sized enterprises
  • community planning organisations, communities, and not-for-profit special interest groups.

As well as hands-on interaction with key project datasets, delegates will be able to ask the experts about on-going developments and give feedback on how best they can be tailored to support your area of interest. The showcase will give the opportunity to participants to interact with other stakeholders and researchers.

Book your free place now using the online registration form. The closing date for registration is 2 March 2018.

Registration for this event is limited to four delegates from each organisation. We will contact you if this number has been exceeded. Please contact the Project Office at endows@ceh.ac.uk for further information.

Programme highlights

Choice of interactive breakout sessions showcasing the programme work in the following areas, allowing you to hear what has already been done and allowing you to shape our future work:

  • Monitoring and Early Warning
  • Narratives
  • Data
  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Water Supply and Utilities
  • Business & communities

A showcase walk taking in the canals and parks of Birmingham, stopping along the way for conversations with key local stakeholders.

Interdisciplinary talks from across the programme and from stakeholders detailing how the work has helped them.

Networking opportunities throughout with a drinks reception after the conference.

Key timings

Registration from 09:15 with the showcase starting at 10:00 and closing at 16:30, with drinks and networking to follow.

The closing date for registration is 2 March 2018.

Further information

Please contact the Project Office at endows@ceh.ac.uk for further information.

Keep up with news and events from the UK Droughts & Water Scarcity Programme and its projects at the About Drought website or follow @AboutDrought on Twitter.

Thinking Sustainability H2O: a workshop promoting water management and resilience for small businesses

Friday 14th December, 2018
Location: Jurys Inn Cheltenham, GL51 0TS
Event organisers: Co-organised by the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience, and Science Communication Unit, UWE Bristol with the Federation of Small Businesses
Event type: Workshop
Booking: Register online

The focus of this workshop will be the co-development of a business toolkit for increased water resilience. It will exchange knowledge from the UK About Drought project (aboutdrought.com) about ways that small and medium sized businesses can become more ‘water resilient’.

This workshop will be of particular interest to those running small and medium sized businesses that use water in any way in their business processes, and are exposed to different types of water risk.

Participants will explore the ways in which water (from flood to drought) could affect their business, including opportunities for innovation. Sharing draft resources prepared by the About Drought team, we will discuss the design of a toolkit designed to help businesses think through their water resilience. This will include reflecting on the messages and messengers that businesses engage with and trust, along with the merits of incorporating water resilient thinking into wider Business Sustainability Management.

• Water resource management (reduce, reuse, recycle)
• Resilience and management of situations for flooding and drought risk
• Contingency planning and risk management

In addition there may be opportunities to discuss:
• Regulatory compliance
• Resource efficiency and circular economy
• Integration with environmental management systems (ISO14001); CSR programmes (corporate social responsibility); and programmes for organisational change and innovation

Participants will be invited to contribute to the co-development of a water resilience toolkit of resources for small businesses that will form part of guidance to be rolled out nationally. All contributors’ contributions will be acknowledged.

If you have any queries about this event please contact Ruth Vargo or Laura Chilver at dry@uwe.ac.uk

Webinar: Introducing the NERC ‘Drought and Water Scarcity in the UK’ research programme’s Engagement project, ‘ENDOWS’

Wednesday 13 December at 11 am
30 minutes duration
Host: Helen Gavin, University of Oxford/Atkins
Presenter: Helen Gavin (slides by Jamie Hannaford, CEH)

Video

Topic

This webinar features the UK Research Councils’ programme, ‘Drought and Water Scarcity in the UK’. The webinar will focus on a project within this programme called ‘ENDOWS’: ENgaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK DrOught and Water Scarcity programme.

The objective of ENDOWS is to engage with stakeholders, practitioners, and publics, to involve them in the UK Drought and Water Scarcity programme and to disseminate information about the findings, outputs and datasets arising from the programme that everyone can use.

Jamie Hannaford will give a 20 minute overview to the ENDOWS phase of work, and afterwards there will 10 minutes to answer questions.

Joining instructions:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device by clicking this URL:  https://zoom.us/j/284627623

Join by phone from the UK:  +44 (0) 20 3695 0088

The Webinar ID is: 284 627 623

MaRIUS (Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of drought and water Scarcity) LIVE

We held our Showcase Event on 2 November 2017 to set out the findings of the MaRIUS research, and what outputs are available. This event profiled the research findings on the effect and impacts of droughts and water scarcity in the UK, what outputs are available for use; what further work that is planned, and how interested parties can get involved.

Videos

MaRIUS Showcase video playlist on YouTube

More information

The span of the MaRIUS project is large and covers physical and social science topics including: drought governance; drought options and management; community responses and environmental competency. It includes climatic aspects of drought and the derivation of a synthetic ‘drought event library’; hydrological responses both on a catchment and national scale; effects on water quality including nutrient concentration in rivers and algal concentrations in reservoirs, and effect of land use change; the ramifications on water resources on the Thames catchment and also nationally. It includes the impact of drought and water scarcity on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; agriculture and farming; the economy; and on electricity production.

The event was very successful and provided a key opportunity for stakeholders and researchers to meet and discuss the effect and impact of drought and water scarcity in the UK and what research outputs are available for the whole community.

View further information on the MaRIUS website