This About Drought brief, How to plan and manage water resources for public water supply: future directions, looks at some risks, challenges and opportunities for supplies of safe and wholesome water to the UK population. It aims to help water planners and managers by presenting some of the most up-to-date approaches for dealing with uncertainty, including simulation and risk-based approaches, offering guidance on decision support tools and indicating future directions for planning and managing water resources. This is the second of a series of briefs to support improved decision making in relation to droughts and water scarcity.
The UK faces water supply shortages in the future, especially in London & the south-east. Increases in frequency & intensity of drought & high-precipitation events are projected in most regions. Uncertainty is ‘the new normal’ & conventional approaches to forecasting (based on past observed data) are less reliable than they were. To remain resilient in these uncertain conditions, the effective planning and management of public water resources is vital. Decision support for risk-based water resource planning is already available, and this brief aims to share some relevant findings from the DWS programme with water planners and managers, so that they can be put into practice moving forwards.