Accumulated rainfall totals are an important variable for a range of hydrological applications, including monitoring and forecasting, and long-term planning. A new report has been published which identifies the most appropriate, nationally consistent approach to quantifying return periods of long duration rainfall.
A comparison of the suitability of nine distribution families for estimating the relative rarity of accumulated rainfall periods across the UK provides opportunities to further improve the accuracy of return period estimation in many areas such as the water resource planning and the Hydrological Summary for the UK, and elsewhere.
Whilst distribution families that are commonly applied in extreme value estimation, such as the generalised extreme value, were demonstrated to be suitable in a lot of cases, overall Pearson Type III outperformed all other assessed distributions. Closer inspection of the performance on accumulation periods of 12 months or less provided further support for the suitability of Pearson Type III, as did the strong performance of Pearson Type III across accumulation periods, start months and regions.
Presentation of return level plots for two potentially appropriate distribution families demonstrated the sensitivity of return period estimates to distribution family, and thus the importance of this question. With this in mind, the approaches presented in Eastman et. al. (2021) provide opportunities to further improve the accuracy of return period estimation and uncertainty quantification.
A new publication has been released today which explores how our essential groundwater resources are managed during droughts, and against a backdrop of environmental change, what future priorities should be.
The work reports the outputs from a meeting over 50 hydrogeologists from water companies, regulators, consultancies and academia that was held by About Drought in July 2019 in Birmingham. The aim of the meeting was to consider current groundwater drought management practices and identity research needs.
Four key themes are discussed throughout the paper:
Joined up definitions of drought
Improved modelling of groundwater during droughts
Better information sharing
“Managing groundwater supplies subject to drought: perspectives on current status and future priorities from England (UK)” has been published in Hydrogeology Journal and is available to all now.
Story gathering and storytelling have been strong threads
through the programme, stitching together humanities and science within and
across work streams. These collaborations have been so successful that they
have changed permanently the approach of some of our scientists and resulted in
successful spin-off collaborations.
As well as welcoming ENDOWS researchers into their communities,
embracing catchment Local Action Groups (LAGs), monitoring water scarcity and
collecting data samples, some of these collaborators have been enthusiastic
attendees of our About Drought Showcase conference in Birmingham and our
Drought & Water Scarcity Conference in Oxford in March 2019, as well as
project events such as the final DRY Project Conference in July 2019.