Modelling the impacts of projected future climate change on water resources in north-west England
Abstract. Over the last two decades, the frequency of water resource drought in the UK, coupled with the more recent pan-European drought of 2003, has increased concern over changes in climate. Using the UKCIP02 Medium-High (SRES A2) scenario for 2070–2100, this study investigates the impact of climate change on the operation of the Integrated Resource Zone (IRZ), a complex conjunctive-use water supply system in north-western England. The results indicate that the contribution of individual sources to yield may change substantially but that overall yield is reduced by only 18%. Notwithstanding this significant effect on water supply, the flexibility of the system enables it to meet modelled demand for much of the time under the future climate scenario, even without a change in system management, but at significant expense for pumping additional abstraction from lake and borehole sources. This research provides a basis for the future planning and management of the complex water resource system in the north-west of England.