Climate change increases the risk of extreme weather events, posing a serious threat to the water sector. UK climate projections suggest we’ll get less rainfall in the summer yet experience more intense rainfall events. Projections also indicate higher sea levels, increased coastal erosion, and warmer summers. Our region’s particularly vulnerable because it has low rainfall and is low lying with a long coastline.
Increased flooding is one of the most significant risks we all face. Flooding from rivers, surface water, groundwater and our coastline has the potential to damage our infrastructure, harm the environment and affect our service to you. The Climate Change Committee highlighted this in their ‘UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Evidence Report.’
The Climate Change Committee has also highlighted risks to the water supply. Hotter temperatures will drive up demand and increase evaporation during spring and summer. The impact of climate change on rainfall is uncertain, but the possibility of prolonged dry periods could be on the horizon. Even by 2040 a drier climate could increase the drought risk. While water resources in some areas are resilient to climate change, others are not so lucky and a dry climate in the east of England could treble the risk of a severe drought.
We are committed to becoming a carbon-neutral business and making the east of England resilient to the risks of climate change. That is why we are working with others to understand and face the challenges of climate change.