Godalming, United Kingdom
Godalming, United Kingdom

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Sayers P.B.,University of Oxford | Yuanyuan L.,Chinese Ministry of Water Resources | Moncrieff C.,WWF UK | Jianqiang L.,Chinese Ministry of Water Resources | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of River Basin Management | Year: 2017

Major droughts are an ever-present threat in almost all countries; a threat that is set to increase in response to climate change and the influence of socio-economic change on the demand for, and use of, water. Historically droughts have been responded to ‘as they happen’ leading to incremental shifts in approach as lessons are learnt. Given the significance of the challenge now faced in this heuristic approach is no longer fit for purpose and a new approach is required. Based upon a combination of expert workshops, detailed international case studies and analysis of past droughts, this paper sets out a strategic approach to managing water resources that specifically addresses drought. The framework encourages a focus on long-term outcomes (for people, ecosystems and economies) and views drought as a water-related risk, not simply a hazard. Strategic drought risk management (SDRM) is presented as a multi-scale endeavour, providing both local and regional solutions whilst addressing short- and long-term challenges. It seeks to implement a diverse portfolio of measures during non-drought conditions as well in the run-up to, during and after a drought event whilst recognizing the critical interdependences between human systems and freshwater ecosystems. The paper concludes by presenting eight ‘Golden Rules’ to guide a sound approach to SDRM. © 2017 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research

Wilby R.L.,Loughborough University | Fenn C.R.,CFonstream | Wood P.J.,Loughborough University | Timlett R.,Freshwater Programme | Lequesne T.,Freshwater Programme
Water Resources Research | Year: 2011

Adapting to climate change is just one among many challenges facing river managers. The response will involve balancing the long-term water demands of society with the changing needs of the environment in sustainable and cost effective ways. This paper describes a modeling framework for evaluating the sensitivity of low river flows to different configurations of abstraction licensing under both historical climate variability and expected climate change. A rainfall-runoff model is used to quantify trade-offs among environmental flow (e-flow) requirements, potential surface and groundwater abstraction volumes, and the frequency of harmful low-flow conditions. Using the River Itchen in southern England as a case study it is shown that the abstraction volume is more sensitive to uncertainty in the regional climate change projection than to the e-flow target. It is also found that "smarter" licensing arrangements (involving a mix of hands off flows and "rising block" abstraction rules) could achieve e-flow targets more frequently than conventional seasonal abstraction limits, with only modest reductions in average annual yield, even under a hotter, drier climate change scenario. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Sayers P.,24a High Street | Sayers P.,University of Oxford | Galloway G.,University of Maryland University College | Penning-Rowsell E.,Middlesex University | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of River Basin Management | Year: 2015

Over recent decades, remarkable progress in cultivating the concepts of flood risk management has taken place across countries as diverse as India, China, Australia, the UK and the USA. This change highlights a risk management paradigm as potentially more complex than a more traditional standard-based approach as it involves ‘whole systems’ and ‘whole-life’ thinking; yet this is also its main strength – paving the way for more integrated and informed decision-making. Strategic flood management (SFM) uses a portfolio of responses to manage flood risks and promote opportunities ecosystem services. It recognizes the interrelationships between the actions taken and the contribution flood management provides to integrated river basin and coastal zone planning. The paper results from an international collaborative effort for research and distils approaches to flood risk and water management in challenging large-scale and complex environments. The paper provides an overview of the emerging good practice in SFM, including (i) an analysis of the flood events that have shaped changes in approach, (ii) the purpose and characteristics of modern SFM, (iii) the goals, objectives and outcomes sought and (iv) the challenges associated with implementation (together with some of the common pitfalls and misconceptions). Our conclusions are encapsulated in a set of ‘golden rules’ that underpin sound SFM decision-making. © 2014 International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

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