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Severn Trent: Adaptation in Water Utilities

Submitted by Ben Smith 7th November 2011 14:57


Severn Trent Water serves over 8 million customers across the heart of the UK, stretching from the Bristol Channel to the Humber, and from mid-Wales to the East Midlands. They acknowledge that climate change may bring significant changes to weather conditions.

The aim of the project was to use joint probability plots from UKCP09 to help understand the combined effects of climate variables on future water service activities. In the absence of simple thresholds for the individual variables, past events have been used to understand the implications of the climate change scenarios for future water supply.

Key messages and learning outcomes

Summer 2007 was the wettest on record causing widespread flooding, yet in future periods of low winter rainfall may occur where there may be insufficient refill to reservoirs. These effects of climate change coupled with population growth mean that investing in improving the resilience and capacity of their network will become increasingly important.


The Severn Trent Water region cuts across two regions of UKCP09 (West and East Midlands), making climate change impact analysis complicated. For example, climate data for whole region had to be plotted on both the West Midlands joint probability plot and the East Midlands joint probability plot.