About Drought Showcase Review (Post-Event)

theieauor

Showcase Review

A round-up of presentations, research and outputs from

the RCUK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme held in

Birmingham on March 14th, 2018.

www.AboutDrought.info

@AboutDrought

info@AboutDrought.info


Contents

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102

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153

Thank You

Drought & Water Scarcity Programme

Drought Risk & You

Historic Droughts

IMPETUS

MaRIUS

ENDOWS

Newsletter

Showcase Programme

Plenary Session Speakers

Sessions

Agriculture

Monitoring & Early Warning

Data

Environment

Water Supply

Drought Narratives

Communities

Waterways Walk

Datasets

Organisations Who Attended

Stay In Touch

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Thank You

Welcome to the event review magazine following the

About Drought Showcase and thank you to all the delegates

who attended and to all the presenters. Around 120 people

representing a very broad range of interests and expertise joined

us to connect with this truly interdisciplinary research initiative,

the RCUK Drought & Water Scarcity Programme.

In this pack you will find presentations which

illustrate the diverse, interdisciplinary and crosssectoral

content which so many delegates – and

speakers – have told us gave such a valuable

insight into drought and water scarcity in the UK.

We would like to thank all our speakers and

facilitators who shared their expertise at the

About Drought Showcase, and all the delegates

for your questions, comments and opinions which

will feed into the direction of the programme,

its outputs and future workshops, events and

engagement activities.

Have you viewed the event video?

Further thanks to everyone who was interviewed

for the About Drought video documentary.

Please watch it by clicking here and share it with

your colleagues. If you would like to feature it on

your website please contact the project office by

emailing info@AboutDrought.info

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UK Drought & Water

Scarcity Programme

Droughts and water scarcity jointly pose a substantial threat to the environment, agriculture, infrastructure,

society and culture in the UK, yet our ability to characterise and predict their occurrence, duration and intensity,

as well as minimise their impacts, is often inadequate.

The UK Droughts & Water Scarcity research programme is a five-year interdisciplinary, £12 million+ NERC

programme in collaboration with ESRC, EPSRC, BBSRC and AHRC. It is supporting improved decision-making in

relation to droughts and water scarcity by providing research that identifies, predicts and responds to the interrelationships

between their multiple drivers and impacts.

The programme’s research is UK-focused, and contributes to NERC’s natural hazards and climate system

strategic science themes.

Four projects are funded under the UK

Droughts & Water Scarcity programme:

Historic Droughts

IMPETUS

MaRIUS

DRY

Understanding past

drought episodes to

develop improved tools

for the future

Improving predictions of

drought to inform user

decisions

Managing the

risks, impacts and

uncertainties of drought

and water scarcity

Bringing together

stories and science to

support better decisionmaking

for drought risk

management

The final project, ENDOWS, (known as About

Drought) engages with stakeholders, practitioners

and the public to involve them in the UK Drought

and Water Scarcity programme and to disseminate

information about the findings, outputs and datasets

zfrom the programme that everyone can use.

SHOWCASE VIDEO

You can find highlights from the About Drought

Showcase by clicking HERE or following this link:

bit.ly/AboutDroughtHighlights

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The Projects

Find out more about the

Drought & Water Scarcity

projects

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DWS

Projects

dryproject.co.uk

Droughts and water shortage can impact on the

environment, agriculture, infrastructure, society

and culture, affecting us all. The DRY project was

founded in April 2014, with an aim to develop an

easy-to-use, evidence-based resource to inform

decision-making for drought risk management in

the UK over a four-year period.

The project spans seven catchment areas in

England, Wales and Scotland to reflect different

hydrological, socio-economic and cultural contexts

in the UK.

It takes a unique approach because it draws

together information from multiple perspectives

on drought science, stakeholder engagement,

citizen science and narrative storytelling to better

understand drought risks, while other studies have

focused on mathematical modelling of drought

risk.

A key part of this is using different types of data

together to build a better picture of drought risk

in the UK. In the project, ‘data’ can mean statistics

derived from a hydrological model to stories and

images collected from a river catchment area

and we think each of these is equally valuable in

helping us understand how we can better cope

with drought.

To achieve this DRY incorporates a two-way

process for gathering and sharing knowledge

about drought. Narratives are stimulated

from discussions around images, memories of

historical drought events and the outcomes of the

hydrological drought models being developed in

the team. The narratives provide context to feed

into our drought models which predict future

drought scenarios.

The project is also carrying out citizen science

projects engaging people and generating learning

opportunities surrounding drought impacts on

plants, crops, trees and domestic water use. At

each stage of the process the project shares

findings with groups and incorporates feedback

into the research design.

The project leader is Professor Lindsey McEwen

@Project_DRY

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DWS

Projects

historicdroughts.ceh.ac.uk

Historic Droughts aims to develop a crossdisciplinary

understanding of past drought episodes

that have affected the UK, with a view to developing

improved tools for managing droughts in future.

Drought and water scarcity are significant threats

to livelihoods and well-being in many countries,

including the UK. Parts of the country are already

water-stressed and are facing a wide range of

pressures, including an expanding population and

intensifying exploitation of increasingly limited water

resources. In addition, many regions may become

significantly drier in future due to environmental

changes, all of which implies major challenges to

water resource management. However, droughts

are not simply natural hazards. There are also a

range of socio-economic and regulatory factors

that may influence the course of droughts, such

as water consumption practices and abstraction

licensing regimes. Consequently, if drought and

water scarcity are to be better managed, there is a

need for a more detailed understanding of the links

between physical (i.e. meteorological, hydrological)

and social and economic systems during droughts.

With this research gap in mind, the Historic

Droughts project aims to develop an

interdisciplinary understanding of drought from

a range of perspectives. Based on an analysis

of information from a wide range of sectors

(hydrometeorological, environmental, agricultural,

regulatory, social and cultural), the project aims to

characterise and quantify the history of drought

and water scarcity since the late 19th century.

The project will deliver the first systematic account

(the UK Drought Inventory) of past droughts in the

UK. The Inventory will form the basis of a novel joint

hydrometeorological and socio-economic analysis

that will lead to a ‘systems-based’ understanding of

drought – i.e. an understanding of the multiple and

interconnected drivers of drought, the impacts of

drought and the feedbacks between them.

We expect this systems-based understanding

to improve decision-making for future drought

management and planning, and to facilitate more

informed and effective public discourse related to

drought.

The project leader is Jamie Hannaford at the

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)

@HistDroughtsUK

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DWS

Projects

aboutdrought.info

IMPETUS brings together scientists from the

meteorological, land surface, surface water and

groundwater communities and social scientists

from the water demand and forecast usability

communities.

The project involves internationally-leading

scientists and social scientists from three

NERC Research Centres (the National Centre

for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), the British

Geological Survey (BGS) and the Centre for

Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), four leading

universities (Oxford, Reading, Newcastle, and

Southampton), the Met Office and the European

Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts

(ECMWF).

Photo Credit: Emma Sheppard

IMPETUS aims to improve the forecasting of UK

drought on monthly to decadal timescales, by

improving meteorological, hydrological and water

demand forecasts and how they are combined

to produce drought forecasts. This will be done

in conjunction with stakeholders to ensure that

drought forecasts are relevant for decision making.

The project leader is Professor Len Shaffrey at

University of Reading.

@AboutDrought

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DWS

Projects

mariusdroughtproject.org

The MaRIUS project introduces a risk-based

approach to drought and water scarcity to inform

management decisions and to prepare households.

The span of the MaRIUS project is large and covers

physical and social science topics including: drought

governance; drought options and management;

community responses and environmental

competency.

It includes climatic aspects of drought and the

derivation of a synthetic ‘drought event library’;

hydrological responses both on a catchment and

national scale; effects on water quality including

nutrient concentration in rivers and algal

concentrations in reservoirs, and effect of land use

change; the ramifications on water resources on

the Thames catchment and also nationally. It also

includes the impact of drought and water scarcity

on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; agriculture

and farming; the economy; and on electricity

production.

MaRIUS has developed new methodologies,

datasets and models for the analysis of drought

and water scarcity impacts on river flow, water

quality, ecology, farming, the economy, and how

these combine to affect people.

Some researchers in MaRIUS are using scenario

modelling and case studies across a number of

scales to understand both the drought impacts at

a local level as well as the institutional decisionmaking

by governments and water companies. The

modelling work uses climatically rigourous drought

scenarios and their impacts on water quality,

agriculture, biodiversity and economic losses.

In addition to computer modelling, social science

and stakeholder engagement are a key part of the

project, helping us to understand the role of the

community, institutions, regulators and markets in

drought management.

The project leader is Professor Jim Hall at the

Environmental Change Institute, University of

Oxford

mariusdroughtproject.org

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DWS

Projects

ENDOWS

aboutdrought.info

ENDOWS (Engaging diverse stakeholders and

publics with outputs from the Drought and

Water Scarcity Programme) brings together the

successful stakeholder engagement elements of the

four Drought and Water Scarcity (DWS) projects

to further develop and promote understanding of

the key messages from the programme. Building

on the activities of DRY, IMPETUS, MaRIUS and

Historic Drought, ENDOWS is funded by the

Research Councils to inform adaptation and

management decisions before, during and after

drought events, using the new data and findings of

the DWS programme.

ENDOWS has brought these activities together

under the banner ‘About Drought’ an accessible

programme of informed engagement with

regulators, industry, business, policy-makers,

communities and sector organisations.

David Throup/Environment Agency

Knowledge Exchange is a key function of About

Drought, facilitating effective networking between

the research community and stakeholder

communities; encouraging the building of reliable

contacts and stimulating new working relationships

and accelerating the speed at which the outputs

of the DWS programme are being implemented

to support evidence-based decisions in drought

planning and management.

The About Drought Showcase is a one-stop crosssectoral

forum bringing all the DWS projects

together in one place on one day. Stakeholders and

decision-makers from across the board can access

the latest DWS programme developments, hear

directly from the experts and give direct feedback.

Experts from across the DWS programme can

share their findings so far and invite feedback on

how stakeholders want the information presented

to best support policy and business decisions.

It is planned to hold a final About Drought

Showcase in 2019.

The About Drought website http://www.

AboutDrought.info is being developed as an

authoritative source of expertise, and as a publicly

available platform for informed comment and

opinion. The About Drought Twitter account

@AboutDrought highlights drought-related news

and opinions from the UK and around the world.

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@AboutDrought


Newsletter

Event debrief: Business impacts of water scarcity

What are the potential impacts of drought on UK

businesses? And what are the priorities when it comes

to sharing information about water scarcity? These

were two themes discussed at a Business Stakeholder

workshop held at UWE, Bristol, on 31.10.17.

Discussions pointed up uncertainty about the

future, and the need for earlier warning systems

(for businesses to understand with greater lead time

when water restrictions would occur; the later the

warnings, the more expensive it becomes). Read more

at: http://aboutdrought.info/event-debrief-20171031/,

and if your business could contribute to this UK-wide

discussion, please contact: Lindsey.McEwen@uwe.ac.uk

Films are available from MaRIUS Live! and are published

at http://aboutdrought.info/marius-managing-therisks-impacts-and-uncertainties-of-drought-andwater-scarcity-live/

and on the MaRIUS website

mariusdroughtproject.org.

If you attended MaRIUS LIVE! But have not yet

given your feedback, please do so here: https://goo.gl/

forms/18gGmNXzllKJWlqh1.

The post event delegate pack, including slide

presentations and other materials, are available here:

drive.google.com/drive/folders/1axroXhYqRjnTdkxt1-

OdVpuzCTKpuMRc?usp=sharing

Event debrief: Which communities and why?

Event debrief: MaRIUS LIVE!

Trevor Bishop, Director of Strategy and Planning

at OFWAT, described MaRIUS as “one of the most

important bits of research that we’ve seen in drought

and water scarcity” as more than 80 delegates met

to hear presentations setting out the findings of the

project’s research and the outputs available for use.

The project researchers outlined their findings on the

effects of drought on people and the environment, on

government, communities, water quality and resources,

ecology, agriculture, the economy and electricity supply.

How best do we connect a diverse range of publics

and communities with research arising from the NERC

Drought and Water Scarcity research programme?

This was a theme discussed at the first Community

Stakeholder workshop held at UWE, Bristol on

27.10.17. This group forms the basis of a ‘community of

practice’, developing and testing evidence that can be

used in engaging communities in drought risk decisionmaking.

Read more at: http://aboutdrought.info/eventdebrief-20171027/,

and if you or your organisation

would like to get involved, please contact: Lindsey.

McEwen@uwe.ac.uk

Click here to sign up

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Programme

9.15

10.00

10.15

11.30

12.30

13.30

14.30

14.35

15.35

15.55

16.40 - 17.30

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Registration & networking

Project stands

Welcome - Jamie Hannaford and Sally Stevens

Opening Remarks from the Funders – Ruth Kelman (NERC)

Plenary Session

Chair: John Bloomfield, BGS

Views from stakeholders

Stacey Sharman (Defra)

Droughts: Defra’s perspective

Steven Wade (Atkins)

Drought: challenges and opportunities, a water industry perspective

Ana-Maria Millan (Consumer Council for Water)

Saving water: seeing the bigger picture

Highlights from the DWS Programme

• Historic Droughts (Jamie Hannaford)

• IMPETUS (Len Shaffrey)

• MaRIUS (Helen Gavin)

• DRY (Lindsey McEwen)

Primer on ENDOWS (Jamie Hannaford)

1st interactive session - Parallel sessions

• Agriculture

• Monitoring & Early Warning

• Data

Lunch

Project stands

Waterways Walk leaves at 1pm.

2nd session

Drought Narratives

• Water Supply 1: Modelling and Methodologies

• Environment

3rd session

• Communities

• Water Supply 2: Governance and Regulation

• Data

Afternoon break

Project stands

Plenary feedback and panel discussion (breakout

group leads & speakers) and Q&A

Drought research and management: what’s next?

Closing comments from Paul Hickey (EA)

Drinks

Stands & Networking


Speakers

Guest Speakers

Paul Hickey, Deputy Director - Water Resources, Environment Agency

Stacy Sharman, Head of Research in the Analysis and Evidence team, working in Water and

Flood Risk Management, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Steven Wade, Associate Director for Climate and Resilience, Atkins

Ana-Maria Millan, Policy Manager, Consumer Council for Water

For NERC

Ruth Kelman, Science Programmes Officer Natural Environment Research Council

For DWS

Jamie Hannaford, Leader, Hydrological Status and Outlooks group, Centre for Ecology &

Hydrology; DWS Programme Co-ordination Chair and Principal Investigator, ENDOWS and

Historic Droughts

Dr Helen Gavin, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, MaRIUS

Prof Lindsey McEwen, Professor in Environmental Management, Centre for Water, Communities

and Resilience, UWE Bristol, DRY

Prof Len Shaffrey, Professor of Climate Science, NCAS, University of Reading, IMPETUS

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Showcase

Timetable

Sessions content

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Interactive Sessions

Agriculture

SPEAKERS

Professor Jerry Knox, Cranfield University (Facilitator)

Dr Ivan Grove, Harper Adams University

Dr Dolores Rey, Cranfield University

Dr Gloria Salmoral, Cranfield University

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

Four ‘flash talks’ described below, were followed by an

open discussion, led by Jerry Knox, addressing some of

the key questions raised in the presentations.

A water strategy for the agricultural and

horticultural sector (Jerry Knox) - a synopsis of

progress in the ongoing process to develop a water

strategy for the agricultural and horticultural sectors.

This is intended to support and guide the industry in

securing ‘a fair share of water’ and is being co-designed

with key informants who will likely be most impacted

by pending changes in water abstraction licensing and

regulatory reform.

What is the value of secondary water markets

for abstractors? (Dolores Rey) - Defra has signalled

support for rapid water trading to allow abstractors

to share access to water quickly, but there is little

understanding of the advantages and disadvantages

of such a system, how it would work in reality, or

how these secondary markets might fit with the new

abstraction system. Lola reported on an ongoing

research project aimed at providing Defra with

policy-relevant recommendations for how secondary

markets might be designed, implemented and managed

in England to efficiently and effectively improve UK

resilience to drought and water scarcity, reducing

associated economic damages to the agricultural and

food sectors.

Risk of economic impacts to agricultural irrigation

due to drought management (Gloria Salmoral) - an

overview of a spatially explicit national risk assessment

of the economic losses in irrigated agriculture under

drought conditions from England and Wales in three

uneven climatic periods: baseline (1975-2004), near

future (2020-2049) and far future (2070-2099).

Does climate change mean crop change? (Ivan

Grove ) - an overview of research undertaken in the

DRY Project (part of the UK Drought and Water s

Scarcity programme) on crop and drought experiments,

and some reflections on the resilience of crops.

WHAT HAPPENED

This was a great opportunity to contribute to developing thinking around agriculture, water scarcity and drought.

Thoughts were given on questions such as:

• Is water really that important for agriculture? How might a strategy help the industry?

• What water-related risks are facing the industry? How should industry engage with other sectors to reduce

future vulnerability?

• Is it important to prioritise UK water for food (crops) in dry periods?

• What are the barriers to crop change from growers and consumers?

• What economic losses due to water restrictions might arise in the future? What measures might mitigate these

losses?

• How could collaborative management between irrigators and water authorities during drought conditions be

improved?

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Agriculture

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Agriculture

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Agriculture

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Agriculture

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Interactive Sessions

Monitoring & Early Warning

SPEAKERS

Session Leader: Jamie Hannaford, Leader, Hydrological Status and Outlooks Group, CEH

Discussion Facilitator: Dr Ingo Schüder, Business Development Manager (training), CEH

Richard Davis, Senior Advisor, National Water Resources Hydrology Team, Environment Agency

Lucy Barker, Hydrological Analyst, CEH

Professor Len Shaffrey, National Centre for Atmospheric Science and University of Reading

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

While little can be done to prevent droughts occurring,

actions can be taken to mitigate drought impacts

on society and the environment. To support the

implementation of such actions, drought monitoring

and early warning (MEW) systems are a vital part of

drought preparedness and planning. MEW includes

tools for both situation monitoring (‘where are we

now’) and forecasting (‘What will happen next’) over a

range of timescales from a few days to seasons ahead

and beyond. There is already substantial, operational

MEW activity underway in the UK (e.g. the EA’s Water

Situation Reports, CEH/BGS/Met Office Hydrological

Summaries and Outlooks) and MEW activities are

carried out by stakeholders across the full spectrum

of organisations involved in drought management.

Nevertheless, stakeholder engagement within the

DWS programme has identified a number of gaps in

existing MEW, and opportunities for improved systems

in future.

This interactive session presented some of the

outcomes of DWS Programme engagement around

MEW needs for a range of stakeholders, and also heard

directly from the Environment Agency, as key decisionmakers,

about priority needs in this area. Delegates

heard highlights of the science emerging from the DWS

programme. In particular: (i) how programme datasets

and tools for mapping and visualisation could support

more dynamic, interactive situation monitoring in

future (ii) how recent DWS Programme advances in

meteorological and hydrological seasonal forecasting

could be used to support improved decision-making in

future. It concluded with a facilitated discussion aimed

at mapping out key priorities for MEW based around

achievable outcomes from the final stage of the DWS

programme, ENDOWS.

Hurstwood Reservoir during the 2010 drought

©United Utilities

WHAT HAPPENED

This session attracted delegates engaged in, or interested in, drought planning and management and keen to find

out how drought monitoring and forecasting systems can help them. They found out about the latest science

emerging in this area, and how it can aid decision-making. Delegates met the researchers and participated in

discussions with the team and other stakeholders, finding out about opportunities to get involved with ongoing

research and knowledge exchange activities.

Delegates also visited a stand presenting on monitoring and early warning and played our interactive forecasting game

during the evening networking session.

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Monitoring & Early Warning

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Interactive Sessions

Data

SPEAKERS

Session Leader: Matt Fry, CEH (Droughts programme data coordinator)

Simon Parry, Drought researcher, CEH (New past drought data)

Dr Alison Kay, Senior modeller, CEH (New future scenario data)

Dr Katie Smith, Hydrological modeller, CEH (Interactive tools for data access)

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

Data for drought understanding

The About Droughts programme is releasing a huge

number of drought datasets, and is developing tools to

make this data easier to access for end users.

This interactive session:

• provided more detail on the datasets being produced

(historic data and reconstructions, future scenarios,

social and socio-economic data)

• described the tools planned for making data access

simpler

• provided a chance to discuss potential uses and users

of this data, and identify gaps

• allowed attendees to “vote” to help prioritise

activities in this area.

Datasets being released by programme partners

include:

• Historic Met Office rain gauge data enhanced with

newly digitised gauges to improve coverage (and

updated gridded rainfall datasets) back to the 1860s.

• Gridded Potential Evapotranspiration (already

released) from 1891

• Reconstructed / modelled daily river flows from 1891

for a selection of gauged catchments from 3 models:

Grid-to-Grid, AirGR and Dynamic TopModel

• Reconstructed / modelled gridded (1km) monthly

river flows and soil moisture from 1891 from the

Grid-to-Grid model

• Reconstructed historic groundwater level series for

50 boreholes from 1891.

• Extended standardised drought indicators based on

past rainfall, river flow and groundwater level datasets

• Probabilistic scenario data (100 ensemble members)

for two future periods (2020-2049 and 2070-2099)

under a high emission scenario, including full gridded

climate outputs, and daily and monthly river flow and

soil moisture series

• An inventory of references to past droughts, from

national, regional and agricultural media, parliamentary

debate, and personal histories.

• A database of UK reservoir development

A full list can be seen by clicking here

WHAT HAPPENED

The session described these datasets in more detail. Some tools for enhanced data access were demonstrated

and discussions enabled prioritisation of future work:

• What derived datasets would be useful (e.g. catchment average series, change factors for future scenarios, etc)?

• What real-time drought metrics would be of interest?

• How can we facilitate ease of access to data, e.g. web services, example code, user guidance?

• How can user interfaces make this data easier to pick up and use?

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Data

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Interactive Sessions

Environment

SPEAKERS

Dr Francois Edwards, CEH, Wallingford

Professor Paul Whitehead, Oxford University

Dr Pam Berry, Oxford University

Dr Ingo Schüder, CEH, Wallingford (Facilitator)

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

Delegates heard three ‘flash talks’ described on

the right, following which Ingo Schüder facilitated a

40-minute open discussion addressing some of the key

questions raised in the presentations.

Woodlands (Pam Berry)

A synopsis of our knowledge on the possible impacts

of droughts on trees and woodlands in the UK, based

on modelling undertaken in the UK Droughts and

Water Scarcity Programme.

Water quality (Paul Whitehead)

A brief overview of impacts of low flows and climate

change on water quality and phytoplankton in UK rivers

based of low flow and drought research undertaken in

the UK Droughts and Water Scarcity Programme.

River Ems, Summer 2012 ©Francois Edwards

Freshwater (Francois Edwards)

An overview of ecological health and resilience to water

scarcity in UK rivers: key messages and knowledge gaps

based on research undertaken in the UK Droughts and

Water Scarcity Programme.

WHAT HAPPENED

Delegates contributed to developing thinking around

the environment, water scarcity and drought on

questions such as:

• How should trade-offs between environmental flows

and water supply during a drought be communicated?

• What might a new set of intuitive drought and water

scarcity indicators for the environment look like?

• What might be some of the implications of water

scarcity and drought for forestry and conservation of

woodlands in Great Britain?

• What might be some of the implications for

conservation and forestry?

• How should drought be defined from a water quality

perspective?

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Environment

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Interactive Sessions

Water Supply 1

SPEAKERS

Session Leader: Dr Helen Gavin, Environmental

Change Institute, University of Oxford

Paul Hickey, Environment Agency

Jamie Hannaford, CEH

Dr Gemma Coxon, University of Bristol

Dr Mohammad Mortazavi, University of Oxford

Professor Len Shaffrey, University of Reading

Dr Chris Decker, University of Oxford

Dr John Bloomfield, BGS

Nick Honeyball, Affinity Water

WHAT WERE THESE SESSIONS ABOUT?

Water Supply 1: Modelling and Methodologies

Water Supply 2: Governance and Regulation

The policy-making and decision-making landscape

for droughts and water scarcity is changing with

implications for many stakeholders: the 2014 Water

Act’s duty of resilience significantly affects water

companies; the first examination of water resources at

a scale covering England and Wales (Water UK 2016)

advocated a more strategic approach to the analysis

and management of drought risk; and discussions

have commenced on introducing formal regional

management of water resources.

While the UK has a well evolved framework for

drought and water resources planning, there is a need

to enhance robustness, particularly with regard to

future droughts. Similarly, while hydrological monitoring

is advanced, drought forecasts and outlooks remain

uncertain, which hinders their uptake.

The evidence being developed in this workstream

has potential to inform operational water resources

planning and drought management. We want

to work with a range of stakeholders such as

water companies, regulators, and consultancies

to ensure our objectives will assist, namely:

1. Develop standardised stress tests and tools for risk

based water resources planning

2. Provide recommendations and guidance for

hydrological modelling in practical applications

3. Develop tools to monitor, forecast and manage

drought.

WHAT HAPPENED

Within the two public water supply sessions delegates heard from invited practitioners on their perspectives and

knowledge / data needs. Workstream researchers summarised their work and the existing and expected outputs.

A discussion built on this flow of information to identify how the research can meet information needs and to

connect people to create outputs of common use.

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Water Supply 1

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Water Supply 2

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Water Supply 2

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Water Supply 2

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Water Supply 2

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Water Supply 2

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Interactive Sessions

Drought Narratives

FACILITATORS AND PRESENTERS

Session Leader: Dr Rebecca Pearce, University of Exeter

Dr Carmen Dayrell Gomes Da Costa, University of Lancaster

Dr Helen Baker, University of Lancaster

Dr Dolores Rey Vicario, Cranfield University

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

How do we talk about drought?

Communicating drought information presents many

difficulties, not least deciding when to officially announce

a drought, identifying how best to describe the

situation and choosing the most appropriate language

to use. The dynamics of the situation inevitably give

rise to satirical jibes if it rains and a blaming culture if

it doesn’t. To many, the word drought is just shorthand

for hosepipe ban.

Based on the evidence provided, discussions focused on

the true meaning of drought to those who experience

them. We discussed the answer to the question:

How do we talk about drought and how can we

improve our drought communications?

In this interactive session we carefully examined

some of the ways that droughts have previously been

discussed in national, regional and local media. We

compared these discourses with oral history narratives

based on memories of past droughts.

We drew on the newly released Historic Drought

Inventory: a collection of news articles, official reports

and personal diary entries relating to some of the key

droughts in living memory. We also looked at fresh

analysis of media uses of the word drought and the

subjects it is often associated with, which are not

always anything to do with diminishing water supplies.

Tabloid newspaper analysis of the word ‘drought’ and its

collocates - Dr Carmen Dayrell, ESRC Centre for Corpus

Approaches to Social Science, University of Lancaster

WHAT HAPPENED

Science communicators and others involved in

preparing advice about droughts and water shortages

for a variety of audiences, joined the session. They

learned about new social research in this area, the

Historic Drought Inventory and how best to utilise

the resulting data. Delegates were able to review and

refine their own drought communication methods.

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Interactive Sessions

Communities

SPEAKERS

Session Leader: Professor Lindsey McEwen, Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience, UWE Bristol

Professor Mike Wilson, School of Arts, English and Drama, Loughborough University

Dr Liz Roberts, Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience, UWE Bristol

Dr Ragab Ragab, CEH, Wallingford

WHAT WAS THIS SESSION ABOUT?

Storying drought with communities: who are the

harbingers of drought and the watershed thinkers?

This session explored how stories and storytelling

can come into the same space as specialist science in

drought risk decision-making (past, present and future)

at a catchment scale.

During the session, delegates:

• thought about catchments as units in place-based,

water thinking in a drought risk context

• explored what stories bring to the table in terms of

perceptions and behaviours

• shared stories that have emerged from catchments in

the DRY project, identifying key groups who are already

sensitised to prolonged dry periods. These included

allotment holders and gardeners – already exercising

water thinking scaling up from the hyperlocal

• shared some of DRY’s video reflections on the

storying process as prompts for group discussion

• shared ‘hands on’ experience of our processes of

crowd tagging of stories and active listening, and

• showcased some of the ways to integrate stories and

science through story mapping, bite-sized science and

catchment-based drought impact indices.

‘Visioning water adaptations’ - one participant’s storyboard

from a community storytelling workshop in the Bevills Leam

catchment in the Fens.

WHAT HAPPENED

Delegates left with:

• a better understanding of how storytelling can contribute to evidence bases for local water management and

drought risk decision-making

• new insights into the issues and opportunities in bringing storytelling and science together in drought risk

decision-making

• experience of being hands-on in the DRY process of making stories searchable and the value of active listening

in those processes

• new insights into the strategies experimented on in DRY to bring stories and science together as an evidence

base for decision-making

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Interactive Sessions

Waterways Walk

SPEAKERS

Session Leader: Dr Kevin Grecksch, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies,

University of Oxford

Dr Bettina Lange, Associate Professor of Law and Regulation, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford

Other speakers included local stakeholders and showcase event participants

INTRODUCTION

Kevin Grecksch, a social scientist at the University of

Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, specialising

in water governance and climate change adaptation,

led this informative walk along the canals of central

Birmingham and the city centre. Kevin was involved

in the MaRIUS drought project where he investigated

drought and water scarcity management options in

England and Wales.

The 90-minute walk stopped along the route for

insights from stakeholders and to exchange ideas.

This walk was part of the ENDOWS work task

‘Innovation, Communities, and Corporate Water’,

which is also led by Kevin Grecksch. The work task’s aim

is to gain a deeper understanding of water efficiency

campaigns with public sector organisations - schools,

universities, hospitals, council buildings.

WHAT HAPPENED

The walk provided space for informal discussions of questions such as:

• What is the value of water?

• How do people experience water efficiency campaigns?

• What role should citizens play in the management of drought and water scarcity?

• What water efficiency campaigns would you be interested in contributing to?

• Have you participated in water efficiency campaigns at your workplace?

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Datasets

The NERC UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme is releasing a number of datasets over the next 18

months together with interfaces for accessing and visualising data over the web and guidance for use of the data.

For more information on these datasets, please email Matt Fry (mfry@ceh.ac.uk).

Find this information online by clicking here

Historic hydrometeorological

data

Click here for the About

Drought Datasets

• Enhanced historic rain gauge data, and updated 5km rainfall grids back to the

1860s [Met Office].

• Historic catchment average daily rainfall series for selected catchments, 1861-

2015 [Met Office / CEH].

• Historic gridded Potential Evapotranspiration (PET), monthly and daily 5km

grids, 1891-2015, based on temperatures [CEH].

• Historic Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), 5km grid + catchments, 1862-

2015 [CEH].

• Historic Standardised Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI), 5km grid +

catchments, 1891-2015 [CEH].

• Reconstructed/modelled historic daily river flow series for gauged catchments

from 3 models, 1891-2015: Grid-to-Grid [CEH] AirGR [CEH], Dynamic TopModel

[University of Bristol].

• Reconstructed / modelled historic monthly gridded river flow and soil moisture

for UK from the Grid-to-Grid model, 1km grid, 1891-2015 [CEH].

• Reconstructed historic groundwater level series for 50 boreholes, 1891-2015

[BGS].

• Historic drought indicators (SSI, SGI) from reconstructed streamflow and

borehole records, 1891-2015 [CEH, BGS].

Near realtime

droughtrelated

metrics

The following drought-related metrics have been focussed on within the Drought

and Water Scarcity programme, and could become accessible in near-real time

should this be a requirement from users:

• Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), 5km grid + catchments, monthly [CEH]

– already available via the CEH Drought Portal

• Standardised Streamflow Index (SSI), selected gauging stations, monthly [CEH]

• Standardised Groundwater Level Index (SGI), selected boreholes, monthly

[BGS]

• Hydro-ecological drought metrics, under development within the projects

[CEH]

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Datasets

Climate change

projection data

Click here for the About

Drought Datasets

Probabilistic time series based on the Weather at Home (W@H) event set (100

ensemble members for each time slice) for a baseline period (1974-2004) and

two future periods (2020-2049 and 2070-2099) under the RCP8.5 high emission

scenario.

• Full gridded climate outputs including PET, daily / monthly on ~25km grid

(University of Oxford)

• (Dependent on user requirements) Catchment average rainfall, temperature

and PET for gauged catchments

• Daily river flow series at gauged catchments: Grid-to-Grid [CEH], Dynamic

TopModel [University of Bristol]

• Gridded monthly flows and soil moisture from Grid-to-Grid, 1km grid [CEH]

• (Dependent on user requirements) Summary grids and maps of this data, e.g.

change factors for future time periods for key statistics (annual / monthly / seasonal

flows, etc.)

Daily grids of hydrological variables (runoff, soil moisture, etc.) under UKCP09

climate projections for seven representative catchments across the UK for

three future periods (2020s, 2050s ,2080s), with 100 realisations, modelled with

Di-CHASM [CEH]

New Social and Socio-economic datasets

The multi-disciplinary UK Drought and Water Scarcity programme is also producing a wide range of data outputs

from research activities in many disciplines. Some of these outputs are listed below, and others will be added as

they are produced and identified from the component projects.

Cross-sectoral

inventory of

past droughts

Visit www.aboutdrought.info

for datasets release updates.

References to past droughts from a variety of sectors, integrated into a consistent

format to capture spatial and temporal reporting of drought:

• References to droughts in the agricultural media. 2000+ entries referring to

drought within UK agricultural media between 1975 and 2012, including information

on farm classification.

• References to droughts in legislation. 500+ entries referring to drought within UK

legislation between 1976 and 2012, from Hansard debates and other government

publications.

• References to droughts in newspapers. Thousands of spatially located entries

referring to drought within local and national newspapers from 1800 to 2014.

• References to droughts in oral histories. 1000 entries referring to drought from

dozens of drought-focussed oral histories from across the UK, from water industry

experts and members of the public.

Database of resevoir contruction: dataset of database construction, with capacity

information, from 1800 to 2000.

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Organisations who attended the

About Drought Showcase

Organisation

Affinity Water

AHDB

Airbus Defence and Space

Anglian Water

Artesia Consulting Ltd

Atkins

British Geological Survey

Canal & River Trust

Cardiff University

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford

CLA

Consumer Council for Water

Coventry University

Cranfield University

db+a

DCWW

Defra

DWI

DWRconsult

Environment Agency

Environmental Aesthetic and Associate

Environmental Change Institute

ESRC

Harper Adams University

HR Wallingford

Institute for Environmental Analytics

Jacobs

Lancaster University

Loughborough University

MOSL

National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading

National Infrastructure Commission

National Trust

Natural England

Natural Resources Wales

NERC

NFU

Nottingham Trent University

Policy Connect

RSPB

RWE Generation UK

Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England

Scottish Water

Severn Trent Water

South West Water

Organisation

Southern Water

Stantec

Tapajos

Thames Estuary Partnership

Thames21 Ltd

The Aire Rivers Trust

UK Irrigation Association

Uniper

United Utilities

Universiti Putra Malaysia

University of Birmingham

University of Bristol

University of East Anglia

University of Exeter

University of Oxford

University of the West of England, Bristol

Wallingford HydroSolutions Ltd.

Water Loss Research & Analysis Ltd, and LEAKSSuite website

Waterwise

Weather Logistics Ltd

Yorkshire Water

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About Drought Showcase

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Sign up for the About Drought newsletter at www.AboutDrought.info

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