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Assessment of risks to public water supply from low flows and harmful water quality in a changing climate

Mortazavi‐Naeini, Mohammad; Bussi, Gianbattista; Elliott, J. Alex; Hall, Jim W.; Whitehead, Paul G.. 2019 Assessment of risks to public water supply from low flows and harmful water quality in a changing climate. Water Resources Research, 55 (12). 10386-10404. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022865

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Abstract/Summary

Water resources planning and management by water utilities have traditionally been based on consideration of water availability. However, the reliability of public water supplies can also be influenced by the quality of water bodies. In this study, we proposed a framework that integrates the analysis of risks of inadequate water quality and risks of insufficient water availability. We have developed a coupled modeling system that combines hydrological modeling of river water quantity and quality, rules for water withdrawals from rivers into storage reservoirs, and dynamical simulation of harmful algal blooms in storage reservoirs. We use this framework to assess the impact of climate change, demand growth, and land‐use change on the reliability of public water supplies. The proposed method is tested on the River Thames catchment in the south of England. The results show that alongside the well‐known risks of rising water demand in the south of England and uncertain impacts of climate change, diffuse pollution from agriculture and effluent from upstream waste water treatment works potentially represent a threat to the reliability of public water supplies in London. We quantify the steps that could be taken to ameliorate these threats, though even a vigorous pollution‐prevention strategy would not be sufficient to offset the projected effects of climate change on water quality and the reliability of public water supplies. The proposed method can help water utilities to recognize their system vulnerability and evaluate the potential solutions to achieve more reliable water supplies. supplies

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR022865
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Water Resources (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0043-1397
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: water supply, reliability, water quality, land‐use, climate change
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Health
Date made live: 24 Jan 2020 11:18 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/526584

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