Running Out of Water and Options? An Assessment of Current Drought and Water Scarcity Management Options in England and Wales
67 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 7, 2018
Droughts are a recurring feature of UK climate. This paper asks what drought and water scarcity management options are currently applied in England and Wales and contrasts it with international literature. This research will also deviate from the standard differentiation of supply versus demand options and present a new classification focussing on different stakeholder groups or overarching water governance issues. This new typology helps identifying weaknesses in current drought and water scarcity management. The literature review shows a tendency towards proactive measures that focus on cross-sectoral collaboration, abstractor groups and valuing water. In contrast, the results for England and Wales, based on an analysis of water companies’ Water Resources Management Plans, show that only a limited number of the international available options are applied and that the currently applied options focus on restricting water use in times of drought but focus less on preventing droughts in a larger context of water governance. Thus, to tackle future challenges such as climate change and population growth, water companies and regulators should embrace the introduction of more proactive drought management options.
Keywords: drought, water scarcity, water governance, England, Wales
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