There is a significant and growing risk of severe drought impacts from climate change, population growth and environmental drivers. This report developed new models of the impacts of these factors on water resources in England and Wales to 2065, across a range of scenarios. It examines more extreme drought events than have been considered before.
The report assesses England and Wales’ long-term water needs and the options available for meeting them. It identifies an adaptive strategic mix for strengthening resilience that includes ambitious demand management and supply enhancement, with associated transfers between regions.
The levels of demand management considered rely on significant behavioural change and significant future innovation to make the options more feasible economically. Interregional transfers and new storage capacity may represent key components of a more resilient system. Connecting major supply systems has implications for river regulation, water quality, and environmental risk.