Memorandum submitted by the UK Climate
Impacts Programme (UKCIP)
CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER SECURITY
1. The UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)
would like to inform you of our interest in the Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into climate change and water
security. UKCIP was established in 1997 by the UK Government to
help organisations assess how climate change might affect them
and how they might adapt to it. We feel that we have a number
of tools, studies and partnerships that will be of interest to
the Committee for this inquiry.
2. Through this document I would like to
inform you that UKCIP can act as a source of information for the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee inquiry into climate
change and water security.
3. The UK Climate Impacts Programme was
established by government in 1997 and is fully funded by Defra.
We help organisations assess how they might be affected by climate
change, so they can prepare for its impacts. We co-ordinate and
integrate stakeholder-led assessments of climate change impacts
at a regional and national level, and provide tools (such as the
UKCIP02 climate change scenarios and a risk, uncertainty and decision
making framework) and guidance throughout the process for both
stakeholders and the researchers. Within the UKCIP framework,
regional scoping studies on climate change impacts have been undertaken
for all parts of the UK, and regional climate change partnerships
have been established. Sectoral studies focused on water supply
and demand have also been undertaken. Further information on the
UKCIP tools and studies is available from our website (www.ukcip.org.uk)
and additional information is provided below.
4. A key source of information UKCIP can
provide to the inquiry is a set of tools UKCIP have freely available
to stakeholders and researchers. The most important of these,
especially when considering future water security, is the UKCIP02
climate change scenarios. This data is freely available under
licence agreement and includes observational and future monthly,
seasonal and annual data at 5 x 5 km and 50 x 50 km grid size
for 26 variables for the whole UK. Licence forms to access the
data can be downloaded from our website.
5. Socio-economic scenarios have been developed
for UKCIP to complement the UKCIP02 climate change scenarios.
This scenario information is also freely available and will be
especially important when undertaking studies into future water
6. A further tool that is being used for
water resources research is our "Climate Adaptation: Risk,
Uncertainty and Decision-Making" framework, which was developed
with the Environment Agency and is designed to help decision-makers
understand risk and uncertainty and to identify adaptation options.
This framework was applied to a water security problem during
training workshops that were held in late 2003 and is being used
by the Environment Agency and others in climate adaptation and
7. In summer 2004 UKCIP will launch a report
detailing a methodology for costing the impacts of climate change.
This methodology will assist users to identify and quantify the
impacts of climate change and value these impacts for a range
of scenarios using standard economic techniques. The methodology
also shows how to compare impact costs against the costs of adaptation
options, to work out how much adaptation is needed.
8. UKCIP works with regional partnerships
in the nine English regions and three Devolved Administrations.
All of the regional partnerships have produced scoping studies
that identify, at a minimum, how climate change will impact on
the region. Many of the scoping studies have identified water
security as an issue for the region and the are continuing to
grapple with water management issues such as balancing water requirements
for existing demands, new housing, and increased tourism.
9. The UKCIP regional partnerships also
provide a forum for others to engage with. Most regions have an
established partnership that includes a wide range of people who
can be consulted on various issues.
10. Sectoral studies are also carried out
under the UKCIP umbrella and three of these have specifically
focused on water security. One of these studies was CC:DEW which
looked changes in at future water demand due to behavioural responses
to climate change (eg from irrigation, garden watering, industrial
activity etc) by the 2020s and 2050s.
11. RegIS (Regional Climate Change Impact
and Response Studies in East Anglia and North West England), is
an integrated assessment study, the first phase of which was completed
in 2002. The study focused on integrating socio-economic factors
and climate change across the coastal and river flooding, agriculture,
water and biodiversity sectors. In 2003 a second phase of the
RegIS started, focusing on the same regions and sectors. This
study is due for completion in September 2005. Outputs from this
project should include a tool to help decision makers assess how
climate change will impact on a sector and across various sectors.
12. A final sectoral study that could be
relevant to this inquiry is the MONARCH project which focuses
on climate change and nature conservation in Britain and Ireland.
MONARCH (Phase 1) investigated the potential impacts of climate
change in Britain and Ireland on a range of species and habitats.
Phase 2 aimed to downscale this approach in order to provide a
detailed understanding of impacts on ecosystem processes, which
can then be applied to addressing nature conservation objectives
within the context of climate change. Outputs from this project
might be of interested to the Committee when addressing ways of
minimising the impact of changes in water availability on biodiversity.
13. UKCIP would be very pleased to assist
with the climate change impacts and adaptation aspects of your
inquiry. I do hope these comments are helpful. We look forward
to hearing from you, and to providing you with further details
on the above in due course.
UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP)