12 Oct 2008

Severn might drop by 80%

Last weekend the Observer carried a story at the weekend showing that the EA’s latest study shows flows in the Severn might drop by up to 80 per cent by 2050 - see here.

Photo: Severn flood defence

The study suggests that although winter rainfall might increase by 10 per cent, the period of higher river flows will be reduced. The research used climate projections from the UK Climate Impacts Programme and showed that, by 2050, river flows in winter may rise by 10 to 15 per cent in England and Wales. But in late summer and early autumn, they could fall by as much as 80 per cent in some places. The patterns would result in a drop in total annual river flow of up to 15 per cent.

Stroud Life asked for a quote but no emails coming in last week and being unwell meant I didn't get to answer until now - probably far too late for the paper but here it is at least for blog readers:

This is another worrying report, but we should bear in mind climate scientists can readily predict temperature rises but predictions of forecast rainfall are difficult. However it seems certain we must prepare for periods of both drought and floods. Indeed research for the recent Pitt Review of our floods last year, indicates that we will increasingly see "extreme rainfall events" in the future along with the possibility of dangerous sea level rises.

We need to do much more on water conservation and develop a proper sustainable drainage strategy in the District that seeks to store and infiltrate water and protect us from floods and drought. As those flooded in Bridgend and other areas know, that means an holistic strategy that includes changes to our planning, farming, house building and more. In short an end to those of us upstream dumping on those downstream.

Yes I know I could say lots more on this but well that'll have to do for now...

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