The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Drought resilience: what are some of water companies’ research needs? (Webinar)

UK Climate Resilience Programme Webinar Series 2022-2023

Date: 31 January 2023, 1pm (GMT)

Speakers: Charles Rougé (University of Sheffield), with Geoff Darch (Anglian Water Service) as respondent

Chair: Kate Lonsdale

View this webinar on YouTube


This presentation presents the outcomes of Charles’ embedded researcher experience with the Water Resources Team at water company Anglian Water Services. The project sought to explore how both operational improvements and long-term planning could improve drought resilience, in particular through the use of seasonal weather forecasts. Project outcomes include a new methodology to better quantify the relationship between the quality of a forecast and its value to water managers. Beyond that, the identification of research gaps that also correspond to technical gaps for the partner, led to two successful follow-up funding proposals that will keep the collaboration alive for the next few years. One project focuses on incorporating climate-induced risks to reservoir water quality in long-term planning. The other will build the modelling tools to quantify the impacts of the energy transition on water resource systems, and to suggest drought- and climate-resilient infrastructure investments that will also be well adapted to future energy systems.


Charles Rougé is a lecturer in water engineering at the University of Sheffield, which he joined in 2018 after several research positions at top institutions in four different countries in Europe and North America. His research means to find adaptation solutions for water and water-energy systems stretched by climate change impacts, as well as socio-economic and technological disruptions. He develops new modelling frameworks and analysis techniques to ensure that adaptation solutions are based on a holistic understanding of these systems and the threats they face.

Geoff Darch is head of supply demand strategy at Anglian Water, responsible for supply and demand forecasting, associated investment planning, water trading and the development of new resource options. Prior to joining Anglian Water in 2017, Geoff spent 16 years in consultancy, advising on climate risks and adaptation for clients including international finance institutions, government departments, environmental agencies and utility companies. Geoff is a guest lecturer at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, and sits on several climate change working groups including at CIWEM and BSI. He is co-founder of the ‘Analysis under Uncertainty for Decision Makers’ network ( Geoff has a PhD in hydro-climatology, is a chartered scientist, and is a fellow of CIWEM and the Royal Meteorological Society.