FUTURE-DRAINAGE: Ensemble climate change rainfall estimates for sustainable drainage

We will use the latest climate projections for the UK (UKCP18) from very high resolution climate models and couple these to new, high-resolution flood models for small rapid response catchments, like Boscastle, or urban areas that suffer from flash floods. Together they will be used to update guidance for urban drainage design and methods for urban surface water flood risk assessment in the UK: priorities identified in the National Flood Resilience Review (2016) and restated in the UK Adaptation Sub-Committee’s UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 Synthesis Report, which identified “more action is needed to deliver sustainable drainage systems, upgrade sewers where appropriate and tackle drivers increasing surface runoff (e.g. impermeable surfacing in urban areas).”

This will include new ‘uplifts’ that can be applied to design storm events to represent climate change effects on storms and recommendations on the updates of existing methods and tools used to tackle surface water flooding. (See: Guidance for Water and Sewerage Companies and Flood Risk Authorities: Recommended uplifts for applying to design storms.)

UKCP18 represent the daily cycle of rainfall, and rainfall characteristics like intensity, duration and frequency of occurrence, much better than coarser resolution models that have been used previously and can help us to understand how short-duration intense rainfall events and flash floods might change in the future. Here we propose to couple them, for the first time, with new, high-resolution flood models for small rapid response catchments, like Boscastle, or urban areas that suffer from flash floods. Together they will be used to update guidance for urban drainage design and methods for urban surface water flood risk assessment in the UK. This will include new ‘uplifts’ that can be applied to design storm events to represent climate change effects on storms and recommendations on the updates of existing methods and tools used to tackle surface water flooding.

Project outputs

Publications:

Guidance:

Events:

  • UK Climate Resilience webinar, 24 June 2020: FUTURE-DRAINAGE: Ensemble climate change rainfall estimates for sustainable drainage with Professor Hayley Fowler, Professor of Climate Change Impacts, Newcastle University (Project PI) and Murray Dale, Technical Director and Chartered Meteorologist, JBA. Watch Part 1part 2part 3 and part 4.