The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Towards forecast-based climate resilience and adaptation in the water sector

This is an Embedded Researcher project; click here to find out more about the scheme and a summary of the projects. 

This project aims to understand how improved forecast capabilities can inform future operations for assets within water systems, and how this can lead to better system-level adaptation planning under climate change, population growth, and other stressors and hazards.


Usual applications of forecasts to resilience assessments in water systems ask the question “What are the benefits of forecasting product X for water system Y?”. This project proposes to start asking instead: “What are the forecast characteristics that would increase the resilience of a water system to climate-related risks? what variables? what lead times? and with what accuracy?”

Such an approach puts the focus on the needs of forecast users. This will enable water managers, government agencies, and communities, to identify more easily which forecasts would be useful to them. It will also help forecast providers such as the Met Office to focus forecast improvement efforts to areas where they would be most beneficial.


This project will partner Dr Charles Rougé from the University of Sheffield with Anglian Water.


The work as part of this embedded researcher scheme aims to:

  • Build a freely available, open-source Python toolbox to map the potential benefits of forecast depending on their performance. It will be tailored for assessing the performance of water infrastructure at the planning stage and applied to a storage reservoir with pumps and treatment plant. This will help to understand which forecasts should be used to trigger appropriate mitigation and / or adaptation actions at the asset level, and what forecast precision is required for this.
  • Develop a long-term collaboration with the host organisation Anglian Water . The successful implementation of the open-source Python toolbox, and its application to a key asset in Anglian Water’s long-term adaptation plans, will only be a first step in that direction. Planned activities will lead to the submission of grant proposals to extend that work, with Anglian Water as key partner and beneficiary.

Image credit: Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District, Unsplash.