Adapting service to a changing climate
Our first climate change adaptation report in 2011, and the second in 2015, highlighted over 100 climate change risks, focusing our strategic planning on the most significant physical risks. Our next adaptation report will include an increased focus on transitional risks.
Over the last eight years, we have adopted a Systems Thinking approach which enables us to forecast how changes in weather conditions will impact us in a predictable way. It allows us to understand how areas of our service are vulnerable to climate change and adapt our plans to improve performance and resilience across key service areas; for example, water supply, leakage, sewer flooding and pollution.
Systems Thinking enables us to adapt to climate change over multiple time horizons. In our Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP), climate data is embedded in over 1,000 scenarios to understand how we can create the right supply demand balance against significant uncertainty for the next 25 years.
A similar baseline risk and vulnerability assessment is being taken as part of our Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs) to understand future performance compared to a baseline. This will identify where we are at risk of failing to meet strategic planning objectives such as internal flooding or wastewater treatment works compliance.
In the shorter term, flooding and droughts have become more prevalent across the North West and they are the forerunners to longer-term climate change impacts. Operationally, Systems Thinking enables us to use big data including weather forecasts to predict demands week to week and set out our system appropriately to manage this – which, despite these extreme weather events, has supported delivery of some of our best performance.
Our contribution to mitigating climate change As part of our strategy and commitment to decarbonisation we have been tracking and publishing our greenhouse gas emissions since 2001. Our most recent target, set in 2015, was to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent from the 2005/06 baseline by 2020 (and to achieve a 60 per cent reduction by 2035).
Our contribution to mitigating climate change
As part of our strategy and commitment to decarbonisation we have been tracking and publishing our greenhouse gas emissions since 2001.Our most recent target, set in 2015 was to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent from the 2005/06 baseline by 2020 (and to achieve a 60 per cent reduction by 2035).