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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/7007

Document Type: Report
Title: Sustainable water resources: A framework for assessing adaptation options in the rural sector. 
Authors: Weatherhead, E. K.
Knox, Jerry W.
de Vries, T. T.
Ramsden, S.
Gibbons, J.
Arnell, N. W.
Odoni, N.
Hiscock, K.
Sandhu, C.
Saich, A.
Conway, D.
Warwick, C.
Bharwani, S.
Hossell, J.
Clemence, B.
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Weatherhead E.K., Knox J.W., de Vries T.T., Ramsden S., Gibbons J., Arnell N.W., Odoni N., Hiscock K., Sandhu C., Saich A., Conway D., Warwick C., Bharwani S., Hossell J., and Clemence B. (2005) Sustainable water resources: A framework for assessing adaptation options in the rural sector. Tyndall Centre Technical Report 44, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UEA, Norwich.
Abstract: Abstract.  This project developed a framework to assess how the irrigated agriculture and turf grass leisure sectors in England could adapt to climate change impacts on water resources. Two catchments (the Nar and Wensum) in East Anglia provided case studies for hydrological, crop yield and land-use modelling; farmer interviews were held across East Anglia, and the golf sector study covered England and Wales. Future climate scenarios were developed from the UKCIP02 dataset, using the high and low emission scenarios for the 2020s and 2050s. For all these scenarios, hydrological modelling showed, even by the 2020s, groundwater recharge is reduced, ground water levels are lower, and both summer and winter river flows fall despite higher winter rainfall. These changes imply major reductions in water available for abstraction and its reliability. It would be impossible to meet the current environmental river flow objectives even without abstraction. Crop yield and land use modelling suggested that farmers will still grow high value irrigated crops such as potatoes and field- scale vegetables. If water resources are limited, they will reduce irrigation of other crops and invest in farm reservoirs, using winter abstraction. However, the extra costs will reduce farm net margins, and make farm businesses more vulnerable. Farmer interviews confirmed that cropping changes and reservoirs are the preferred adaptations. A prototype knowledge elicitation tool was developed to improve understanding of farmer behaviour. A survey of golf course irrigation in England and Wales revealed courses are about equally split between using mains water and direct abstraction. If water is limited, many could adapt by restricting irrigation to greens and tees; others could use reservoirs, re-use and water harvesting. However, client/member pressure is for fully irrigated surfaces. Overall, the study revealed that adaptations options do exist, albeit with costs. Better information on the climate impacts and careful regulation would reduce the risks of users adopting individual adaptations that are not optimal overall and/or inappropriate.
URI: http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/7007
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