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Water Sci Technol. 2009;59(3):443-51. doi: 10.2166/wst.2009.877.

Risk-based climate-change impact assessment for the water industry.

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Engineering Department, Centre for Sustainable Development, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.


In response to a rapidly changing and highly variable climate, engineers are being asked to perform climate-change impact assessments on existing water industry systems. There is currently no single method of best practice for engineers to interpret output from global climate models (GCMs) and calculate probabilistic distributions of future climate changes as required for risk-based impact assessments. The simplified climate change impact assessment tool (SCIAT) has been developed to address the specific needs of the water industry and provides a tool to translate climate change projections into 'real world' impacts or for detailed statistical analysis. Through the use of SCIAT, water system operators are provided with knowledge of potential impacts and an associated probability of occurrence, enabling them to make informed, risk-based adaptation and planning decisions. This paper demonstrates the application of SCIAT to the consideration of the impacts of climate change on reservoir water quality under future climate scenarios.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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