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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP383  Modifying Existing Rainfall Design Sets for Climate Change Climate Change
Project Appreciation and Objectives

Design sets of rainfall events (and associated soil moisture deficits), based on historical data, are regularly used in models to test the performance of sewer and water resource systems in terms of environmental standards and supply reliability. UKCIP08 scenarios, due to be published in Spring 2009, will provide climate change predictions but these will not be directly comparable to the historical design sets that Water Companies regularly use. By making appropriate climate adjustments to historical design sets, performance changes due to climate change alone could be assessed reliably. This project is developing a robust procedure for this purpose.

Benefits to Clients

  • Utilise valuable historical data series to better understand the incremental effect of climate change alone on asset performance and environmental impacts.
  • Better informed business planning and investment decisions, based on best available climate change and rainfall predictions.

Work Programme

  1. Identify a range of statistical measures to describe rainfall events and evaporation series and, for different UKCIP08 scenarios, quantify for selected sites. Changes in these measures over time will be expressed as factors.
  2. Develop a procedure to calculate these factors automatically from UKCIP08 data for a particular site and for a particular time change.
  3. Produce an optimisation procedure that modifies the historical datasets to give 'future' datasets. The procedure will allow 'future' datasets to relate to the historical datasets by these climate change factors while also retaining as much of the historical structure as possible.
  4. Apply the procedure to at least one historical dataset per contributor. These datasets will either be in the form of multi-year continuous hourly data or sets of events specifically created from historical data (e.g. 'Typical Year').

Project Output

  • A detailed report describing the development and testing of the procedure.
  • A prototype tool to automate the procedure.
  • Sample rainfall/evaporation prediction for each participant, based on one dataset.

Related WRc Work

  • STORMPAC software for the generation and manipulation of rainfall, various water utility companies and consultants.
  • Numerous projects supplying single site or spatial rainfall design sets, various regulatory and water utility clients (Environment Agency, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Thames Water, Scottish Water, Severn Trent Water, MWH UK Ltd, Biwater Treatment Ltd), 2006-present.

WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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