The impact of climate change on groundwater resources is a complex issue and does not lend itself to easy solution. Most global climate models suggest that there will be wetter winters and drier summers in the UK. This should imply that there will be more winter recharge on average, and thus more groundwater availability than at present. However, variability is also a significant feature of climate change, and not all winters will have higher rainfall than average. Furthermore, intense summer storms may provide significant summer recharge, as has happened in recent years. But the increase in variability will make it more likely that an extended sequence of dry winters could occur.
ESI’s strengths in quantitative hydrogeology (including a strong track record in calculating recharge rates from meteorological data) are well suited to assessment of the risks to water resources from climate change.