Dry river under a bridge

Dried up river bed. Photo by Ned Hewitt.

A conference will highlight the latest international research to support improved drought preparation and management.

People working in the water industry, agriculture sector, regulatory bodies and consultancies as well as researchers are invited to the event, titled Drought and Water Scarcity: Addressing Current and Future Challenges, in Oxford on 20 and 21 March. The deadline for booking tickets is Wednesday 13 March.

Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) will be among about 40 speakers at the conference, which has been organised by the Natural Environment Research Council’s UK Drought and Water Scarcity Research Programme. This £12 million five-year programme, involving researchers from a variety of disciplines including scientists from CEH, is looking at the relationships between the causes and impacts of water scarcity in order to make recommendations for long-term and short-term drought planning and management.

The event, which will comprise presentations from scientists involved in the programme as well as other experts, will showcase the latest multidisciplinary international research on the subject. Topics covered will include:

  • Climatology and hydrology of droughts: past, present and future.
  • Drought planning and management.
  • Impacts on environment, agriculture, energy production and communities.
  • Risk perception and communication.

Jame Hannaford, Principal Hydrologist at CEH, who is one of the leading scientists in the UK Drought and Water Scarcity Research Programme, says: "Droughts threaten societies, economies and ecosystems and are expected to become more severe due to the combination of climate change and pressure on water resources from economic and population growth.

"This conference will highlight the latest research on drought planning and management, to support government agencies, industry and the agricultural sector as they made decisions on planning for and managing drought events."

Mr Hannaford is one of five CEH scientists to speak at the event, alongside academics from universities in the UK and abroad, the Environment Agency, Met Office and British Geological Survey.

Guest speakers will include Professor Ian Holman, of Cranfield University, who will be talk about lessons from last summer’s dry spell for future drought resilience in the agriculture sector, and Mike Morecroft of Natural England, who will discuss the impacts on the natural environment and learning to adapt to climate change.

The UK Drought and Water Scarcity Research Programme’s International Academic Conference will be held at Pembroke College, Oxford University, on 20 and 21 March. Tickets for the event are £50 for one day, £90 for both days. To book online, click here.

 

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