Water is essential to life. The impacts of environmental change to our water cycle are significant. Larger variations in the climate will lead to a variety of changes in our water supply, particularly related to extreme events such as flooding, drought, and rising sea levels.
A third of the world's current population lives in water-stressed countries. By 2025 this is expected to rise to two-thirds. The threat of water scarcity could become insurmountable if action is not taken quickly to redistribute, reuse, generate and store water on a grand scale. It is essential to explore new strategies and technologies and adapt and improve existing ones that could ultimately secure our water supply.
Natural environmental hazards, and flooding in particular, are one of the key risks facing the UK, and the risks are likely to increase in the future in the face of both climate change and socio-economic pressures. The potential societal impacts and economic damages from flood risk are therefore significant. Given that at least 6 million properties in the UK are at risk of flooding, addressing flooding in terms of prevention and mitigation with due regard for the economic and social costs is a high priority.
Our ambition is to continue developing innovative solutions and technologies to protect against high impact extreme events such as flooding and to ensure a secure supply of water, whilst maintaining a healthy ecosystem.