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Title: An investigation of drought in the Severn Trent Water region : re-evaluating drought severity, characteristics and generating mechanisms
Author: Lennard, A. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1742
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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Drought is a recurring phenomenon resulting from natural climate variability; this hazard has multi-faceted impacts including on the economy, agriculture, public water supplies and the environment. Whilst there has been a resurgence in UK focused drought research since the 2010-12 drought, there is a wealth of understanding still required; particularly from a water resource planning and drought management perspective. This thesis seeks to increase our understanding of the drought hazard and its implications for water resources in the Severn Trent Water Region; located in the English Midlands and central Wales. A broad-scale understanding of drought is achieved through the analysis of meteorological, hydrological and groundwater variables using a standardised drought indictor approach. A high resolution reconstruction of meteorological drought is accomplished using long series rainfall data from both newly reconstructed and extended rainfall datasets. This drought reconstruction allows the characterisation of notable droughts across the study region from 1858 to 2012, including the identification of the most severe events. This information is used in a water resource modelling framework to assess the impact of severe droughts identified prior to 1920 on a water resource zone yield to complement current water company planning documents. More recent meteorological droughts are examined for their spatial and temporal coherence to identify the potential impacts on water resources. This analysis identifies that the most severe droughts exhibit greater coherence across the study region resulting in more widespread water supply impacts. Analysis of hydrological and groundwater droughts identifies considerable variability in drought frequency, duration and severity within the jurisdiction of a single water company. This variability is primarily attributed to catchment storage properties and aquifer type. The investigation of the links between meteorological and hydro(geo)logical droughts reveals a complex relationship that provides useful insight for the development of drought monitoring systems. The potential for drought monitoring using drought indicators is also explored through the analysis of the links between large scale atmospheric circulation patterns and meteorological drought indicators. In the development of a detailed understanding of the drought phenomenon within the Severn Trent Water Region. This study develops an insight into the application of drought research for operational drought management; whilst the methods used throughout provide a generic framework to better understand this hazard.
Supervisor: Macdonald, N. ; Hooke, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral