The UK’s infrastructure sectors, including waste, water, transport, energy, digital communications and flood defence, are at risk of an increase in flooding and severe weather – and better sharing of information is required between these sectors in order to identify joint risks that could create greater disruption if there is a connection between industries.
This is according to a new report from the University of Newcastle and chair of Earth System Engineering professor Richard Dawson, who said that greater flood risks mean there is greater potential for disruption to communications, the road and rail network, power stations and the waste infrastructure, all of which underpin the modern economy we’re used to.
“We’ve already seen the kind of significant impact flooding can cause and unless action is taken, the UK’s infrastructure will become increasingly susceptible to extreme weather events,” he went on to say.
Infrastructure is at risk from surface, river and groundwater flooding, as well as coastal erosion, the study found, with the number of assets exposed to flooding sources possibly doubling because of predicted changes to the climate by the 2080s. Forecast hikes in temperature will also put pressure on transport networks and power lines.
The government is now due to consider the findings of this evidence report and will present their formal assessment of climate risks and opportunities for the UK to Parliament at the start of next year.
The end of last month saw parts of Britain brought to a standstill by flash flooding as storms battered various parts of the country. Building repairs and other such construction work are sure to be required in the future and it certainly seems as though this is the kind of news we can all expect to hear increasingly moving forward.