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The report states that “climate change is projected to reduce the amount of water in the environment that can be sustainably withdrawn whilst increasing the demand for irrigation during the driest months. At the same time the growing population will create additional demands on already stretched resources in some parts of the country. Even low population growth and modest climate change scenarios suggest severe water supply deficits, and with high population growth and more severe climate change these deficits deepen and by the 2050s extend across the UK. Whilst there is significant action already underway, there is an urgent need for longer-term water resource planning to assess the scale of risks and consider strategic options, more co-ordinated action to ensure resilient supplies especially in times of drought, and further steps to achieve the ambitious reductions in water demand and leakage that are likely to be required. Otherwise there could be increasingly difficult trade-offs between the needs of industry, farming and the public water supply, and the ecological status of rivers, lakes,estuaries, and groundwater.
The recent vote in favour of leaving the European Union does not change the overall findings of this risk assessment. However, the magnitude of individual climate change risks and opportunities could be affected if legislation, policy and funding derived from the EU, relevant to climate change adaptation, are changed. Important areas include the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, the Water Framework, Bathing Water, Birds, Habitats, Floods, Urban Waste Water Treatment and Solvency II Directives, and the European Structural Investment Fund. Compensatory UK measures may be stronger or weaker than their EU equivalents.”