We know floods are a risk but what about drought?

21st August 2013

Rhoda Watson and Martina McGuiness from the University of Sheffield Management School and colleagues from a number of other Higher Education institutions across the country are working on a grant application to investigate just that risk.

The project team is led by Prof. Lindsey McEwen (University of West of England) but the University of Sheffield is one of the research partners as are the universities of Warwick, Falmouth, Bristol, Harper Adams, Dundee and Exeter. They are seeking funding from the Natural Environment Council (NERC) for approximately £2.75M to develop a multi-stakeholder decision-making tool for drought risk management. They aim to examine drought risk from a multi-disciplinary perspective. This includes hydrology, soil science, business, farming, construction, health and emergency planning in order to identify drought impact and develop tools for the more its more effective mitigation and management. Given the impact of climate change, and the anticipated increasing risk in scale and scope of drought in the UK, we think that this kind of research is important and useful. As part of the proposed research project they will also investigate associated hazards from heat/post-drought related impacts such as pollution/flooding/fire. At this point in time, the research project application has successfully passed the first round of the NERC selection process. It is being developed further but would be greatly strengthened by letters of support from the public/private sector to help move forward with the application. Sheffield Chamber of Commerce are asking if of its members would be willing to furnish a letter, which might include information such as: this research is very important and needs doing it is timely in light of climate change, but more particularly in terms of some of the threats/issues that drought presents to these business, agriculture, tourism and urban and rural communities that you will be happy to support the project in terms of advice, contact or ways that are appropriate. (if you are) They are not looking for a financial contribution! Please do not hesitate to contact Rhoda at rhoda.watson@sheffield.ac.uk or on 07725 995969 if you have any questions or queries.

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