Droughts and water scarcity pose a significant risk to societies, economies and ecosystems worldwide.  Impacts can be both direct, such as affecting crops and reducing water supply and quality, and indirect such as knock-on effects on business production affecting the flow of goods and services.

Droughts and water scarcity jointly pose a substantial threat to the environment, agriculture, infrastructure, society and culture in the UK. In 2012 the UK experienced the driest spring in over a century, following two dry winters.  A full drought could have led to potential losses of £1.5 billion.

Yet despite this severe economic impact, our scientific understanding of the complex drivers causing drought occurrence, duration and intensity, and our ability to characterise and predict minimise their impacts, is often inadequate.

Following the 2011-2012 UK drought experience, the MaRIUS  project has received NERC funding to explore how best to manage future droughts.  This project – Managing the Risks, Impacts and Uncertainties of drought and water Scarcity (MaRIUS) will introduce a risk-based approach to drought and water scarcity in order to inform management decisions and prepare households.

In MaRIUS we have developed new methodologies, datasets and and models for the analysis of drought and water scarcity impacts on river flowwater qualityecologyfarmingthe economy, and how these combine to affect people.

By supporting the analysis of a comprehensive range of impacts in a common framework MaRIUS provides multi-attribute characterisation of drought impacts and evidence that can help evaluate trade-offs between different impacts and drought management options.

Please explore this website or contact us to find out more!