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Met Office

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The Met Office is a world leader in weather forecasting and climate science with extensive consultancy expertise. Met Office Consulting brings together consultancy and risk management to help you make strategic business decisions about weather and climate change impacts. We offer an understanding of the future, through risk analysis and long-range forecasting enabling better informed decisions. - How will extreme weather events impact on your operations in the short term? - How resilient will your business be to climate change in 10 V20 years time? - Are you building climate change resilience in to the design of long term assets? Met Office Consulting is uniquely positioned to interpret climate change science and advise on the potential consequences and risks. We are working with businesses to develop adaptation strategies to maximise business performance and mitigate the impact of climate change. The Met Office is the key science contributor to the UKCIP08, releasing the first report of climate trends in November 2007, followed by the main report launched in November 2008. We were the leading UK contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Chan

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Met Office Consulting
FitzRoy Road

Exeter
Devon
EX1 3PB
www.metoffice.gov.uk

Met Office helps South West Water deal with extreme rainfall

With weather conditions having such a significant impact on the performance of the water industry, it is essential for water companies to know how, and when, to respond.

Preliminary research from the Met Office suggests we may have seen a change in the nature of rain we get with an analysis of rainfall events since 1960 indicating that the number of 'extreme' days of rainfall may have become more frequent. With this in mind, the Met Office has helped South West Water predict when river conditions will be difficult or expensive to treat.

During periods of heavy rain, debris and soil is washed into rivers which have to be filtered to remove the debris before going through a treatment process. This removal can increase production costs by up to five times.

South West Water commissioned the Met Office to conduct a weather sensitivity analysis to determine the relationship between rainfall and turbidity. The measurement of turbidity, the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid, is a key test of water quality.

The Met Office used turbidity data from a remotely operated river monitor and rainfall data, to establish a relationship. This information was used to set up a forecast service to help South West Water manage resources and minimise the impact of high turbidity events.

South West Water is now able to predict when river conditions will be difficult or expensive to treat. Keeping a close eye on changing events, the Met Office provides guidance to South West Water's Central Control Centre. When there is increased probability of extreme rainfall, South West Water can remotely alter the volumes of water in the distribution network which supplies its customers. This in turn means that South West Water can slow down the production rate at its treatment works.

In many cases this avoids additional filtering all together helping South West Water to run its assets more effectively, reducing costs to customers and reducing impacts on the environment. Michael Wigmore of South West Water said "The solution was designed and delivered to one of SWW's works in Cornwall and has proved so successful that we are continuing work to establish the possibilities of implementing it on our river sources in Devon".

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For further information please email Met Office

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