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Potential Impact Of Climate Change on the Island’S Water Supply 15 August 2006

Reports on the effects on the Island’s climate spanning the next 25 years, 50 years and 75 years are all predicting increases in average temperatures throughout the year, increases in average winter rainfall and reductions in average summer rainfall. These changes will inevitably have an effect on the Island’s water supply and the Water Authority has been studying these aspects closely in recent months as part of its long term planning process.

As part of a scoping study looking at “Climate Change Impacts” on the Isle of Man, carried out by Acclimatise on behalf of DoLGE, a technical report on “Climate Change and Water Resources” has been prepared by ICARUS (the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units). This shows the potential effects of future climate change on runoff across the Island. The findings, whilst they are very preliminary in nature, are potentially of major future significance to the Water Authority.

The indications are that whilst the annual average runoff in the catchment areas will change only marginally over the next 50 to 75 years the summer and autumn runoff will be much reduced and the winter and spring runoff will increase. This is likely to reduce the reliable yield available from the Authority’s existing reservoirs with the effects starting to become significant in the next 15 to 20 years.

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