Engineering infrastructure is provided at high cost and is expected to have a useful operational life of decades. However, it is clear that the future is uncertain. Traditional approaches to designing and operating urban storm drainage assets have relied on past performance of natural systems and the ability to extrapolate this performance, together with that of the assets across the usable lifetime. Whether or not climate change is going to significantly alter future weather patterns in Europe, it is clear that it is now incumbent on designers and operators of storm drainage systems to prepare for greater uncertainty in the effectiveness of storm drainage systems. A recent UK Government study considered the potential effects of climate and socio-economic change in the UK in terms of four future scenarios and what the implications are for the performance of existing storm drainage facilities. In this paper the modelling that was undertaken to try to quantify the changes in risk, together with the effectiveness of responses in managing that risk, are described. It shows that flood risks may increase by a factor of almost 30 times and that traditional engineering measures alone are unlikely to be able to provide protection.

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