“Water firms choose Met Office’s proactive forecasting”
By Paul Homewood
I was astonished to see the following blurb on the UK Met Office website today.
The operational performance of a water company is inextricably linked to weather conditions. The Met Office have worked with the industry to make companies resilient, competitive and sustainable.
In the last few years alone, the UK has witnessed extremes of intense cold and snow, years of below average rainfall and localised torrential downpours from thunderstorms. The cold winter of 2008/9 saw a fourfold increase in burst pipes across the UK’s water network, and the following two winters also resulted in significant increases in leakage and pipe bursts. This year, we have seen a winter with above average temperatures followed by the wettest April on record and the wettest summer in 100 years. This presents a considerable challenge to the water industry’s operations and strategies.
To help the industry be prepared to deal with all the British weather can throw at it, we have worked closely with water companies to combine weather information with water industry data so proactive decisions can be made when adverse weather is forecast.
The UK water industry is notorious for water leaks, inadequate storage, and high charges. I suppose now they might actually have some excuse, if they are relying on the people who brought us BBQ summers that never materialised, mild winters that ended up being the coldest for years, and a warm and dry April that turned out to be the wettest for a century.
Perhaps the water companies did not get around to reading the Met’s Annual Report this year, which informed us that their models had a big fail when it came to forecasting precipitation.