The value of decadal forecasts to improve resilience of water supply

About the project or challenge area

In the UK, all of us depend on a reliable water supply provided by water companies. They use a plethora of data to inform their drought and water management plans taking into account, amongst others, long-term climate change. But using scientific evidence for planning for 2-10 years is currently a blind spot for the industry. Recent studies have shown that decadal forecasts have shown a huge step in improving the skill. Can decadal forecasts improve the scientific basis of short-term planning?

The project could take a number of potential pathways. For example, it could involve setting up and running hydrological models using forecast data or focusing on how climate model could directly inform planning or analysing the potential for forecast-type information could be used in water supply models.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will contribute to a novel area of climate services as well as have the opportunity to collaborate with scientists in the Faculty of Engineering as well as the Met Office. The project will also develop your network with commercial organisations as you will be interacting closely with water industry partners to ensure useful and usable outcomes.

About you

You are excited about discovering potential applications of novel science with a keen interest in climate, hydrology and how future risk is translated to inform decisions. You will have prior experience in statistical analysis, programming and risk analysis.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Cabot Masters by Research Admission Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Research Statement.

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Dr Fai Fung in the Department of Civil Engineering. You can email him:


Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Francesca PianosiSenior Lecturer in Water and Environmental EngineeringDepartment of Civil Engineering. You can contact her by email:

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Water theme is a vibrant community of researchers who are transforming the evidence base for water-based decision making in a changing and deeply uncertain world. Find out more about the Water research theme.

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