Climate change adaptation
Climate change adaptation means taking action to make sure that we can cope with the weather in the future.
The companies we regulate already deal with weather risks as a fundamental part of their business, and we already face risks to supply from droughts and floods. However, in a changing climate our existing systems and practices may not be adequate.
To adapt, the sectors must consider all of the risks of climate change over the coming decades and take action to deal with those which are significant. Actions will range from increasing the resilience of water supply networks, to understanding and planning for any incremental impacts on performance a changing climate may bring. We expect the companies to adapt in a phased, responsible and appropriate manner. This means that their adaptation plans must be based on sound science and evidence.
As the economic regulator, our role is to establish and operate a regulatory framework which encourages companies to adapt to the risks of climate change in an effective, efficient and equitable way. It is also important that we continue to hold companies to account if they fail to meet their obligations in the future.
We saw some good examples of adaptation in our last price review. In our 2009 price limits we included £414 million for network and asset resilience schemes and more than 100 catchment management and investigation schemes. By 2016, 9.6 million people will benefit from increased service resilience to external hazards.
Find out more about best practice in adapting to climate change.