Wetter winters, drier summers

Susanne talks of the perceptions of Scotland as a wet country and how the predicted future climate, which could include cycles of floods and droughts could create situations where messages on water management could be difficult to get across.

I was thinking in terms of the wetter winters drier summers and just in terms of people’s perceptions of water resources, because obviously there’s already the perception that Scotland’s a wet country and therefore, you know, why would you ever be short of water? So I was kind of thinking, you know, if you had wetter Winters, then you’d have a lot of reservoirs spilling – which you do anyway – you’d potentially have floods and then if you followed that with a dry summer you’d have people whose memory would have been of this very wet winter, especially if you’ve had floods or something with has been lots of publicity. And then if you start going out and discussing the fact there’s water scarcity somewhere, then it’s quite a difficult message to get across because the perception will simply be that Scotland can’t actually cope with managing its water resources. And then of course when it starts raining you got some reservoirs that react very very quickly. So if you have a really wet couple of weeks, there are some reservoirs that’s it, they’d be spilling, but there’s other ones that would still take several months to fill so you’d have the whole thing of well, how can you have a water shortage in an area of when it’s already been raining? And then I finished up just with the sort of fact that it’s theoretically possible to have droughts and floods at the same time. I do droughts at work, and I also do flood warning duty every six weeks and it hasn’t ever coincided which I’m quite pleased about.

But that’s not to say it never would so that was it really it was more to do with how people think about the weather and how things becoming more extreme could exacerbate that problem.

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