Planning for water resources under climate change
Integrating the planning and management of water (both resources and floods) and use of land (built areas, agriculture, coastal and semi-natural areas) is one of the greatest challenges in building resilience to climate change. Water is a component (as either a resource or pathway) of probably all natural and human systems. The complexity of interaction means that, while integrated water and spatial planning for climate change addresses strategic to local levels, management must extend to the simplest level – e.g. the household. Advances in technology for representing and monitoring the systems involved are making feasible both better informed planning and closer management. Government policy on water resources was reviewed in Defra’s policy document for England, Future Water (Defra, 2008a); the sector regulator in England and Wales is the Environment Agency, which published its water resources strategy Water for People and the Environment, in 2009 (EA, 2009d).