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Water Resource Planning Challenges In A Hydro Nation

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Simon Fuller (Edinburgh, UK), Elaine Hutchison
Scottish Water1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 1: Water supply and demand,
AbstractScotland is a Hydro Nation with rich water resources, and although rainfall is highly variable the total annual average can be as much as 4500mm. From this it may be easy to believe that Scottish Water's water resources planners would have a relatively simple job, however the reality is that Scotland's geography and climatic patterns contribute to making water resource planning a unique challenge.

The major challenge Scottish Water faces is the distribution of many small populations in remote locations. To ensure we can supply all customers with a constant supply of water we manage over 400 raw water sources serving over 200 WTW. This distribution of this demand is highly skewed with the largest 10% of WTW serving 80% of the total distribution input, and 40% of WTW outputting less than 0.25 Ml/d.

Our supply sources range from large lochs and reservoirs with over a year's supply of water, to small springs and rivers that have no storage and are sensitive to failure after relatively short periods of dry weather. Regardless of the size of supply zone, we need to ensure that variations in the weather due to either normal short term weather patterns or longer term climate change do not impact our ability to maintain supplies to customers. This challenge presents enormous data collection and decision making issues for a large proportion of environmental, customer, and asset related data.

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