Climate change, carbon and drinking water


A new paper published in Water Research links the response of peat and plant litter to climate change and the effect this will have on drinking water treatment. The paper highlights the sensitivity of upland peat catchments’ carbon balance both to changes in dominant vegetation and temperature and rainfall patterns. As many upland catchments are used for drinking water provision this has implications for the ability of treatment works to meet drinking water standards.

The research was led by Jonny Ritson (Imperial) as part of a collaboration between the Soil Research Centre (Mike Bell, Dr Joanna Clark, Prof Anne Verhoef) and the Grantham Institute at Imperial College as well as industrial partners South West Water and Welsh Water.