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A new study by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has recently warned that important parts of UK infrastructures are being neglected with significant effects on national competitiveness and quality of life.

According to the report, future risks to essential national services such as energy networks, transport, waste and water are intensifying. In this framework, climate change is playing a central role causing more floods, droughts, fiercer storms and other unpredictable weather that are likely to bring serious challenges to infrastructures.

In relation to that, the engineers has strongly urged ministers to undertake stronger measures, safeguarding the UK's economic competitiveness, based heavily on reliable national infrastructures. In addition, the experts has highlighted the importance to increase the investments in the next decade, especially in the energy sector.

Natural disasters as the recent floods, that have forced thousands fleeing their homes, has stressed the costly and damaging interruptions that can strike householders and businesses. Although natural events represent always a risk, the report has shown that the consequent damages could be mitigated with adequate essential services and precautions able to make transport, communications, water and energy networks more resilient.

The study has also warned about the possible domino effect caused by the failure of one aspect of infrastructure, such as flood safeguard, that can be the cause of an alarming impact on energy, water, transport and waste networks. In this way, the report has suggested that these aspects have not been sufficiently taken into account in providing such services.

In this context, the instruments used by governments to drive the private sector to build resilience into their systems will represent one of the central issue of the debates. Efficient solutions will require a degree of coordination among the private sector owners of infrastructures that many experts would argue is not present today. According to the ICE, it is necessary to establish a “right regulatory environment” in order to overcome the main challenges, creating infrastructures more future-proofed.


The gLAWcal Team

Thursday, 26 June 2014

(Source: The Guardian)