Water is a vital natural resource and, as such, an integral part of our environment and climate system. Excessive water exposure during flood conditions and water scarcity during droughts pose fundamental risks to life and weaken socio-economic resilience. Present-day water management in many sectors has to be able to cope with extreme hydrological conditions.
The European research project IMPREX (IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes) was funded under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020. The project consortium, consisting of 23 renowned partners from nine countries, took up the challenge of developing methods and tools to improve predictions of hydro-meteorological extremes. The research focused on adapting climate information to the needs of six core sectors: flood risk assessments, hydropower, water transport, urban water management, agriculture and droughts.
adelphi has developed a fact sheet for each sector. These describe and explain the most important products, provide practical examples, analyse implementation challenges for practitioners and show how IMPREX products can facilitate processes. The fact sheets are based on the work carried out within the context of the IMPREX research project and interviews with involved stakeholders.
The increase of droughts poses a major threat to the agricultural sector in Europe, potentially leading to substantial economic losses. This fact sheet presents six new or improved hydro-meteorological forecast products developed by IMPREX that allow for more proactive drought management in the European agricultural sector.
AQUATOOL is a decision support system for water resource management and risk-based water allocation. The IMPREX project upgraded AQUATOOL with an improved risk-based approach to facilitate the generation of data needed for river basin and drought management plans.
The Framework for Index-based Drought Analysis (FRIDA) is a machine learning based tool used to define impact-based indices for drought monitoring and management. River basin managers can use FRIDA in order to monitor the onset and evolution of drought events and to support operational drought management.
The IMPREX water accounting methodology to assess climate change impacts on agricultural water use is a single framework to extract information from multiple studies at the river basin level. The methodology ensures that local system knowledge (infrastructure, socio-economic, legislative, etc.) is not neglected in assessments at the pan-European level.
The drought risk assessment and management tool facilitates quantitative risk-based decision making for freshwater management. The tool includes a cost-benefit analysis and a quantification of the cost efficiency of alternative strategies to reduce drought risk. The tool supports the generation of a comprehensive risk profile as a reliable basis for decision-making.
Forecast informed water management is a cross-sectoral approach to analyse river basin management strategies and investigate the value of IMPREX forecasts for different end users. The aim is to reduce conflicts by cross-referencing and integrating the results from all six core sectors.
The system dynamics hydro-economic model of adaptation to droughts serves to support the assessment of adaptation investment scenarios. Both scientific and end-user knowledge are integrated as part of a participatory approach to enhance operating efficiency.
The fact sheet presents a case study in the Spanish Júcar river basin, applying different AQUATOOL modules. Participating stakeholders have successfully applied the tool with its meteorological forecasts and improved schemes linked with forecasts of local hydrological conditions. The tool provided the basis for more efficient operational management, reducing the uncertainties of decision-making.
Further fact sheets from this project:
- Innovative approaches for flood risk assessment
- Hydrometeorological predictions for the hydropower sector – potential economic benefits
- Improved forecasting and risk management for the water transport sector
- Urban water supply systems
- Europe's global water risk
- Policy Brief: The importance of including compound events in the implementation of the Floods Directive
- Policy Brief: Probabilistic Approaches for Improved Flood Risk Assessment and Management under consideration of uncertainties
- Policy Brief: Towards successful implementation of preventive drought risk management in Europe
- Position Paper: Towards more action-oriented research and climate services – Lessons learned from IMPREX