Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

IMPREX Report Summary

Project ID: 641811
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IMPREX (IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes)

Reporting period: 2015-10-01 to 2017-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Impacts of extreme weather and climate events are frequently getting abundant media attention, and for a good reason: societal disruptions from excessive storms, heatwaves, heavy precipitation events, floodings and damage to production capacity and infrastructure can be very large, leading to increasing economic damage and loss of human lives. The European water sector is very diverse and deeply integrated into many aspects of society, including drinking water supply, coastal defence, hydropower generation and agricultural production both within and outside Europe.
The supply of reliable and well-tuned information about upcoming hydroclimatic events, both as short- to medium-range forecasts and as climate projections, can significantly increase the sector’s ability to cope with the extreme conditions. A wide diversity in uptake of hydroclimatic information exists across the water sector. Some sectoral disciplines have a long-standing track record of professional uptake of hydro-meteorological forecasts and climate change scenarios, while other sectors do absorb this information in a more preliminary status. For all sectors a large improvement can and must be achieved in the quality of the forecasts and scenarios, the adequate tuning to the practical applications, and the degree to which this information is indeed supporting the important decisions that lead to an increase in the resilience of the specific application and the sector as a whole.
The Research and Innovation Action IMPREX (IMproving PRojections and management of hydrological EXtremes) targets at multiple components of the chain between hydro-meteorological forecasting and scenario production to sectoral uptake and decision support. In a hybrid approach involving both model developers and case study oriented practitioners and their advisors, improvements to this information chain are developed for 6 different water related subsectors.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed can be grouped into 3 main components of the information chain. Progress per component includes:
(a) the hydro-meteorological model development (WP3+4)
New datasets and indices have been developed and disseminated within the IMPREX community and widely used.
(b) the sectoral application (WP2+WP6-12)
The sectoral analysis has been focussing on the needs of the stakeholders. The sectors have established a clear picture of the needs and vulnerabilities of the users regarding weather and climate information. First results with integrating weather and climate information in the decision support chains are promising.
(c) the sectoral integration and development of novel concepts (WP5+13+14).
Novel concepts are studied and their value explored in various case studies, including the integration across areas and sectors.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"In many sectors the adoption of effective risk management is limited because of (1) inadequate forecast skill, (2) limited understanding or interpretation of uncertainty, (3) unknown system responses and/or (4) lack of communication between specialists. IMPREX will bring the current state of the art a step further specifically by:

• improving the predictability of hydrological extremes
As a current benchmark, the skill of an ensemble of current European hydro-meteorological forecasting systems has been assessed and documented. Also the degrees to which improvement to either initial state or forecast evolution lead to a better forecast has been documented.

• develop a prototype periodic outlook of multi-sectoral and trans-regional risks for hydrological hazards
The development of the risk outlook tool is requiring an agile approach, more akin to that used in software development rather than traditional project management practices. Its aim to engage with the end-users within IMPREX and demonstrate how hydro-meteorological information can be presented in a useful and useable way will be beyond the current state of the art.

• addressing the synergies and compounding and cascading effects of risks in different sectors and regions
Improvements are made on compound events, and coupling of atmospheric, hydrologic and hydraulic models, in order to be able to study and estimate the co-occurrence of high rainfall, high river discharges, and high coastal water levels. This will allow end-users to better estimate and predict flood hazards.

• alternative ways of visualizing climate change effects on impacts and risks, tailored to society impacts
Improvements are made on the estimation of flood damages, with multi-variable approaches tested for The Netherlands and Germany, and testing of transfer now contributing to the development of generic damage functions that allow estimation of flood risk across the pan-European area. These developments will contribute to improved approaches and tools for end-users, for strategic risk assessment as well a prediction of flooding and impacts (damages).
National water footprint accounts were prepared for all the countries in the world and synthesized for EU28 nations. It reveals a considerable sensitivity of European food production to hydro-climatic hazards outside Europe.

• developing and evaluating novel concepts to minimize risks and optimize water management
Analyses in the hydropower sector have shown that the heuristic reservoir management model is sensitive to forecast quality and can be used as a tool to measure improvements in economic gains. The maximum improvement in terms of hydropower revenue is shown to be approximately 3.5% compared to operations not using forecast information.
Within the work on the water transport a pre-operational probabilistic short-to-medium term forecast for the River Rhine was implemented and on every work-day a probabilistic 10-day forecast to the stakeholders of this. It is the first time that such probabilistic forecasts are available for navigational users of the River Rhine.
Protocols for algal identification and determination of pigments (chlorophyll ""a"" and phycobilins) have been normalized to the established criteria of the Spanish. Adapting generic protocols to specific samples can be exported to other water treatment facilities.
For the Lake Como case study, the operational value of a wide range of forecast products is tested, including a novel method to prioritize the forecasts products is applied (drought indexes, climate variability indices, model-based seasonal forecasts) in the system
The drought risk management system in The Netherlands is currently based on allocation according to a prearranged ranking system (a water hierarchy scheme based on a list of priorities). The new drought risk & management tool will provide decision support for the decision on water supply levels.

• using a project design that involves managers of vu"

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