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Water Availability and Security in Southern EuRope and the Mediterranean

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Climate change threat to water security

Climate change threat to water security

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East are recognised as being at risk of water shortage as a result of the impacts of climate change. These could include a rise in temperatures, a decrease in rainfall, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather. Climate change will put an increased strain on the two main economic sectors in these regions: agriculture and tourism. This will result in wider environmental and societal impacts at both the national and local scales. This problem was addressed by the 'Water availability and security in southern Europe and the Mediterranean' (WASSERMED) project. The initiative built on the knowledge amassed through the efforts of previous EU-funded projects. The consortium used a series of case studies to investigate the societal effects caused by climate change and the allocation of scarce water supplies. The case studies were conducted with the involvement of local communities and stakeholders. They reflected a variety of conditions facing the Mediterranean, for both European and partner countries. Project partners examined changes to average rainfall and frequency, including extreme rain events, runoff water and groundwater levels. Potential conflicts on water usage, such as between tourists and local residents, were also studied. The aim of WASSERMED was to develop strategies, technological solutions and management practices for mitigating the negative impacts of climate change. Project results contributed to improvements in existing climate change and hydrology models. This leads to a better understanding of the impact of climate change on water resources, water usage and possible security risks. WASSERMED therefore improved understanding of the effects of climate change and the adoption of better policies. These policies will help mitigate the potential threats to socioeconomic development and environmental sustainability in vulnerable areas around the Mediterranean.


Climate change, water usage, runoff, environmental impact, societal impact, rainfall, groundwater hydrology

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