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Climate, hydrochemistry and economics of surface water systems


The overall objective of CHESS is to investigate how expected changes in climate will affect the quality of freshwater resources in Europe. Specific objectives within the project framework are:
- To develop and validate a model to represent catchment-based processes and diffuse sources of pollution to river systems.
- To develop and validate an in-stream water quality model to represent physical, chemical and biological process in rivers, and point sources of pollution.
- To determine techniques for defining the most appropriate scale at which to link catchment and in-stream models, based on available data, knowledge of pollution sources, the overall accuracy required from the model, and limitations imposed by computing resources.
- To produce methods of specifying the quality of the freshwater resource in a river system based on existing national and EU use-related standards (e.g. for public water supply, irrigation, industry, and ecological sustainability) and on an economic assessment of the resource value.
- To prepare scenarios representing future conditions based on direct effects of climate change (i.e. changes in rainfall, temperature and evaporation), changes in land use and land management that may result from changes in climate, changes in policy and legislation that may have an impact on sources of pollution (diffuse and point sources) and environmental standards.
- To apply all of the methods to a set of five catchments representing a transect of European climates to obtain a consistent statement of the current status and value of the freshwater resource, and how this may alter as a result of climate change.

These objectives contain significant scientific challenges, and also the development of methodologies that will be exploited throughout Europe. Involvement of national water resource agencies in advising the project will ensure the relevance of the project to water managers and policy makers. The key outputs of CHESS will be disseminated through sceintific research papers, project reports, international conferences and meetings. The project represents a major first step in quantifying effects of climate change on the quality of water resources, and will therefore provide key advice for maintaining the sustainability of resources, the quality of the environment, and in focusing further research effort.

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Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford
United Kingdom

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Participants (5)