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Water resources : influence of climate change in Europe

Objective



RATIONALE. There are well recognised shortcomings in the communication of theoretical knowledge from climate and hydrology experts into the field of practical engineering hydrology and water resources planning. WRINCLE addresses these shortcomings by combining understanding of the underlying physical processes with an easily accessible format of 'digital atlases', custom-made for the end-user in water industries, environment agencies and government. WRINCLE aims to close the gap between the theoretical and practical aspects and to provide the sound scientific basis for regional impact assessment which to date has largely been absent. WRINCLE has the following main objectives:

(a) To assess the impacts of climate change on Europe-wide water resources; (b) To use the latest atmospheric model outputs to generate climate change scenarios;
(c) To present impact assessments in easily accessible 'digital atlases' for end users.

Hydrological impact assessments demand a consistent methodology combining; the latest climate change scenarios, sound downscaling methods for precipitation, validated hydrological models, effective snowmelt modelling and accessible presentation of results.
WRINCLE gives each area careful attention, as they are links in a chain.
DELIVERABLES. The results will be produced as Europe-wide digital atlases on a 50km grid, for standard future climate projections, and will be published in hard copy, common GIS formats/ and on a World Wide Web site. The following deliverables will be produced as digital atlases;

(a) Precipitation: monthly mean and number of rain days, for both regions and sites
(b) River discharge and grid square runoff: monthly mean and flow duration curves
(c) Water Resource impacts: drought risk, Q95, low flow statistics and HEP yields

WORK CONTENT. These objectives will be achieved by means of 5 work packages :
1.REGIONALISED DOWNSCALING FOR PRECIPITATION. Statistical relations for downscaling local precipitation fields from regional scale atmospheric variables will be applied, based on those developed in a recent EC project, and improved in WP2.

2. IMPROVED PHYSICAL BASIS FOR DOWNSCALING.
To make the methods more robust under climate change. Improvements for application in mountainous regions will also be made.

3. REGIONALISED RIVER DISCHARGE ESTIMATION.
An analytic method for deriving monthly rive discharge statistics directly from precipitation statistics will be validated for the present climate, and then used for future climate projections.

4. REGIONALISED SNOWMELT ESTIMATION.
Changes in timing and quantity of snowmelt will have major effects on flow, so a model will be developed and applied using precipitation data from WP1, and sub-grid scale topographic data with a regional degree-day method.

5. WATER RESOURCE IMPACTS AND END USER STUDIES. Discharge statistics produced in WP3 and 4 will be used to assess the impacts on availability of water resources, flow regimes for water quality, and HEP generation capability.
Specific case studies will be performed by end users to validate the control data sets, and demonstrate the use of predictions.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Address
Cassie Building, Claremont Road
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Switzerland
Address

1015 Lausanne
ROYAL NETHERLANDS METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
Netherlands
Address
10,Wilhelminalaan 10
3730 AE De Bilt
UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA
United Kingdom
Address
University Plain
NR4 7TJ Norwich
Universidade de Lisboa
Portugal
Address
1,Campo Grande
1700 Lisboa