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Desertification processes in the mediterranean area and their enterlinks with the global climate. sub-group I: hydrological response to land use change and over exploitation of water resources in a semi-arid area of spain


TITLE. Hydrological response to land use change and overexploitation of water resources in a Semi-arid area of Spain.
OBJECTIVES: The proposal focusses on the role of changing land use and water resource overexploitation on the desertification Process, through the study of a catchment in central Spain, Specific objectives are: 1) To complete the analysis of data collected during the EFEDA project: 2) To establish the hydrological response to land use change and Water resource overexploitation of a semi-arid environment. 3) To develop hydrological models co predict impacts under a range of future climatic and Socio-economic conditions. 4) To establish the cause of observed changes and to identify hydrological indices which can be monitored to indicate the onset of desertification.
STRATEGY; To complete the analysis of EFEDA 1 data and to extend and upscale the work to catchment level through intensive monitoring of a
selected catchment. This catchment, yet to be chosen, will lie within the La Mancha region of central Spain. The west La Mancha aquifer, which underlies much of the area, has in the past 20 Years been overpumped to provide water for irrigation. As a result water levels in places have fallen by over 25m leading to drying of rivers and wetlands and to a serious depletion of the groundwater resource. A catchment-based hydrological study of the region will provide an insight into the response of semi-arid ecosystems to water resource overexploitation. Each participant will tackle a different aspect of the system, Llamas (saturated zone), Dolz (surface hydrology), Bromley (deep unsaturated zone), Imeson (shallow saturated zone) and Thornes (historic impact). The project offers, a fully integrated multidisciplinary approach to the desertification issue at a catchment scale.
BENEFITS: The study will provide the hydrological data required by policy makers responsible for the management of overexploited regions facing severe land degradation. Models developed will link with GCMs through interaction with SVAT and ABL models.

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Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford
United Kingdom

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Participants (4)