The main objective of the research is the development of a Decision Support System (DSS), aiding decision makers in the operation of water supply systems under drought conditions, determining the most effective delivery policies for irrigation; in particular, the core of DSS will include three connected modules aiming to :
a) identify the regional drought events and determine their characteristics (duration, deficit intensity, etc.);
b) determine the most effective irrigation scheduling under drought conditions by using an appropriate crop-water simulation model;
c) define the operation rules for storage facilities of the water supply system and individuate a set of drought mitigation measures.
A second objective is the identification of the main requisites and institutional framework for developing an appropriate scheme of Drought Watch System for Mediterranean countries.
Three main results are expected :
* the development of appropriate procedures to identify drought, to define irrigation scheduling and to simulate water supply system under drought conditions, to be connected in a Decision Support System;
* the analysis of the applicability of the proposed procedures and of the DSS package to some irrigation districts selected in the Mediterranean semi-arid countries involved in the Project (Portugal, Tunisia, Italy, Jordan and Syria);
* the definition of criteria and organizational structure of a Drought Watch System in the Mediterranean semi-arid regions.
The research activities have been planned as follows :
* Identification of drought characteristics, including the selection of the methodology to characterize severe droughts affecting large-scale water supply systems and the analysis of the variation of drought characteristics in Mediterranean areas on the basis of the selected case studies.
* Modeling irrigation management under drought conditions, aiming to select, improve, and/or develop the models to be used for determining appropriate irrigation scheduling at different levels of information availability with reference to different management objectives.
* Modeling of water system operation and evaluation of drought mitigation actions, oriented to define the operation rules of the water supply system and the emergency measures, necessary for minimizing negative drought impacts in different conditions as identified in the selected case studies.
* Evaluation of the overall performance of operation models and of the specific performance during drought periods.
* Development of the software package for a Decision Support System, conceived as a tool to be easily used by decision makers in selecting the most suitable options in irrigation management, on the basis of the results of the different interconnected models.
* Definition of the design requisites for a Drought Watch System, aiming to allow an early drought warning and a timely implementation of drought mitigation measures, on the basis of adequate hydrometeorological and water resource monitoring networks.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts