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Impacts of climate change on water resources management – regional strategies and European view

Place: Bari, italy, Europe
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 580.000,00 | Period: From September 2010 To December 2013

Summary

The main objective was to analyze the impact of climate change on freshwater resources and how this affects the WFD and its instruments (river basin managements plans, programs of measures). The results will be used to develop integrated measures for good freshwater management. Three case studies were used to investigate the impacts of climate change using different kinds of models (hydrology, hydrodynamic numerical) and water management strategies.

Partnership

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italy

Lead applicant

L'Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari-IAMB è la struttura operativa italiana del CIHEAM, istituito con Legge 932/1965 ed opera in 4 aree tematiche: - Gestione del suolo e delle risorse idriche; - Protezione integrata delle colture frutticole mediterranee; - Agricoltura biologica mediterranea; - Agricoltura, alimentazione e sviluppo rurale sostenibili. La formazione continua prevede corsi di aggiornamento anche a distanza rivolti a giovani dell’Area Mediterranea, Balcanica e del Vicino Oriente. L’Istituto svolge inoltre attività di ricerca applicata per migliorare la qualità della formazione con il coinvolgimento diretto dei corsisti nella ricerca e garantire un valido supporto alla progettazione e realizzazione di iniziative di partenariato. L’IAMB assiste le istituzioni, sia a livello centrale sia locale, per l’identificazione, la formulazione e l’esecuzione di progetti di cooperazione nei Paesi mediterranei al fine di promuovere la sicurezza alimentare e lo sviluppo sostenibile.

Établissement Public Territorial de Bassin Seine Grands Lacs - France

Initiative partner

EPTB Seine Great Lakes is an interdepartmental public institution that includes Paris, Hauts-de-Seine,Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne. It has the burden of an essential dual mission: -Support to maintain low water flows the Seine and its tributaries; -Fight against the risk from flooding in the basin of the Seine clipping the floods. Seine Grands Lacs is developing new policies at the scale of the upstream Seine river Basin dedicated to flood and drought prevention and to environmental issues (for instance for migratory fishes or to restore geo- morphological aspects of the Seine and its main tributaries). The impact of climate change on the Seine river basin is also an important challenge to face and Seine Grands Lacs is willing to develop “no regrets” strategies focused on mitigation of the effects.

National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture - France

Initiative partner

Irstea is a research organization which works on major issues of a responsible agriculture and territories sustainable planning, water management and related risks, drought, floods, inundations, the biodiversity and complex ecosystems study in their interrelation with human activities. Multidisciplinary research, appraisal and support to "agri-environmental" public policies ", partnership with territorial authorities and actors of the economic world, such are the characteristics of Irstea, qualified "Carnot Institute". In the continuity of the research model of Cemagref, every day our engineers and our researchers put a lot of themselves into their mission : to take up the challenge of global change comprehension for a sustainable and environmentally friendly development.

Center for Environmental Systems Research- University of Kassel - Germany

Initiative partner

The Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) is an interdisciplinary, non-profit research center at the University of Kassel. The Center is unique in its concentration on environmental research from the systems perspective. It is well known for its work on global and regional environmental modeling and for its studies of society-environment interactions. The work of the GRID – water group at CESR comprises in particular on these issues: -global and regional analyses of water availability and water use taking into account a series of possible developments regarding climate, land-use and socio-economics -qualitative and quantitative techniques for scenario development -development and application of the global water model WaterGAP to assess current and future water resources.

University Kassel - Germany

Initiative partner

formazione e ricerca

The main idea was to develop adaptation mesaures for a sustainable water resources management accounting for the impacts of climate change.

The main innovation was to provide an integrative view of current and future water resources by combining and analysing modelling outcomes from the European and case study scales. The cross-scale analysis focuses on the comparison of the European perspective (represented by large-scale modelling results) with case study outcomes. In the cross-scale analysis, the large-scale modelling provides an overview of the status of water resources in terms of water quantity for the European continent. It allows to identify patterns of change and to look beyond regional borders to compare the situation across countries and (transboundary) river basins. This process stimulates the interchange of experiences and the knowledge transfer between project partners as well as the dissemination to stakeholders and decision makers.

Italian case study focuses on the Apulia region, southern part of Italy. The main physical and socio-economic features are common to many Mediterranean parts with similar climate type, whereas agriculture is the primary resource for the local economy, and water related issues are closely interrelated: the increasing gap between water demand and supply, the water quality deterioration. In the relatively flat landscape agriculture occupies approximately 72% of the total area with cereals (33%) and olive trees (25%); the rest is mainly dominated by vineyards, fruit trees and vegetable crops. Cereals and vegetables are mainly grown in the fertile northern zone, where water is supplied through a large irrigation infrastructure, while olive trees and vineyards dominate the central and southern parts, where surface water is almost completely absent and irrigated crops rely mainly on groundwater abstraction resulting in decreasing groundwater levels and sea water intrusion phenomenon. 

European map with the regions of the three case studies European map with the regions of the three case studies

 Main results achieved were the definition and application of an integrated hydrological-economic model to the Apulia region under different climatic scenarios: the hydrological model assesses the crop water requirement and the water availability (surface and groundwater); the economic model simulates the farmers´ decision process on land crop allocation and irrigation level and the identification of the main adaptation to climate change. Main results achieved were the definition and application of an integrated hydrological-economic model to the Apulia region under different climatic scenarios: the hydrological model assesses the crop water requirement and the water availability (surface and groundwater); the economic model simulates the farmers´ decision process on land crop allocation and irrigation level and the identification of the main adaptation to climate change. 

Overview of WaterGAP3 and its components. Overview of WaterGAP3 and its components.

Knowledge and results concerning the impact of climate changes on agriculture water management were disseminated to the following groups of stakeholders:
Water Management Boards
Farmers' Associations
Researchers in water field
Water Basin Authority

Staff of 10 European researches were involved in the project, mostly young researches with very wide professional profile from hydrological to economic sector. One of the project activities were the field trips in the case study areas where all the group was invited so everyone had the chance to know better each other and the context of the case studies. Staff of 10 European researches were involved in the project, mostly young researches with very wide professional profile from hydrological to economic sector. One of the project activities were the field trips in the case study areas where all the group was invited so everyone had the chance to know better each other and the context of the case studies. 

Stakeholders during the working sessions Stakeholders during the working sessions - Climaware workshop
Stakeholders during the working sessions Stakeholders during the working sessions - Climaware workshop
Welcome and opening presentation of the Climaware workshop Welcome and opening presentation of the Climaware workshop with dr Lamaddalena and dr Agostino, experts from IAMB

In order to address the main objective and to integrate the hydrological model with the economic one it was required to make the scales of the two models consistent. The provincial information produced by the economic model were specialized over the entire region using an automatic programme developed in excel and implemented in GIS.
 

The main objective of the initiative is to analyse the impacts of climate change on freshwater resources at the continental and regional scales and to identify efficient adaptation strategies to improve water management for various socio-economic sectors. This contributes to a more effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and its instruments (river basin management plans, programmes of measures).

The reduction of the irrigation system vulnerability to drought was achieved by enhancing the interconnection with other sources of water, both conventional and non-conventional. The former required the development of new storage and delivering infrastructures. The latter needs reliable water treatment plants. Besides, the re-use of reclaimed water needs to deal with cultural barriers related to the willingness of farmers to use this water for irrigation. technical assistance and knowledge transfer processes facilitate the achievement of this goal.

Environmental Impact Environmental Impact

The model allowed to evaluate the existing trade-offs for the long-term sustainability of agricultural ecosystem services with a changing regional water balance.
The empirical model built could be generalized to different case studies with different hydro-agronomic condition and under different climatic zones to reach a global understanding of this local climate variability and impacts.

Knowledge and results concerning the impact of climate changes on agriculture water management were disseminated to the following groups of stakeholders:
• Water Management Boards
• Farmers’ Associations
• Researchers in water field
• Water Basin Authority
through several meetings:
• May - June 2012: bilateral meetings with farmers and water managers at provincial level;
• May 2013: meeting with stakeholders on the implementation of the WFD as a tool to reduce the pressure on groundwater resources.
• A final dissemination results event has beenwill be organized in December at IAM-B with all relevant stakeholders.The results of the Italian case study have been presented in the international conferences, for example in in the 1st CIGR Inter-Regional conference on Land and Water Challenges 

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