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Climate seasonal prediction for adapting water resources to extreme events

WATExR_small.png Project type: European project
Funding institution: MINECO (APCIN 2017)
Program: H2020
Code: PCIN-2017-092
Period: September 2017 - September 2020
Status: In progress
Web: https://watexr.weebly.com/

Water resources are closely dependent on the services supplied by ecosystems that maintain both water quantity and quality. Climate Extreme Events (CEE), like heat waves, droughts and floods, stress ecosystems and compromise their capacity to provide key services related to water (e.g., decreased stream-flows, reduced capacity to process nutrients and organic matter, mobilization of pollutants, compromised fish stocks). This implies huge economic and social impacts, which are expected to be even more relevant in the future. However, despite the vulnerability of the water quality sector to climate change, there has been limited development of solution-oriented tools integrating climate services (CS) and ecosystem im-pacts modelling for efficient adaptation to CEE. WATExR aims to integrate state-of-the-art seasonal cli-mate predictions and water quality simulations in an advanced solution that ensures efficient decision making and adaptation of water resources management to an increasing frequency of CEE. WATExR has 4 main objectives:
1. Integrate cutting-edge seasonal climate prediction and ecosystem impact models in co-developed advanced tools tailored to the different needs of end-users in the water quality management sector.
2. Implement the co-developed advanced tools in a standardized, user-friendly GIS environment to facilitate the adoption of climate services by the water quality management sector.
3. Show how CS help to tackle CEE related impacts on water quality, thereby improving the effi-ciency of decision making and adaptation strategies in the water quality management sector.
4. Link to the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISIMIP2) by contributing a new sector of impact models (water quality) and a simulation round in a selected region from WATExR.
WATExR will co-develop advanced, standardized tools tailored to end-user demands in seven rep-resentative catchment across Europe, which cover a wide range of water management issues affected by CEE including recreation, fisheries, drinking water supply, and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD). In each case study, WATExR will build an original, standardized modelling workflow system programmed as a QGIS plug-in. WATExR will assess the potential of the new tools for improving mid-term decision making in the water quality sector when facing CEE and for defining adapta-tion strategies to future increases in CEE. WATExR will integrate climate and impact models in two com-plementary ways:
1. State-of-the-art seasonal climate prediction products will be tailored to the different case studies and impact models, and the whole modelling chain will be integrated through a QGIS plug-in.
2. WATExR will contribute to a wider assessment of the impacts of an increase in frequency of CEE in the future by defining a new sector of impact models related to water quality in ISIMIP2.
All these activities will be framed within a co-development workflow to guarantee user adoption of the new tools. Thus, WATExR integrates across the whole chain of CS development from research to feedback from users.