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Climate change

According to current climate projections, Germany is at risk for changes in the hydrological budget. These changes are expected to have direct impacts on the long-term water availability for e.g. agricultural productivity and drinking supply. It can be foreseen that the future management of water resources has to consider appropriate adaptation measures in order to feed the water demand of the different sectors in vulnerable regions and to prevent that changes in the hydrologic cycle may lead to conflicts among the different political and economic actors.

 

Research projects related to impact assessment of climate change on water resources:

PeriodContracting authorityProjekt
2010 - 2012Landesamt für Natur, Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz Nordrhein-Westfalen (LANUV) Impact of climate change on the groundwater balance in the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW)
2009 - 2012Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie (LBEG) Development of a water balance model to predict the inner annual variability of groundwater recharge in Lower Saxony
2009 - 2014Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) - research program "KLIMZUG" Development of adaption strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on groundwater resources in the Hamburg Metropol area.
2010 - 2014EU - FP7 Collaborative Project Climate induced changes on the Hydrology of Mediterranean Basins (CLIMB)

 

 

Development of adaption strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on groundwater resources in the Hamburg Metropol area

Contracting authority: Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the farmework of the research programme "KLIMZUG"
Contracting period: 2009 - 2014

The Hamburg Metropol area is dominated by soils showing a low water storage capacity. In the south-eastern part for instance agricultural production without restrictions is only possible by means of field irrigation, especially during dry summers. Against the background of climate change the cultivation of crops adapted to the site, i.e. taking an altered groundwater availability and field irrigation respectively into account, gains importance. The main target of a research project carried out jointly with the Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie (LBEG) is the prognosis of the possible impact of climate change on groundwater availability and irrigation needs respectively in the Hamburg Metropol area.

In the framework of the project the water balance model GROWA (Kunkel & Wendland, 2002) will be applied and further developed. Based on a model analysis of the actual groundwater recharge rates the development of groundwater recharge under climate change conditions will be forecasted until the year 2100. In this way "hot spot" regions in which the future groundwater extraction might exceed the future groundwater recharge will be identified. For such regions regional adapted strategies to cope with the impact of climate change will be developed. The following map shows the mean long-term groundwater recharge rates of the Hamburg Metropol for the actual hydrological period 1971 - 2000.

ClimateChange

 

Impact of climate change on the groundwater balance in the Federal State of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW)

Contracting authority: Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) in the farmework of the research programme "KLIMZUG"

Contracting period: 2009 - 2014

In this project the possible impact of climate change on groundwater availability in the Federal State of North Rhine - Westphalia (NRW) is forecasted. In this context the temporal resolution of the water balance model GROWA (Kunkel & Wendland, 2002) will be increased while the actual functionality of GROWA will be maintained. The following figure shows the general procedure how climate change scenarios are dealt with in applications of the GROWA - model.

Climate Change

In the first project phase the GROWA model will be calibrated and validated using observed climate data (period 1961 - 1990) from the German Meteorological Survey (DWD) as input data. This data is regarded as a suitable reference for analysing the accuracy of the climate projections for the same time period (1961 - 1990). After the calibration and validation of the model for the historical period the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources will be analysed. Key questions to be answered in this context include:

  • In how far are the groundwater resources of NRW concerned by the impact of climate change?
  • Will there be a downward or an upward trend in groundwater availability due to climate change?
  • Will there be "hot spot" areas in NRW, in which the future groundwater availability may not be sufficient in order to feed the groundwater demand for households, field irrigation and groundwater related ecosystems?

Subsequently, regionally adaption strategies for a sustainable groundwater resources management, which take the impact of climate change into account will be suggested.

 

 

Development of a water balance model to predict the inner annual variability of groundwater recharge in Lower Saxony

Contracting authority: Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Bergbau, Energie und Geologie (LBEG)
Contracting period: 2009 - 2012

Ca. 85% of the drinking water demand in the Federal State of Lower Saxony are fed from groundwater resources (including sources and bank filtrate). For this reason, the regional groundwater availability belongs to the key issues of the water resources management policy. Groundwater availability depends decisively on percolation water infiltrating the aquifer (groundwater recharge). The regional groundwater recharge rate represents the framework for granting concessions of groundwater withdrawal rights to public water suppliers and for the required status reviews of the groundwater bodies according to the EU Water Framework Directive (EU, 2000). It is also essential for the discharge of rivers and the maintenance of wetlands at low flow conditions in dry periods.

The first goal of the project was the development of a procedure to regionalize and correct climatic input data (CLINT). In CLINT geostatistical techniques (Universal Kriging, Inverse Distance Weighting) have been implemented. Under consideration of external parameters, e.g. topography and the distance from the sea, these features have been used to regionalize data from individual climate stations. In this way an area-covering regionalization of climate data from both, the monitoring stations of the Meteorological Survey (DWD) for the period 1961-2005, and the results of the WETTREG-climate projections of the IPCC A1B-Szenario for the period 1961-2100 have been carried out. For this purpose a spatial resolution of 100 x 100 m and a temporal resolution of 10 day periods have been chosen. The following figure shows the result of such a regionalization using the example of the mean daily precipitation levels for the period 11.1.1962-20.1.1962.

Climate Change

Climate Change

Climate Change

The second goal of the project is the development of a water balance model to predict the inner annual variability of runoff in Lower Saxony, which makes it possible to determine the most important runoff components - total runoff, natural interflow, drainage runoff and groundwater runoff- in their temporal and spatial distribution. Special attention will be given to the determination of the inner annual variability of groundwater recharge which is of special importance for the future management of (ground)-water resources in Lower Saxony for drinking water supply and field irrigation. It is foreseen that this model will be implemented in the soil information system NIBIS and applied to predict the impact of land use changes and climate change on the Federal State level.

Climate Change

Climate Change

 

 

Climate Induced Changes on the Hydrology of Mediterranean Basins - Reducing Uncertainty and QuantifyingRisk through an Integrated Monitoring and Modeling System- (CLIMB)

Contracting authority:
EU Seventh Research Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration
Contracting period: 2010 - 2014

Funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission, the environmental project CLIMB investigates the impacts of climate induced change on the hydrology and the management of water resources in the Mediterranean region (Southern Europe, North Africa, Near and Middle East). Protection of local water resources is seriously threatened: severe droughts, floods, the salinization of coastal groundwater and increasing land degradation of fertile soils are just some of the risks by which the progressive climate change will give rise to an increasing potential for tensions and conflicts among the political and economic actors in this vulnerable region. Therefore, existing water resources must be used and managed in a sustainable way. Current projections of future hydrological change, based on regional climate model results and subsequent hydrological modeling schemes, are very uncertain and poorly validated. The strategy of CLIMB is to reduce uncertainty and to quantify risk through an integrated monitoring and modeling system.

Climate Change

IBG-3 will contribute to the CLIMB project by applying the GROWA model to the study site in Kocaeli,Turkey, the Gaza stripe and the Thau basin, France in order to predict the impact of climate scenarios on the regional water balances. The model will be calibrated and validated for the actual hydrological period, which will represent the reference status for the scenario analyses. The climate change scenarios will be implemented in the GROWA model in order to predict the temporal development of mean long - term total runoff, direct runoff and groundwater runoff. The figure shows the first preliminary results for mean long-term total runoff in the Izmit Bay catchment, Turkey.


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