The EU/FP7 Assessing Climatic change and impacts on the Quantity and quality of Water (ACQWA) project aims to assess the impacts of a changing climate, focusing on the quantity and quality of water originating in mountain regions, particularly where snow- and ice melt represent a large, sometimes the largest, streamflow component. The goal of the project is to use advanced modelling techniques to quantify the influence of climatic change on the major determinants of river discharge at various time and space scales, and analyse their impact on society and economy, also accounting for feedback mechanisms. Regional climate models will provide the essential information on shifting precipitation and temperature patterns, and snow, ice, and biosphere models will feed into a hydrological model in order to assess the changes in basin hydrology and seasonality, amount, and incidence of extreme events in various catchment areas. Environmental and socio-economic responses to changes in hydrological regimes will be analyzed in terms of hazards, aquatic ecosystems, hydropower, tourism, agriculture, and the health implications of changing water quality.
Main deliverables and outcomes
- ACQWA Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) & Internet Map Server (IMS).
- CHYM Module melting parameterization development/testing.
- Developing and testing of RCM and subgrid model.
- Socio-economic drivers of change.
- Social response and adaptation.
- Assessment of the effects of transient climate change on basin hydrology at basin and local scales for the Rhone river basin
- Response of alpine glaciers to future climate
- Downscaling RCM scenarios using the multi-model SuperEnsemble technique.
- Statistical methods to better assess uncertainties when modelling frequency and amplitudes of past extreme events.
- Electricity supply security and hydropower in the short, medium and long term
- Intercomparison of hydrological models performance in the context of climate change
- Study of climate change impacts on the triggering mechanisms of soil slips, debris-flow and of snow avalanches.
- Creation of an exhibition about climate change impacts.
- Model of the vulnerability of running water biota to climate change (Swiss Rhône catchment.
- Assessment of the effects of transient climate change on basin hydrology at basin and local scales for the Aconcagua River basin
- Response of dry Andes glaciers to future climate
- Hydropower potential sensitivity study.
- Cost/benefits model, reservoir management optimisation models.
- Trends of climatic and hydrological indicators in Pyrenees.
- Hydrological and erosive response under contrasting land cover conditions.
- Impacts of environmental change on agricultural management.
- Specification of criteria influencing tourist choice of venue.
- Identification of new vulnerabilities due to natural hazards.
- Identification of future water demands of the tourism sector.
- Comparative assessment of water demand and economic return of key economic sectors in mountain regions.
- Comparative cost/benefit analysis of adaptation strategies to guarantee adequate water supply.
- Construction of scenarios that allow comparison of different policy choices to encourage one or more economic sectors in mountain regions.
- Analysis of impacts of climate change on ski resorts economy; optimisation policy and cost evaluations due to climate change influencing winter and summer tourism.
UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Europe specific tasks:
The complexity inherent to the chain of processes involved from climatic, to cryospheric and hydrologic models, all of them impacting on different compartments of human and natural systems, all this through different scenarios and across several regions, as described in the other project WPs, justifies the definition of a well organized data warehouse for the ACQWA project. Based on the long experience in managing data and metadata through the Internet from many international programs, developed by GRID-Europe as part of the Division of Early Warnings of UNEP, the ACQWA Spatial Data Infrastructure (ACQWA-SDI) will:
- define standards of data exchange formats and needs among partners using existing international standards such as ISO19115 for metadata of geographic data;
- help with data transformation between groups
- store data and metadata in a PostgreSQL relational database and postGIS database;
- gather and distribute data (geographic layers, remote sensing images, climatic and hydrological time series,…) through an Internet GIS MapServer (ACQWA IMS);
- visualize outputs from different scenarios on different impacts (ACQWA IMS);
- communicate results of the project through maps (ACQWA IMS).
Main target groups
- Local, regional and national authorities involved in water resource management
- National and international NGOs,
- Scientific institutions and
- General public