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HS4.4

Drought and water scarcity: monitoring, modelling and forecasting to improve hydro-meteorological risk management
Convener: Brunella Bonaccorso  | Co-Conveners: Athanasios Loukas , Christel Prudhomme , Micha Werner , Carmelo Cammalleri 
Drought and water scarcity are important issues in many regions of the Earth, requiring innovative hydro-meteorological monitoring, modelling and forecasting tools to evaluate the complex impacts on the availability and quality of water resources. While drought describes a natural hazard, water scarcity is related to long-term unsustainable use of water resources and associated socio-economic aspects. Both phenomena are, however, closely linked, with the complex interrelationship requiring careful attention.

While an increase in the severity and frequency of droughts can lead to water scarcity situations, particularly in regions that are already water stressed, overexploitation of available water resources can exacerbate the consequences of droughts. In the worst case, this can lead to long-term environmental and socio-economic impacts. Particular attention should, therefore, be paid to the feedbacks between these two phenomena, including the potential impacts of climate change. It is therefore necessary to improve both monitoring and sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasting for droughts and water availability, and to develop innovative indicators and methodologies that translate the information provided into effective drought early warning and risk management.

This session will address statistical, remote sensing and physically-based techniques, aimed at monitoring, modelling and forecasting hydro-meteorological variables relevant to drought and/or water scarcity. These include, but are not limited to, precipitation, snow cover, soil moisture, streamflow, groundwater levels and extreme temperatures. The development and implementation of drought indicators meaningful to decision making processes, and ways of presenting and explaining them to water managers, policy makers and other stakeholders, are further issues to be addressed.

The session aims to bring together scientists and practitioners in the fields of hydrology and meteorology, as well as stakeholders and practitioners in the field of water resources and/or risk management, interested in monitoring, modelling and forecasting drought and water scarcity, and in analysing their interrelationships and hydrological impacts. Particularly welcome are applications and real-world case studies in regions subject to significant water stress, where the importance of drought warning, supported through state-of-the-art monitoring and forecasting of water resources availability is likely to become more important in the future.