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Drought and water scarcity: hydrological monitoring, modelling and forecasting to improve water management
Convener: Jürgen Vogt  | Co-Conveners: Elena Toth , Micha Werner , Giuseppe Tito Aronica , Athanasios Loukas 
 / Thu, 11 Apr, 08:30–12:00  / Room R6
 / Attendance Thu, 11 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Red Posters

Droughts and water scarcity are increasingly being observed in many regions of the globe, requiring innovative hydrological monitoring, modelling and forecasting to evaluate the complexity of related hydrological impacts on the availability and quality of water resources.

While the term drought describes a natural hazard, the term water scarcity is related to the long-term unsustainable use of water resources thus including a full range of socio-economic aspects. Both phenomena are, however, closely linked to each other and their monitoring, modelling and prediction requires careful attention to the complex interrelationships.

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.

It is therefore necessary to improve the medium to long-term predictive skills for both droughts and water availability and to develop innovative indicators and methodologies for enhancing the early warning capability of drought monitoring and forecasting systems. Such systems are important for sound decision making at all spatial scales.
The session will address statistical and/or physically-based modelling techniques, aimed at monitoring and medium to long-term forecasting of hydro-meteorological variables that describe and govern situations of drought and/or water scarcity. Examples are precipitation, snow cover, soil moisture, streamflow and groundwater. The translation of these variables into indicators meaningful for decision making and ways of presenting these to relevant water management and policy levels 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 management, interested in monitoring, modelling and forecasting the interrelationships between drought and water scarcity and their hydrological impacts.

Particularly welcome are applications and real-world case studies in regions subject to significant water stress, where the importance of forecasting long-term water resources availability is likely to become more important in the future.

Invited speaker (confirmed): Justin Sheffield, Princeton University: Drought Monitoring and Forecasting: Experiences from the US and Africa.