HS5.2Water resources - assessment, management, and allocation - in (semi-)arid regions
|Conveners: Jan Friesen , Laura Foglia , Leonor Rodriguez-Sinobas | Co-Convener: Ralf Ludwig|
Semi-arid regions are facing the challenge of managing its water resources under conditions of increasing scarcity, drought, and concerns about water quality. Already, the availability of fresh water in sufficient quality and quantity is one of the major factors limiting socio economic development. Especially, in terms of hydrology semi-arid regions are characterized by very complex hydro- and hydrogeological systems that often exhibit extreme behavior. The complexity of the water cycle contrasts strongly with the poor data availability, which limits the number of analysis techniques and methods available to researchers.
Discussing frameworks that provide water assessment, management, and allocation solutions for water and data scarce regions is the focus of this session. In this context several contributions from the EU projects MARSOL and DURERO are presented.
Specifically, this session focuses on recent advances in science as well as in practical application, including:
- The development, analysis, and application of new data collection techniques, such as environmental sensor networks, satellite imagery and participatory data collection methods, but also human capacity development;
- New understanding of hydrological processes that are characteristic for semiarid regions, such as large scale droughts and other extremes;
- Innovative water management strategies, such as the storage of reclaimed water or excess water from different sources in Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR)
- Pros and constrains of methodologies such as the System of Economic and Environmental Accounts for Water (SEEAW) as a tool for water allocation in the development of River Basin Management Plans. Methodologies for assessing the impact and cost-effectiveness of selected response measures toward an optimal water allocation.
- Best water scarcity and droughts (WS&D) indicators for estimation of desertification risks across a range of scales and develop specific targets regarding water efficiency, ecosystem services which allow their sustainability in the river basins.
- Programs of measures (PoM) to deal with desertification impact on the management/planning of water resources and on the economic development.
- Studies on how different water allocation strategies in transboundary international basins could impact the water resources in one specific country if the rest targets common goals and PoM to combat desertification.