While water plays a critical role in sustaining human health, food security, energy production and ecosystem services, factors such as population growth, climate and land use change increasingly threaten water quality and quantity. The complexity of water resources systems requires methods integrating technical, economic, environmental, legal, and social issues within a framework that allows for the design and testing of efficient and sustainable water management strategies to meet the pressing global water challenges of the 21st century. Current systems analysis practice adopt a practical, problem-oriented approach for addressing the most challenging water issues of our times. It is marked by competing objectives, interdisciplinary processes, and dynamic adaptation under high levels of uncertainty. The session will feature state-of-the-art contributions on systems approaches and solutions for water management in an uncertain environment.

Public information:
The order of presentation of displays is in the table in the attached summary file

Convener: Manuel Pulido-Velazquez | Co-conveners: Julien Harou, Jan Kwakkel, Amaury Tilmant
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

Files for download

Session summary Download all presentations (108MB)

Chat time: Wednesday, 6 May 2020, 16:15–18:00

D178 |
| solicited
| Highlight
Jay R. Lund

By historical standards, modern water systems have achieved unprecedented successes in supporting public health and economic prosperity, while diminishing threats to the environment and supporting various social objectives.  These accomplishments are imperfectly spread across the globe and face important challenges for the future.  This presentation will review how the successes of today’s portfolio approach to water management have integrated various water management technologies and institutions to provide this unprecedented performance, and the prospects and challenges to continuing and expanding these successes.  Prospects for expanding these successes to the impoverished regions and continuing these successes with changes in climate and demographics are discussed.  System analysis is seen as essential for providing guidance for continuing and managing the success and failures of integrated water management technologies and institutions.  The construction of models to improve and inform difficult societal discussions on water is essential for their success.

How to cite: Lund, J. R.: Modeling portfolio solutions for modern water systems with uncertain changes, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1806, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1806, 2020.

D179 |
Christianne Luger, Ad Jeuken, Koen Verbist, Saket Pande, Andrew Warren, Christopher Vivanco, Hector Maureira, and Pablo Alvarez

The Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) framework incorporates the uncertainties of climate change that impact project planning, socioeconomic justification, and engineering design into a step-wise and collaborative planning process to guide a technical analyst to low-regret risk- and cost-effective solutions;
Research has been carried out to demonstrate and improve, through additional guidelines, the usability of CRIDA, in a pilot for the Limari basin in Chile. The added guidelines (1) offer the analyst numerically based justifications for analytical decisions to ensure a more structured application of CRIDA and (2) improves on co-design aspects by incorporating stakeholder risk perceptions and opinions explicitly in the process.
The Limari Basin has experienced an increase in drought frequency and severity over the last decades. A strategic approach for adaptation is recommended through CRIDA based on an evaluation of the future risk to climate change and the confidence in this analysis and a subsequent systematic assessments of adaptation options. The resulting strategy requires the increase of water supply robustness by adding new water sources that can be implemented in combination with flexible measures for managing demand (i.e. implementing agricultural meshes and improving irrigation efficiency) in parallel or in series to create adaptation pathways.
The study demonstrated the functionality of CRIDA. While the added guidelines required more processing time, subjectivity in the method is reduced thus also reducing possible bias introduced by the analyst. In addition, overall acceptability of the proposed strategies is improved by incorporating stakeholder risk perceptions and opinions explicitly in the process.

How to cite: Luger, C., Jeuken, A., Verbist, K., Pande, S., Warren, A., Vivanco, C., Maureira, H., and Alvarez, P.: From risk assessment to adaptation pathways: improvement of Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis for the Limari basin in Chile, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8203, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8203, 2020.

D180 |
Josue Medellin-Azuara, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Jose Rodriguez-Flores, Jorge Valero-Fandino, and Spencer Cole

Groundwater is a major source for irrigated agriculture yet often managed unsustainably. Groundater overdraft compromises future viability of irrigated agriculture, water for cities, streams baseflows and groundwater dependent ecosystems. The recent 2012-2016 California drought heightened the role of groundwater as a buffer resource and catalyzed the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). Under this regulation, by 2040 all groundwater basins need to achieve balance in recharge and extractions. Groundwater overdraft in California’s Central Valley accounts for roughly 15 percent of the total agricultural use. The greater Kern region within California’s Central Valley, the most productive region for fruits, nuts and vegetables in the USA, suffers from chronic overdraft and demand hardening due to a rapid increase in perennial crops. This paper presents an integrated multi-objective framework to analyze agricultural production in the greater Kern region as it achieves groundwater sustainability at the irrigation district level by 2040. The model employs a programing model approach with a selection of open access components to predict cropping decisions that maximize net economic returns, using a 1997-2015 calibration period. The agricultural production model bundles with a groundwater module based on the Integrated Water Model Flow model (IWFM) from the California Department of Water Resources to meet sustainability objectives.  Modeling scenarios include SGMA groundwater restrictions, water shortages under climate change and environmental regulations, with and without markets, managed aquifer recharge and infrastructure enhancements. Results show that more flexible water allocations using markets and managed recharge can help mitigate the economic impacts from SGMA and also improve prospects for managing financial risk under economic uncertainty at the irrigation district level.

How to cite: Medellin-Azuara, J., Escriva-Bou, A., Rodriguez-Flores, J., Valero-Fandino, J., and Cole, S.: A Multi-Objective Framework for Agricultural Production and Water Use in California’s Greater Kern Region under Groundwater Sustainability Regulations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13286, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13286, 2020.

D181 |
Conrad Jackisch, Anett Schibalski, and Boris Schröder

Adaptation to environmental changes requires decision making under uncertainty. Providing forecasts of the potential impact of different management options is a common task for environmental modellers. However, we rarely succeed in conveying uncertainties as relevant information to distinguish management options regarding their expected value and its uncertainty. Quite to the contrary, the reality in the modelling of complex systems under climate change often leads to similar mean values and broad uncertainty bands. Both may irritate users and even lead to indecision and inaction despite an urgent call for action.

In the inter- and transdisciplinary project RUINS (Risk, Uncertainty and Insurance under Climate Change. Coastal Land Management on the German North Sea), we address a region that is sensitive to changes in relative sea level, weather patterns and land-use practices. We develop methods to quantify the uncertainty of adaptation measures through the chain of models for climate, hydrology and landscape management. The aim is to provide tools for the evaluation of forecasted effects of management options, where uncertainty itself is considered an evaluation criterion.

We will present examples to point out pitfalls and potentials of uncertainty quantification in environmental model forecasting for management decision making: (i) we highlight different sources and different kinds of uncertainty with an example of agricultural production; (ii) we address trade-offs between expected wind power production and the security of its provision; moreover, (iii) we highlight the role of temporal data resolution and capacity of drainage structures in the assessment of flood protection during extreme rain events.

How to cite: Jackisch, C., Schibalski, A., and Schröder, B.: How to inform decision making under uncertainty? Quantifying and evaluating different sources of uncertainty in environmental modelling, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13735, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13735, 2020.

D182 |
Jazmin Zatarain Salazar, Federica Bertoni, Matteo Giuliani, and Andrea Castelletti

Fast population growth and economic development in several African countries is driving large infrastructure investments for growing energy, food and water demands which will likely strain existing ecosystem services.  To minimize negative impacts and guarantee long-term success and sustainability of these investments,  careful management and temporal planning of existing and new infrastructure is required. Our study focuses on the Zambezi River Basin (ZRB), a transboundary system supporting key economic growth and poverty reduction across its multiple riparian countries, while sustaining essential ecosystem services.  The ZRB currently encompasses five hydropower dams, with three additional dams planned. The goal of this study is to generate efficient pathways that allow the temporal sequencing of planned dam projects along with robust management strategies that balance food, energy and environmental demands. A participatory approach is adopted at an early stage by running a Negotiation Simulation Lab (NSL) to elicit stakeholders’ preferences and concerns supporting both model development and formulation of the optimization problem. Specifically, the pathway design is structured in three stages: first, optimal control policies are generated using Evolutionary Multi-objective Direct Policy Search for all possible combinations of dams projects; the time of construction is subsequently optimized, including the update of the system operation when a new dam is built, by balancing the benefits and the costs of additional infrastructure investments which are activated by projections of population growth triggering higher water and energy demands, finally promising policies are tested under a broad set of irrigation demand and streamflow scenarios. Our analysis shows that the rising demands cause all the planned dams to be built within the planning horizon from 2020-2060.  The study also indicates that the operational preferences are key since they dictate the system’s performance across multiple objectives and this behavior prevails under a larger suite of plausible future scenarios.  Overall, our study provides a novel approach that integrates infrastructure investment planning that can be coupled with cooperative operations to meet growing regional demands while involving stakeholders in crucial stages of the decision making process.


How to cite: Zatarain Salazar, J., Bertoni, F., Giuliani, M., and Castelletti, A.: Robust Infrastructure Sequencing and Management for Growing Food Energy and Water Demands in the Zambezi River Basin, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18927, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18927, 2020.

D183 |
Mohammed Basheer, Julien Harou, Kevin Wheeler, Nadir Elagib, Edith Zagona, Gamal Abdo, and Mikiyas Etichia

This study analyzes the implications of a variety of filling approaches of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) for the outlet management and dam engineering. A daily water balance model of the GERD is developed and used to investigate the ability of the GERD outlets to enable six reservoir filling scenarios. Results show that the turbines’ outlets, the bottom outlets, and the spillways would sufficiently provide downstream releases during the steady-state operation of the GERD. The river diversion outlets of the GERD are necessary to enable agreements on reservoir filling and the Ethiopian turbine phasing-in plan. The use of the river diversion outlets requires compliance with dam engineering constraints such as steel lining, head limit, and maximum flow speed. We propose a multi-objective optimization framework for reservoir filling whereby dam engineering constraints are considered in the negotiations on the initial filling of multi-year storage reservoirs.

How to cite: Basheer, M., Harou, J., Wheeler, K., Elagib, N., Zagona, E., Abdo, G., and Etichia, M.: Multiple constraints and objectives should inform the negotiated filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19973, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19973, 2020.

D184 |
| Highlight
Nilo Lima, Hector Angarita, Marisa Escobar-Arias, Wilford Rincon, Sergio Nuñez, and David Purkey

In Bolivia, since 2006 the Ministry of Environment and Water, through the National Watershed Plan, has developed the conceptual framework and national policy for Watershed Management. At present, this national policy is still in the process of learning and construction from its application in various river basins, principally through the development of Watershed Master Plans.

Three principles guide the development of this national planning effort: i. the recognition of the growing dependence on participatory processes as a forum to identify and enable legitimate water management and governance options, ii. the need to plan for an uncertain future caused by climate change and other societal prerogatives iii. the systemic analysis of the territory incorporating biophysical, sectoral and regional interactions.

Here we present results and lessons learned of this process in the formulation of the Master Plan of the Río Rocha Basin (PDCR); With a population of ~ 1,500,000 people (13% of Bolivia’s population), the basin has high levels of water scarcity that feed an intricate network of conflicts related to access, governance, and environmental degradation. The PDCR is a planning opportunity to enable the necessary conditions to resolve current conflicts and set the foundation of sustainable water management.

Robust decision support (RDS) has been adopted as a guiding framework, constructing a participatory process that considers uncertainties and strategies within an array of management options for the system. To accommodate the large disparities in water access across interests represented at different regions and scales of the Rio Rocha Basin, we implemented two innovations in the RDS process: first, a set of 24 quantitative indices that can operate at several nested scales of planning sub-units (i.e. from independent irrigation units or household water supply service areas, to the entire river basin), and second the use of an interactive “hard-coupled” decision dashboard to the Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP). In combination, this innovations enabled a diverse audience of actors to: i) explore the positive and negative interactions of water management, production systems, hazards and risks management, and ecosystem functions ii) identify disparities in the performance of a proposed plan between scales and ii) analyze and compare different management strategies interactively to improve outcomes and identify and mitigate emerging regional or sectorial conflicts.

As a result, the PDCR established a set of regional and intersectoral actions for 2025 and 2040, which integrate infrastructure, efficiency, pollution control, and territorial and productive planning actions, accompanied by institutional strengthening and capacity development measures. The plan expects to increase access and coverage of the demand for safe water, improve irrigation access, enable long term sustainable exploitation of groundwater and establish synergies with the existing sanitation plan to achieve additional improvements in the environmental quality of the Rio Rocha.

How to cite: Lima, N., Angarita, H., Escobar-Arias, M., Rincon, W., Nuñez, S., and Purkey, D.: Zooming into the water users: A multi-scale, interactive participatory approach to co-develop Water Management Plans in Bolivian River Basins, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22178, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22178, 2020.

D185 |
Chia-Ling Chang

Due to steep terrain, uneven rainfall, and high-speed streams, Taiwan's water environmental vulnerability is relatively high. Under the impact of climate change and environmental variation, Taiwan faces more and more challenges in water environmental management. Although environmental development can bring economic benefit, it can also impact the environment. Therefore, it is important to consider environmental assimilative capacity for maintaining a balance condition between environmental development and environmental protection. This study assesses the environmental assimilative capacity of several water systems in Taiwan. The total maximum daily load (TMDL) strategy considers water quality management from effluent-based control to ambient-based management to protect waterbodies based on their assimilative capacity. It is determined by a target water quality concentration and the assimilative capacity of the receiving waterbody. The concept of TMDL is similar in flood management and control. The purpose of this study is to discuss the total maximum environmental assimilative capacity of these water systems and to propose smart water management strategies for decreasing the water environmental risk and impact. Highly flexible and intelligent water management is essential for sustainable environmental development.

How to cite: Chang, C.-L.: assimilative capacity analysis and total maximum daily load strategy for smart water management, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3803, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3803, 2020.

D186 |
Olga Vasniova, Olga Biarozka, Nataliia Lyuta, Iryna Sanina, Andreas Scheidleder, and Franko Humer

The EU-funded program European Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+), which is the biggest commitment of the EU to the water sector in the EaP countries, helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU policy in the field of water management, with a main focus on the management of trans-boundary river basins. It supports the development and implementation of pilot river basin management plans, building on the improved policy framework and ensuring a strong participation of local stakeholders.

Project funding is provided by the European Commission (DG NEAR), the EU support program for improved cooperation in the eastern EU neighborhood region and the EU Water Initiative Plus (EUWI+). On a national level, financial support comes from the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism as well as from the French Office International de l’Eau. Up to 2020, management plans for selected river basins and transboundary rivers will be implemented under the leadership of a European project consortium headed by the Environment Agency Austria.

One important first step is the delineation of groundwater bodies according to the principles of the EU Water Framework Directive and the harmonization of transboundary groundwater bodies between Belarus and Ukraine. Groundwater experts of the Ukrainian Geological Prospecting Institute and the Belarus Unitary Enterprise “Research And Production Centre For Geology” identified and characterized the transboundary groundwater bodies which are crossing country boarders in the Dnipro river basin in Ukrainian and the Pripyat river basin in Belarus. Furthermore, a corridor which is supposed to be in transboundary groundwater interaction was identified. All methodological work was bilaterally agreed.

The experts of both countries made an inventory of existing groundwater monitoring sites and a proposal of monitoring sites which should be subject to transboundary monitoring and bilateral data exchange. In addition, a joint transboundary groundwater survey including the joint selection of monitoring parameters, a common sampling campaign and a joint interpretation of the monitoring results is planned for the period until August 2020.

A statement of the quantitative and chemical status and the risk of not achieving good status in future, as a conclusion of all collected information and monitoring data will be given.

The already available results of the joint investigations are presented.

How to cite: Vasniova, O., Biarozka, O., Lyuta, N., Sanina, I., Scheidleder, A., and Humer, F.: Transboundary delineation, characterisation and monitoring of groundwater bodies in the Dnipro river basin of Ukraine and the Pripyat river basin of Belarus under the European Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8747, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8747, 2020.

D187 |
Héctor González López, C. Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, and Laura Gil-García


Growing population and water demand (e.g for irrigation, water supply) and the vagaries of climate, now aggravated due to climate change, intensify societal exposure to water extremes and the economic and environmental impact of floods and droughts in Mediterranean basins. The Douro River Basin Authority (DRBA) in central Spain is assessing whether to build a dam in the Cega Catchment (Spain) with the twofold objective of substituting irrigation withdrawals from overallocated aquifers with relatively more abundant surface water, and of mitigating flood damage in the middle and lower stretches of the Cega River -the only non-regulated river in the DRB. This paper assesses and compares the costs of two alternative adaptation strategies to growing scarcity and more frequent and intense water extremes, namely dam construction v. the statu quo strategy where no dam is built. To this end, a Positive Multi-Attribute Utility Programing (PMAUP) that mimics farmer´s behavior and responses is used to assess the impacts on agricultural employment and gross value added of selected strategies in the irrigation sector; while the hydrologic model River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) is used to simulate the economic impact of flood events considering standard return periods, based on the global flood depth-damage functions developed by Huizinga et al. (2017). Both models are used to run 900 simulations reproducing alternative socioeconomic and climatic/hydrologic scenarios. The result is a database representing multiple plausible futures, which is used to identify vulnerabilities of proposed adaptation strategies and potential tradeoffs between responses -notably those referring to the design and operation rules of the dam, and the potential impact of floods and droughts. This methodology and the resultant database are combined with experts’ knowledge through robust decision-making tools to identify the preferred (i.e. robust) adaptation policy.

How to cite: González López, H., Pérez-Blanco, C. D., and Gil-García, L.: Tradeoffs in water extremes: combining hydraulic and economic modeling to assess the economic and financial viability of de Lastras de Cuéllar Dam, Spain , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8934, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8934, 2020.

D188 |
Armine Hakobyan, Hovik Aginyan, Christoph Leitner, and Franko Humer

The EU-funded European Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+) Program, which is the biggest commitment of the EU to the water sector in the EaP countries, helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU policy in the field of water management, with a main focus on the management of trans-boundary river basins. It supports the development and implementation of pilot river basin management plans, building on the improved policy framework and ensuring a strong participation of local stakeholders.

The main objective of the project is to improve the management of water resources and groundwater resources in particular, by developing tools to improve the quality of water in the long term, and its availability for all. More specifically, the project aims at supporting the Republic of Armenia in bringing national policies and strategies in line with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and other multilateral environmental agreements.

Project funding is provided by the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and administered by the European Commission (DG NEAR). On a national level, financial support comes from the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism and from the French Office International de l’Eau. Preparation of management plans for selected Hrazdan and Sevan RBDs is implemented under the leadership of an EUMember State consortium headed by the Environment Agency Austria.

The first important step in moving Armenia’s groundwater management system closer to the WFD is to identify and characterize groundwater bodies (GWBs) in the Hrazdan and Sevan River Basin Districts (RBDs), based on which qualitative and quantitative changes in groundwater under the influence of external pressures are determined.

Inventory of the existing hydrogeological monitoring network was also carried out with a purpose of equipping and furnishing some of the existing observation points.

During GWBs delineation, it was found out that not all GWBs have monitoring points. To fill this gap and extend the hydrogeological monitoring network, additional sampling was conducted in 2018 and 2019.

Assessment of the quantitative and qualitive status of groundwater is an essential requirement under the WFD. The methodology for the assessment of the natural groundwater resources and its components in mountainous regions was developed, using the Hrazdan and Sevan RBDs as the case study areas.

As a result, the natural groundwater resources of the mentioned districts were assessed, according to the following concepts adopted in Armenia: usable water resources, strategic water resources and the national water reserve.

Based on the results of implemented works, the management plans for the Hrazdan and Sevan RBDs will be developed.

How to cite: Hakobyan, A., Aginyan, H., Leitner, C., and Humer, F.: Delineation and Characterisation of GW Bodies, Design of a GW Monitoring Network and Development of a national methodology for assessment of GW natural resources in mountainous regions in the Hrazdan and Sevan River Basin Districts under EUWI+, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9482, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9482, 2020.

D189 |
Ilaria Chiricò, Andrea Castelletti, Matteo Giuliani, Nadav Peleg, and Paolo Burlando

In Alpine regions, climate change is expected to have a major impact on streamflow patterns through the decrease of the seasonal snow cover duration and of its spatial extent, in the short term, and the increase of glacier retreat, in the mid- and long-term. As part of their options towards a decarbonised energy strategy focusing on a larger fraction of renewable energy sources, several European countries are phasing out nuclear energy and are looking for alternative and renewable energy sources to compensate for the missing electricity production. Switzerland has planned the withdrawal from nuclear energy gradually in the next decades and hydropower is considered a potential candidate for replacing part of the lost production. Several options, mostly in the domain of management, are under evaluation to increase the current level of hydropower production, thereby including improved operation, technological solutions, market premium for existing power plant and investment contributions for new ones. However, structural interventions such as increasing hydropower storage capacity by dam heightening are also being investigated. As glacier retreat will likely result in a temporary increase of streamflow availability, augmented storage capacity by dam heightening should allow to more flexibly manage this additional volume, avoiding spills and thus incrementing production.

In this study, we develop a framework for the robust design of dam heightening and, correspondingly, optimal reoperation of reservoir release under changing climate. The framework is demonstrated on the Mattmark dam, an Alpine hydropower system located in the Visp Valley, Switzerland. The framework consists of the following four components: (i) the generation of future climate scenarios using a distributed weather generator model (AWE-GEN-2d), parameterized with the new climate scenarios for Switzerland (CH2018); (ii) the use of a distributed, physically based hydrological model to translate projected climate into streamflow; (iii) the design of the dam heightening and hydropower system operation in response to the projected changes via Evolutionary Multi-Objective Direct Policy Search, including as objective functions the modification of the hydraulic system (such as electro-mechanical equipment or adduction system), the hydropower production, the evaluation of the capacity-inflow ratio (CIR), the structural suitability and the heightening relative effort (including adaptation of the existing structures and accessibility of construction sites); and (iv) stress-test of the optimal solutions against a stochastic ensemble of future climate scenarios in order to analyse their robustness and identify options able to ensure a certain performance across multiple plausible futures.

The developed framework is expected to help identifying optimal solutions, both effective in increasing the hydropower production, and robust with respect to climate change, thus allowing further application to other glacier-snow dominated systems.

How to cite: Chiricò, I., Castelletti, A., Giuliani, M., Peleg, N., and Burlando, P.: Robust design of dam heightening under climate change: a case study in the Swiss Alps, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11720, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11720, 2020.

D190 |
Vladislav Polianin and Natalia Kirpichnikova

The Volga River is the largest river in Europe and the main waterway of the western part of Russia. The total number of cases of high and extremely high pollution of surface waters in the river basin in 2016 and 2017 amounted to 988 and 939, respectively, which is about 30-35% of the total number of registered cases in the Russian Federation.
Traditionally the main factors affecting water quality are considered to be insufficiently treated industrial effluents and municipal sewage systems. In this regard, until recently, the regulatory actions of water protection in Russia have been the management of discharges and the reuse of wastewater, i.e. the management of point sources of pollution. However, despite some progress in that direction and the overall decline in wastewater discharges, partly as a result of the decline in industrial production, such a one-sided approach had not had the expected effect and, according to official statistics and reports, there had been no significant improvement in the ecological state of water bodies and in the quality of the Volga water. The recent research conducted by Water Problem Institute jointly with other leading Russian institutions and scientific organizations in 2018-19 within the framework of National project of rehabilitation of the Volga river has shown that such a situation took place mainly due to the lack of attention to non-point sources of pollution, particularly to agricultural activities, industrial sites, urban and suburban land development, landfills and areas of «accumulated environmental damage». 
These studies, as well as the synthesis of the results of surveys carried out within the Volga basin in previous years, show that the volume of pollutants such as oil products, organic substances, suspended solids, heavy metals (zinc, copper) from non-point sources exceeds (in some cases repeatedly) that of the point sources. For example, for the catchment area of the Upper Volga, it has been established that the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus coming from non-point sources is on average 45-55% of the total nutrient load, and for oil products and suspended substances this value can exceed 90%, especially during rainfall and spring flood events.
A general conception has been under developing and discussion to prevent further pollution of the Volga region including issues of monitoring, evaluation of diffuse loads, enhancing water protection programs and preventing negative effects of human activities at the scale of river catchments.

How to cite: Polianin, V. and Kirpichnikova, N.: Basic approaches to abatement of water pollution caused by non-point sources in the Volga river basin., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12852, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12852, 2020.

D191 |
Boris Iurciuc, Andreas Scheidleder, and Franko Humer

The EU-funded program European Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+), which is the biggest commitment of the EU to the water sector in the EaP countries, helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU policy in the field of water management, as identified by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), with a main focus on the management of transboundary river basins. It supports the development and implementation of pilot river basin management plans, building on the improved policy framework and ensuring a strong participation of local stakeholders.

Project funding is provided by the European Commission (DG NEAR), the EU support program for improved cooperation in the eastern EU neighborhood region and the EU Water Initiative Plus (EUWI+). On a national level, financial support comes from the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism as well as from the French Office International de l’Eau. Up to 2020, management plans for selected river basins and transboundary rivers will be implemented under the leadership of a European project consortium headed by the Environment Agency Austria.

In the Republic of Moldova the River Basin Management Plan for the Moldovan part of the Danube-Prut and Black Sea River Basin District was elaborated by the Institute of Ecology and Geography in accordance with the WFD and the Water Law of the Republic of Moldova no. 272 of 23.11.2011. This management plan needed a review and update for approval and its implementation into practice.

The presented study comprises a review and an update of the existing delineation and characterization of groundwater bodies (GWBs) in the Danube-Prut and Black Sea River Basin (DPBSRB) of the Republic of Moldova as well as a review of the current groundwater monitoring design. The GWBs are the management units under the WFD and all further implementation steps (risk and status assessment, programs of measures)which regard to groundwater are linked to these GWBs.

Extensive information, e.g. on the geological structure, the hydrogeological conditions, lithology, flow directions and the human pressures on the aquifers in the DPBSRB, has been collected, generalized and analyzed. Within the area of the DPBSRB in total eleven GWBs were identified, covering all aquifers which are relevant for all current and future legitimate uses and functions and relevant for groundwater associated or dependent aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

The groundwater monitoring design both for quantity and quality was reviewed including the monitoring network, frequency, parameters, use of monitoring data, responsibilities and data management. Based on that results, concrete improvements of the monitoring network within the EUWI+ project are planned.

How to cite: Iurciuc, B., Scheidleder, A., and Humer, F.: Delineation of groundwater bodies and design of a monitoring network in the Danube Prut and Black Sea River Basin District in Moldova under EUWI+, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19257, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19257, 2020.

D192 |
Amaury Tilmant, Jasson Pina, Maher Salman, Claudia Casarotto, Fethi Lebdi, and Eva Pek

The development of Senegal River basin involves trading-off competing objectives in an uncertain environment. Through a stochastic analysis, the trade-off discovery can be enriched to identify vulnerabilities; that is, the sensitivity of those losses with respect to changing natural and anthropogenic factors. In the Senegal River basin, the availability of water at a particular point in space and time is directly linked to both the hydrologic processes and the level of development of the water resources system. Our analysis of the trade-off relationships reveals the existence of two coalitions of objectives: traditional food production (agriculture and floodplain fisheries) versus hydropower-navigation. In terms of vulnerability, the examination of probabilistic trade-offs also shows that of the two main coalitions of objectives, the one dealing with traditional food production is much more vulnerable to changes in both hydro-climatic conditions and allocation policies. Of interest is the fact that the first coalition mostly concerns downstream riparian countries while hydropower, and to a less extent, navigation concern upstream countries. The result is a reinforced power asymmetry where vulnerable downstream riverine communities compete for water with politically and/or economically more powerful upstream water users like power companies.

How to cite: Tilmant, A., Pina, J., Salman, M., Casarotto, C., Lebdi, F., and Pek, E.: Trade-off, vulnerability and power asymmetry in the Senegal River basin, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-15822, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-15822, 2020.

D193 |
Fabio Delle Grazie, Laurence Gill, and Owen Naughton

Ecosystem services provided by groundwater dependent wetlands (turloughs) in karst areas

Fabio Massimo Delle Grazie1, Owen Naughton1,2, Laurence Gill1

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

2 Carlow Institute of Technology, Carlow, Ireland


E-mail: dellegrf@tcd.ie



According to the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Ireland hosts twenty-one types of Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTEs). They include ecosystems like alkaline fens, transition mires, active raised bogs and turloughs.

Turloughs, the focus of this study, are ephemeral lakes which are present mostly in Ireland and have been compared hydrologically to polje for the period inundation and lacustrine deposits. They are flooded for some periods across the year (typically in the winter) but usually dry up in summer months. Turloughs are defined as Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems (GWDTEs) and as such they are protected under the Water Framework Directive (WFD, Directive 2000/60/EC). As they host protected fauna and flora, they are also designated as a Priority Habitat in Annex 1 of the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC). As hydrology is the main driver of their ecosystem, a thorough understanding of their hydrological regime is crucial. The water-bodies supporting GWDTE’s are also protected under the WFD and it is important to establish whether the status of these groundwater bodies is impacting on the functioning of the GWDTE’s and if so, what measures can be introduced to mitigate this impact.

Ecosystem services can be defined as the conditions and processes through which natural ecosystems sustain and fulfil human life. These can be classified as provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural and examples of them are water and raw materials production, flood risk attenuation, carbon sequestration (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). The determination of the ecosystem services can help analyse different scenarios linked to pressures like road drainage schemes, water supply and wastewater disposal.

Previous data and field studies (including soil and water sampling and greenhouse gas emission measurements) were performed on seven turloughs. The ecosystem services of the turloughs were determined through appropriate models and software packages and quantified in appropriate biophysical units as well as in monetary terms.


How to cite: Delle Grazie, F., Gill, L., and Naughton, O.: Ecosystem services provided by groundwater dependent wetlands (turloughs) in karst areas, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19485, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19485, 2020.

D194 |
Bramka Arga Jafino and Jan Kwakkel

Climate-related inequality can arise from the implementation of adaptation policies. As an example, the dike expansion policy for protecting rice farmers in the Vietnam Mekong Delta in the long run backfires to the small-scale farmers. The prevention of annual flooding reduces the supply of natural sediments, forcing farmers to apply more and more fertilizers to achieve the same yield. While large-scale farmers can afford this, small-scale farmers do not possess the required economics of scale and are thus harmed eventually. Together with climatic and socioeconomic uncertainties, the implementation of new policies can not only exacerbate existing inequalities, but also induce new inequalities. Hence, distributional impacts to affected stakeholders should be assessed in climate change adaptation planning.

In this study, we propose a two-stage approach to assess the distributional impacts of policies in model-based support for adaptation planning. The first stage is intended to explore potential inequality patterns that may emerge due to combination of new policies and the realization of exogenous scenarios. This stage comprises four steps: (i) disaggregation of performance indicators in the model in order to observe distributional impacts, (ii) performance of large-scale simulation experimentation to account for deep uncertainties, (iii) clustering of simulation results to identify distinctive inequality patterns, and (iv) application of scenario discovery tools, in particular classification and regression trees, to identify combinations of policies and uncertainties that lead to a specific inequality pattern.

In the second stage we attempt to asses which policies are morally preferable with respect to the inequality patterns they generate, rather than only descriptively explore the patterns which is the case in the previous stage. To perform a normative evaluation of the distributional impacts, we operationalize five alternative principles of justice: improvement of total welfare (utilitarianism), prioritization of worse-off actors (prioritarianism), reduction of welfare differences across actors (two derivations: absolute inequality and envy measure), and improvement of worst-off actor (Rawlsian difference). The different operationalization of each of these principles forms the so-called social welfare function with which the distributional impacts can be aggregated.

To test this approach, we use an agricultural planning case study in the upper Vietnam Mekong Delta. Specifically, we assess the distributional impacts of alternative adaptation policies in the upper Vietnam Mekong Delta by using an integrated assessment model. We consider six alternative policies as well as uncertainties related to upstream discharge, sediment supply, and land-use change. Through the first stage, we identify six potential inequality patterns among the 23 districts in the study area, as well as the combinations of policies and uncertainties that result in these types of patterns. From applying the second stage we obtain complete rankings of alternative policies, based on their performance with respect to distributional impacts, under different realizations of scenarios. The explorative stage allows policy-makers to identify potential actions to compensate worse-off actors while the normative stage helps them to easily rank alternative policies based on a preferred moral principle.

How to cite: Jafino, B. A. and Kwakkel, J.: A two-stage approach for assessment of distributional impacts in model-based delta planning: exploration of plausible inequality patterns and justice-based evaluation of policies, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5129, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5129, 2020.

D195 |
DongNi Chen and YanPeng Cai

A two-stage interval fuzzy credibility constraint programming method is proposed to deal with the uncertainties of fuzzy variables, discrete intervals and probability distributions, and to reflect the dynamic uncertainties and related decision-making processes. Lincang City is located in the southwest border of China. It is a frontier window and an important channel for China to face the "radiation center" of Southeast Asia and South Asia. It is the only intersection of the Tropic of cancer and the geographic water distribution lines of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Its hydrological and water resources are unique.Considering lincang city, yunnan province as the research object, and considering the uncertainty of the amount of available water resources within the region, a two-stage fuzzy credibility constraint programming model was built to optimize the allocation of regional water resources.The objective function of the model is to maximize the economic returns of the system. Fuzzy variables, discrete intervals and probability distribution are introduced to represent the multiple uncertainties in the system. The confidence level is set to solve the problem of fuzzy risk with violation probability. The results show that the model can effectively deal with the uncertainty of the allocation system, and reflect the trade-off between the system benefits and risks, so as to reduce the risk of water shortage and low economic penalty, and achieve efficient allocation of water resources.

How to cite: Chen, D. and Cai, Y.: Optimal allocation of water resources under natural and social complexities in Lincang, a border city of China and Burma, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6449, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6449, 2020.

D196 |
Antonio Bolinches, Lucia De Stefano, Javier Paredes-Arquiola, Carlotta Valerio, and Alberto Garrido

Continental water ecosystems and human water uses may be jeopardized by degradation of water quality.  To prevent this degradation, the maximum concentration of pollutants for freshwater bodies may need to be set in the legislation. In some cases, the actions needed to achieve those environmental objectives may be technically challenging or financially overburdening. In the case of the European Union (EU), the Water Framework Directive (WFD, Article 4) requires the achievement of the good status of water bodies but allows for the declaration of exemptions due to lack of technical feasibility or disproportionate costs. Twenty years after the WFD approval, the conditions to declare exemptions remain unclear and in practice their declaration  is highly discretional.

The extant scientific literature suggests several methods to formulate the justification of exemptions. Although the methodologies are diverse, they all require to select a threshold (e.g. in terms of cost disproportionality) above which a relaxation of the environmental objectives may be accepted. This threshold should be uniform across the EU River Basin Districts in order to guarantee a fair distribution of efforts across Member States. To date, however, there are very few studies that compare the application of exemptions in different regions to assess the uniformity of approaches to the declaration of exceptions.

When defining actions to achieve the good status of water bodies, the quantification of the different pressures, their interactions and the effects on receiving water bodies can be challenging. In the case of physico-chemical pollutants, however, it can be easier to define policy actions as pressures can be quantified (point loads of wastewater treatment plants, diffuse loads emanated by different land uses) and the evolution in receiving waters can be modelled.

In our research, we analyzed over one thousand water bodies in the River Basin Districts of five different Member States of the European Union (Estonia, a transboundary Ireland-United Kingdom basin, Italy, Spain and Portugal), using the available databases on Digital Elevation Models (Copernicus EU-DEM), land use (CORINE land cover), urban pressures (European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive dissemination platform and reported data), runoff and gauged flows (Water Information System for Europe, national gauging networks) and WFD exemption databases. Each water body was characterized according to the level of nitrogen and phosphorus pressures deriving from point and diffuse loads, and the declaration of exemptions to the environmental objectives for those nutrients. The exemption threshold is assessed for each River Basin District, allowing for a critical review of the different water policies in this significant aspect of the Water Framework Directive implementation.

How to cite: Bolinches, A., De Stefano, L., Paredes-Arquiola, J., Valerio, C., and Garrido, A.: Setting the threshold: An analysis of different approaches for the definition of exemptions to water quality objectives in the European Union, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9045, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9045, 2020.

D197 |
Rodrigo Valencia, Sabine Egerer, and María Máñez

Higher temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns caused by climate change may potentially affect water availability for agriculture and increase the risk of crop loss in Northeast Lower Saxony (NELS), Germany. The drought of 2018 showed that an intensification of irrigation might be a temporary solution. However, a long-term increase in water extraction, especially during drought periods, is not a sustainable solution. To assess possible water management solutions, we implement a participatory system dynamics approach, namely Group Model Building, to develop a qualitative system dynamics model (QSDM) describing the agricultural system and its relation to water resources in NELS.

The development of the QSDM seeks to understand the complexity of the interactions between agriculture and hydrological systems, recognize the stakeholders’ needs and identify risks and weaknesses of both systems. By understanding this, we expect to reinforce the adaptation process, reduce conflict and be able to suggest tailored solutions and adaptation measures. The QSDM incorporates a wide range of perceptions, as twenty stakeholders ranging from farmers, government agencies, environmental protection organizations and local water authorities were involved in the QSDM development. Their perceptions were recorded in the QSDM through individual interviews and a group workshop.

Through the QSDM, we identified and mapped the structure and connections between agriculture and the water balance. It was also possible to identify the strongest feedback loops governing both sectors as well as their influence on the current situation. The loops represent behaviors and structures, which might become unmanageable under climate change conditions. The causal loops include the different uses for the available water of the region, the impact of irrigation, the significance of crop selection and the importance of sustainable soil management.

By analyzing the system this way, we confirmed that climate change poses a risk to the region as elevated temperatures could increase the crop water demand and increase the need for irrigation. In the same way, changes in the rain patterns could affect the water balance of the region. The agricultural system has, however, potential to adapt by implementing new water management strategies such as restructuring water rights, water storage and reuse and conjunctive water use. Other measures include increasing the irrigation efficiency, changing crops and enhancing the soil quality, among others.

How to cite: Valencia, R., Egerer, S., and Máñez, M.: Drought and water management in the German agricultural sector - a participatory system dynamics approach, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10193, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10193, 2020.

D198 |
Alessandro Amaranto, Matteo Giuliani, Davide Danilo Chiarelli, Maria Cristina Rulli, Dinis Juizo, and Andrea Castelletti

Changing climate, growing population, and urbanization are likely to exacerbate the competition for water resources in the coming years, and to challenge the effectiveness of water management policies. In this rapidly evolving multi-stakeholder context, it is crucial to explore the sensitivity of water supply strategies to deeply uncertain climatic and socio-economic forcings, fostering the identification of policies that integrate optimality and low vulnerability against likely adverse future conditions. Here, we propose an integrated framework combining optimization, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis to retrieve the main sources of vulnerability to water management strategies across a multidimensional objective space. Our framework is tested in the Umbeluzi river, Mozambique, operated to meet three conflicting objectives: the water demand in the city of Maputo, hydropower production, and irrigation supply. Rapid urbanization, economic growth and water development plans mark the Umbeluzi as archetypal of most river basin in developing countries. The main sources of uncertainty we consider are: the projected increase in water demand following urbanization and irrigation development in the area; the magnitude of streamflow depletion due to climate change; and the completion date of the greater Maputo water supply expansion project. The optimization approach is based on Evolutionary Multi-Objective Direct Policy Search (EMODPS), while the sensitivity and uncertainty analysis are founded on the PAWN and the GLUE methods, respectively. Numerical results show that, while socio-economic and infrastructure are equally important for compromise solutions, climate becomes the most influential factor for asymmetric tradeoffs.

How to cite: Amaranto, A., Giuliani, M., Chiarelli, D. D., Rulli, M. C., Juizo, D., and Castelletti, A.: Disentailing Sources of Future Uncertainties for Water Management Policies in a Subtropical Water System., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10713, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-10713, 2020.

D199 |
Leonardo David Donado and María Cristina Arenas-Bautista

Water resources management must be in all cases, effective, efficient and sustainable, especially when considering the effects of climate change and variability effects. The challenge tackled in this research was to build a hydro-economic optimization model, which can be used as a decision-making tool for water assignment between several users in a tropical region. The model has been developed by integrating hydrological aspects (surface water and groundwater) in an economical optimization framework for water allocation and water quality management.

We study a basin of 17 000 km2 located in the Colombian Middle Magdalena Valley (MMV), a central area with important economic activities, as oil and gas exploration and production (O&G), agriculture and livestock.

A regional optimization model that integrates multiple water supplies and demands were designed.  The main purpose of the model is to maximize the value of water consumption. Consequently, the hydro-economic model was solved through a lineal optimization process, that links all available water resources and all water demands under the limitations of: (i) demand rising, (ii) water quality variance and (ii) offer decrease.

The system considers the monthly water demand from each user and a penalty for no satisfy it. For hydro-economic analysis, the model contemplates four main study scenarios: (i) current mean condition (ESC1), (ii) at thirty years (ESC2), (iii) at fifty years (ESC3) and, (iv) at hundred years (ESC4). These scenarios show fluctuation in water demand, and water supply based on the population increase. The results show significant differences between the user's allocation regimes. This has been identified between domestic and agricultural sectors, but not between commercial activities. According to the later, it is important to include variable rates for each sector according to its productivity, in the general analysis.

The defined objective function maximizes the profit in the MMV basin during a planning period of a year.  It is important to highlight that the whole system was optimized under an equitable distribution in allocation and costs, and thus, the resulting profits would improve results to satisfy all economic sectors.

How to cite: Donado, L. D. and Arenas-Bautista, M. C.: Optimization of an Integrated Water Resources Model in tropical regions, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12064, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-12064, 2020.

D200 |
Nana Kitiashvili, Merab Gaprindashvili, Christoph Leitner, and Franko Humer

Georgia is among the countries which have fresh groundwater distinguished for significant resources and drinking qualities of naturally high quality. Hydrogeological exploration and monitoring works for the purpose of identification, study and protection of fresh groundwater were not conducted in the period of 1990–2013. Considering the long-term termination of centralized researches and the intensively increasing anthropogenic pressures on the environment and on water in particular, the assessment and protection of groundwater resources becomes a very pressing issue. For this purpose, in 2013, on initiative of the Geology Department of LEPL National Environmental Agency of Georgia and the Czech Development Agency, restoration of the hydrogeological monitoring network and research of fresh groundwater using modern methodology began. The modern equipment was gradually installed on the water objects to obtain information about quantitative and qualitative characteristics in "online" mode and taking water samples for chemical and bacterial analysis twice a year. Currently, 56 water points (mainly wells) are being monitored. The database on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of fresh groundwater of Georgia is being expanding based on information received online from water points, fieldwork results, laboratory analyzes (chemical and bacteriological), and on the processing, analyzing and generalizing of the collected actual materials. As the issue concerns fresh groundwater (which is used by at least 90% of the population), it’s necessary to expand the state monitoring network. According to the EU Water Framework Directive, based on the basin management principles of water resources, conduct of researches is granted particular significance in the trans-boundary zone.

The „European Union Water Initiative Plus for Eastern Partnership (EaP) Countries (EUWI+)″, which is the biggest commitment of the EU to the water sector in the EaP countries, helps Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to bring their legislation closer to EU policy in the field of water management, as identified by the EU Water Framework Directive. The EUWI+ project addresses existing challenges in both development and implementation of efficient management of water resources.. Monitoring data are an important basis for water management, for risk, status and trend assessment and for the design and implementation of an effective and cost-efficient program of measures .

Within the EUWI+ project, the following key activities were undertaken in Georgia: „Delineation and characterization of groundwater bodies and the design of a groundwater monitoring network in the Alazani-Iori and Khrami-Debed River Basin Districts in Georgia“, „Performed hydrogeological preliminary field works in the Alazani-Iori and Khrami-Debed River Basin“. Currently „Geophysical, isotope, hydrochemical, bacteriological and hydrodynamic assessment of twelve selected wells to be included in the national groundwater monitoring network in the Alazani-Iori River Basin District in Georgia“ is in progress. The results of this study are a basis for the improvement of the groundwater monitoring network and the development of River Basin Management Plans. As a part of the EUWI+ project, several new monitoring stations are planned.

The results are important in the process of implementation of integrated management of water resources, which should finally ensure sustainable management of water resources and reliable health protection of the population.

How to cite: Kitiashvili, N., Gaprindashvili, M., Leitner, C., and Humer, F.: Fresh Groundwater Monitoring in Georgia, EUWI+ project support to Georgia in implementing the EU Water Framework Directive and improvment the monitoring network, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-17803, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-17803, 2020.

D201 |
Maria C. Cunha, Peter Roebling, and João Marques

The LEAP project (Legacies of Agricultural Pollutants), supported by ERA-NET COFUND WATERWORKS 2015, aims at developing an “Integrated Assessment of Biophysical and Socioeconomic Controls on Water Quality in Agroecosystems”.

The impacts of agriculture intensification gave rise to an excess of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) accumulation in soils and their leaching to water bodies (surface and groundwater bodies). Even though various actions have been undertaken through different institutions and the publication of the Water Framework Directive in the EU, it is clear that better management practices have to be implemented. The objectives should be twofold. First, the amount of fertilizers used should be reduced and the legacies remaining from past practices must start to decrease. There are many options to try to fulfil these objectives, and different perspectives from which to evaluate the consequences of each option. Identifying appropriate solutions is a considerable challenge, and therefore the choices to be made should be structured using appropriate approaches. Given the multiple issues at stake, multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) will be very valuable in developing a framework to help decision makers. The exploration of different MCDA methods described in Cinelli et. al (2014) confirmed the importance and the broad applicability of these tools in several fields to provide sustainable solutions that take social, economic and environmental dimensions into account.

In this paper different alternatives for implementing best management practices that not only involve the amount of fertilizers to be used, but also the timing of their application over the plant growth cycle, through various climate scenarios, are considered. Criteria such as N-NO3 exports, ecological indicators, willingness to pay, variation of production, and variation of gross margin are taken into account. Weights are established to express the importance given to each criterion.

After launching the main components to perform an MCDA evaluation, the PROMETHEE  method (Mareschal and De Smet, 2009) is used to identify the best ranked solutions to be implemented according to different weights ascribed to criteria. The application of the methodology is illustrated through a case study located in the Vouga river basin, in Portugal.


This research was supported by LEAP (LEgacies of Agricultural Pollutants) project (WaterJPI/005/2015).The authors also thank to the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology through the project grant UIDB/00308/2020 granted to INESCC.



Cinelli, M., Coles, S. R., and Kirwan, K. (2014). Analysis of the potentials of multi criteria decision analysis methods to conduct sustainability assessment. Ecological Indicators, 46, 138–148.

Mareschal, B. and De Smet, Y. (2009). Visual PROMETHEE: Developments of the PROMETHEE & GAIA multicriteria decision aid methods, In Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, 2009. IEEM 2009.IEEE International Conference (pp. 1646–1649)


How to cite: Cunha, M. C., Roebling, P., and Marques, J.: A multicriteria framework for defining sustainable agricultural practices in different climate scenarios, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19180, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19180, 2020.

D202 |
Núria Perujo and Vicenç Acuña

In spite of their great ecological, economic and cultural importance, freshwater ecosystems are one of the most degraded ecosystems in the world affected by a wide array of stressors. Around 60% of surface water bodies are failing good ecological status. Several regulations have been developed (e.g. Water Framework Directive (WFD) (2000/60/EC) in Europe) to protect and enhance the status of water resources. Environmental legislation follows a reactive rather than proactive behaviour resulting in end-of-pipe measures. Further, it sets limits for individual stressors while, at least 40% of European waters are subject to multiple stressors. Further, it does not consider physical, chemical and biological characteristics of receiving ecosystems. Similarly, most results from scientific works addressing multi stressors effects cannot be extrapolated to other fluvial ecosystems if not embedded in a conceptual framework which accounts for each site’s characteristics.

DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) model is an analytical framework amended by the European Environment Agency (EEA) under the WFD. Although DPSIR framework has been used in a large number of studies there are still some gaps which hurdle its usefulness. DPSIR do not separate the term “stressor” as an explicit term but it instead incorporates stressor variables in the “state” term which often promotes confusion among managers and scientists. Through an extensive literature review and synthesis, here we propose a multi stressor approach based on a DPSSIR framework (Driver-Pressure-State-Stressor-Impact-Response). One considering the State and the Stressor categories in the model.

Main points of our work are that State characterization must include both hydrological and chemical characteristics (usually included in previous studies) but also morphological (mostly forgotten although they play a key role in receiving system’s response linked to spatial heterogeneity and ecological habitats –include hyporheic and floodplains-riparian areas-) and biological characteristics. State should account also for seasonal dynamics which modulate the windows of ecological opportunity. To assess the impact, it is necessary to address stressors interaction and cascading effects throughout the food web, since impact varies among receptor organisms. In this assessment it must be taken into account the natural thresholds (range) to which the receiving system is used to (State); the set point of the receiving system before –temporal/spatial- the action of the stressor (State) and the magnitude of the stressor (degree of change – stressor -).

With the use of this new conceptual framework, DPSSIR aims to serve as a basis for both stakeholders to establish a new regulatory framework as well as for scientists when designing an experiment to study pressures and impacts in aquatic ecosystems considering the characteristics of the receiving environment, the interaction between stressors (also context-dependent) and the transfer along the food web. Not based merely on setting limits from laboratory studies with a specific organism. It aims to prevent the degradation of aquatic ecosystems and improve the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems.

How to cite: Perujo, N. and Acuña, V.: Context-dependency for multiple stressors assessment in freshwater ecosystems, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20367, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20367, 2020.

D203 |
Sharlene L. Gomes and Leon M. Hermans

Urbanization in the Global South brings uncertainty to the planning and management of water resources. Competing demands for water and weak institutional arrangements are creating water insecurity in many peri-urban areas, also known as the urban fringe. The Adaptation Pathways approach may be used design adaptive policies for coping and effectively responding to unpredictable futures in complex and uncertain systems. This approach is being piloted in the H2O-T2S project to support more sustainable urban transitions.  Decision-makers will be supported in shaping water management strategies that are resilient under a variety of urbanization trajectories.

These kinds of integrative approaches to guide decision making must consider the existing system capacity to cope with changing dynamics. In peri-urban areas for example, water-related vulnerabilities, are constantly occurring, and actors often need to adapt their strategies in order to cope with negative consequences or benefit from the opportunities these vulnerabilities create. In other words, the existing adaptive capacity of the system must be harnessed and improved upon during the intervention. System resilience is also important. Literature on socio-ecological systems highlights ten components (principles or conditions) of resilient systems. By examining the resilience of existing peri-urban systems, targeted improvements to the institutional context can be made for sustainable water resource governance.

Results from this type of baseline assessment of water-related vulnerability, adaptive capacity, and resilience is presented from three case study regions in India (Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata). The robustness framework and resilience principles are used for this empirical analysis. This presentation will highlight key differences and similarities between the three geographic, institutional, and socio-economic contexts.  An integrative assessment of water use across peri-urban sectors indicates the trade-offs that are made and the social inequalities that result from them. The findings will be used to structure and decision participatory workshops with peri-urban decision-makers and local actors where they will use the Adaptation Pathways to design context relevant transformative pathways for the future.

How to cite: Gomes, S. L. and Hermans, L. M.: Building upon existing adaptive capacity and resilience for sustainable water resource management in an uncertain world, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21357, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21357, 2020.

D204 |
| Highlight
David Post

The Murray-Darling Basin in south-eastern Australia is one of the world’s largest rivers, draining an area of just over 1 million square kilometres. The basin drains about one-seventh of the Australian land mass and is the 16th longest river in the world. However, being located on the driest continent on Earth, its discharge is relatively small, averaging just 767 m3/s, far smaller than the discharge from any other similarly sized river worldwide. 

Despite the relative lack of water, the Murray-Darling Basin is one of the most significant agricultural areas in Australia. In order to manage the water in the basin, in 2008 the Murray-Darling Basin Authority was formed with a mandate to manage the Murray-Darling Basin in an integrated and sustainable manner. Water reform in the basin has been a world-first in terms of the scale of intervention, but it has led to numerous conflicts in terms of access to water. The ability to manage the basin adequately relies on appropriate research being carried out in order to determine how much water is currently available, where it is currently being used, and how water availability and use are likely to change into the future.

Like much of southern Australia, the Murray-Darling Basin is already feeling the impacts of climate change, with more hotter days, fewer cold days, and a reduction in cool-season precipitation. These changes are only likely to increase over the coming decades. Additionally, as of January 2020, the Murray-Darling Basin finds itself in the grip of the worst drought in 120 years of records. This follows on the back of the second worst drought on record, the Millennium drought from 1997-2009.

This presentation will summarise the research being carried out by CSIRO in order to assist the MDBA to appropriately manage the water resources of the basin.

How to cite: Post, D.: Managing the water resources of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20776, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20776, 2020.

D205 |
Tohid Erfani, Kevis Pachos, and Julien J. Harou

Water security can be susceptible to demand increases and climate change impacts. In this case interventions (new infrastructure and/or policies) must be made to meet future demands despite the timing and extent of supply-demand changes are unknown in advance. Given the potential large economic costs of water infrastructure, and the uncertainties in both future supplies and demands, formal planning under uncertainty techniques aiming for robustness and/or adaptability are warranted.

Staged water infrastructure capacity expansion optimization models help create flexible plans under uncertainty. In these models two types of uncertainties are realized. The first category is the exogenous uncertainty that can be incorporated into the optimization using an a priori scenario ensemble. The second category is the endogenous uncertainty for which the optimized timing and selection of interventions determines when and which uncertainties must be considered. Endogenous uncertainty is therefore ‘decision-dependent’ and cannot be considered as a priori set of scenarios.

This work describes an extension to an adaptive multistage real options water infrastructure planning optimization problem formulation to incorporate endogenous uncertainty and describe its effect on cost and option selection. We show how endogenous uncertainty propagates when making planning decisions over time on a synthetic case study. The results are contrasted with the deterministic formulation in terms of option activations and the expected present value of the cost.

How to cite: Erfani, T., Pachos, K., and Harou, J. J.: Endogenous and Exogenous Uncertainty in Adaptive Water Resource Planning, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19492, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19492, 2020.