EGU23-2252, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Assessing the impacts of future climate change scenarios on water systems supplied by karst aquifers 

David J. Peres1, Nunziarita Palazzolo1, Claudio Mineo2, Stefania Passaretti2, Eleonora Boscariol2, Anna Varriale2, and Antonino Cancelliere1
David J. Peres et al.
  • 1University of Catania, Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Catania, Italy (
  • 2ACEA ATO2, Department of Water Resource Protection, Rome, Italy (

Water resources management is becoming increasingly challenging under current climate change. Water utilities need to assess planning adaptation strategies aimed at sustainable water resource exploitation. In this study, we estimate the potential impacts of climate change on hydrological variables and future spring discharge availability. Specifically, we exploit an empirical regressive model based on the statistical relationship between Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and minimum annual spring discharge, in combination with Regional Climate Models (RCMs) provided by the EURO-CORDEX initiative. In this regard, two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) are considered, RCP4.5 (intermediate emissions scenario) and RCP8.5 (high emissions scenario), as well as two future time horizons, namely the near future 2021-2050 and the far future 2041-2070. Then, after bias correction of the so estimated minimum spring discharge values, the curves relating spring discharge and reliability in satisfying water demand are assessed. We carried out our investigation for karst aquifers located in the Italian Apennines, which are used for the water supply system of the city of Rome (Italy) and the surrounding areas, managed by ACEA Ato2, serving over 4 million users. Overall, the results indicate a general decrease in the demand that can be satisfied with high reliability, pointing out significant potential impacts of climate change on water availability on both near and far future. The proposed methodology could be a useful tool for water managers, since it provides a support for planning adaptation measures aimed at minimizing future socio-economic impacts of climate change.

How to cite: Peres, D. J., Palazzolo, N., Mineo, C., Passaretti, S., Boscariol, E., Varriale, A., and Cancelliere, A.: Assessing the impacts of future climate change scenarios on water systems supplied by karst aquifers , EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2252,, 2023.