Model-based Global Assessment of Hydrological Pressure

Project Coordinator

fotocoord.JPGCintia Bertacchi Uvo:

Institution: Div. Water Resources Engineering, Lund University

Country: Sweden



The overarching objective of GlobalHydroPressure is to provide global model-based support for assessing and quantifying the fundamental hydrological pressure in basins worldwide. A consistent and reliable estimation of this pressure is a prerequisite for assessment of vulnerability and resilience to the total, multiple environmental pressure, including both natural and human-driven components. As hydrological pressure is closely associated with extreme events (natural hazards) on different scales in space and time, a multi-scale perspective will be adopted. A key feature of the project is the development of hydrological Decision Support Indicators (DSIs), innovative indicators pertinent to the main hydrological pressures tailored for decision support with different time horizons. Further, technical infrastructure will be developed or updated for calculating and distributing these DSIs both on global and on regional/local level. In the process, we will develop existing hydrological models on global and local scales into innovative tools for supporting final-users’ decisions (apps, interactive pages, etc.). The global performance of the World-Wide HYPE (WWH) model will be enhanced by e.g. new forcing data (satellite-based, etc.) and improved calibration procedures, but special attention will be given to the location-specific applications where WWH performance will be compared to locally adapted models, e.g. MGB-IPH and HBV, and improved when necessary. Local cases span different climatic, areal and topographic characteristics so that WWH may be adapted to different characteristics and may be then used to support local vulnerability, resilience and risk assessment in ungauged regions of difficult access, as well as contribute with input to practical tools for adaptation and decision support. The applications covered in the cases include e.g. water resources management, hydropower production, flood risk assessment and agricultural production. An important aspect of GlobalHydroPressure is the multi-scale perspective, as different hydro-meteorological hazards operate on widely different scales in time and space. Examples of extremes include flash floods, with scales down to hours and single km2s, and droughts, with scales up to multi-years and continents. We will develop support and guidelines both for historical analysis of past extremes and for future prediction on various time horizons; medium-range forecasts (days/week ahead), seasonal forecasts (months/season ahead) and climate projections (decades/century ahead). A second important aspect is the close involvement of stakeholders and the intention to have a bottom-up approach, where modelling and assessment is driven by stakeholder needs in continuous collaboration. A group of Principal Stakeholders is included in the project, which will ensure that all results are practically applicable.

The key aspects of the project may be summarized as follows:

  • We combine an existing global hydrological climate service, providing a consistent baseline, with local data and locally tailored models, for improved assessment of hydrological pressure.
  • We explore recent historical events for improved vulnerability and climate change impact assessment as well as improved stakeholder communication.
  • We use a multi-scale approach to obtain a better understanding as well as description of different pressures/risks/vulnerabilities as well as their associated uncertainties.
  • We involve key local stakeholders to formulate tailored Decision Support Indicators (DSIs) on different future time horizons (days to centuries) and to identify multi-pressure aspects and requirements.
  • We have a multi-disciplinary environment (hydrology, meteorology, climate science, bioeconomy, social science) with a good balance between fundamental/academic research and applied/operational applications.

Funders of the project:  

FORMAS (Sweden)

FAPEAL (Brazil)

FAPEMIG (Brazil)

Research Council of Norway (Norway)