Imdroflood project

Between 1998 and 2009, Europe suffered over 213 major damaging floods causing more than 1100 casualties, the displacement of about half a million people and at least €52 billion in insured economic losses.

Between 1998 and 2009, Europe suffered over 213 major damaging floods causing more than 1100 casualties, the displacement of about half a million people and at least €52 billion in insured economic losses. Conversely, droughts cause annual economic losses of 6.2 billion €/year on average, with losses increasing in recent decades.
Unfortunately, climate change is intensifying climate extremes such as floods and droughts, which are expected to increase even more in the future. In this context is essential to improve the scientific knowledge and strengthening drought and flood forecasting and early warning to improve adaptation to climate change.
To help this effort, we create the IMDROFLOOD (Improving Drought and Flood Early Warning,
Forecasting and Mitigation using real-time hydroclimatic indicators) project (financed by WaterWorks 2014) with the main objective of enhance flood and drought risk management at the catchment level through the development of novel flood and drought information tools.
IMDROFLOOD includes research institutes, universities and companies from six countries (Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Romania, Moldova and South Africa) and it is focused on five river basins which have contrasting environmental conditions and specific problems (Tagus, Ebro Prut, Emajõgi and Limpopo).
IMDROFLOOD activities during the first half of the project have achieved some project millstones.
One of the most important has been the effective engagement of stakeholders. The constant communication and three stakeholders meeting have allowed understanding stakeholders and end-users needs. During the first months of the project a complete collection of data sources in each basin has been collected and implemented in a Spatial Data Infrastructure, to share data among the project partners (private side) and to disseminate the products of the project. We have developed climatic drought indices at the most detailed spatial resolution and the longest temporal possible perspective in all studied basins (see monitordesequia for Spanish results). Furthermore we have computed remote sensing indices and land cover information to monitor drought. These indices have been used to improve our understanding of crop yield management under dry conditions. Another task has been the calibration of the Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys), this model is especially sensitive to vegetation process. Currently we are simulating droughts and floods under different vegetation scenarios to understand its impact on the river flow.
On the other hand we have developed a new probabilistic forecasting strategy, coupling dynamic and statistical models, seeking the improvement of weather forecasts for the next 15 days. We are working in the incorporation of the forecasting of Atmospheric Rivers for predicting high amounts of precipitation.
The next steps of the IMDROFLOOD project are oriented to integrate the weather forecasting with the hydrological models, and to create drought and flood monitoring and early warning systems.
In this line we have conceptualized the first version of the early warning systems including the recommendations of stakeholders and endusers to improve the potential usefulness of the systems.