Water availability, excess and scarcity

Operation management of water resources

Sustainable development and management of water resources in the river basins of the world is essential to healthy ecosystems and contributes to socio-economic development, risk mitigation and poverty reduction. The Sustainable Development Goals, in particular goal 6, underline the importance of dealing with the increasing pressures on water resources. This calls for a concerted effort to improve water security; providing safe access to water for food production, sanitation and health; at an acceptable level of risk in the face of natural hazards such as drought and floods

Our research focusses on developing the scientific evidence base to underpin both river basin management planning and the operational management of water resources. Research topics include efficient and balanced allocation of surface and groundwater water resources to support key functions, including hydropower and energy; irrigation; domestic and industrial water supply; the environment, and others. Linking scientific knowledge on hydrological and hydraulic processes, understanding feedback loops with society, and the value of information in developing integrated and transparent river basin management planning; as well as flood and drought management planning are key concepts in our work.

EartH2Observe: Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment. 

Evidence4Policy: Developing the evidence-base in support of water resources management policy for sustainable agriculture development and environmental protection. https://sites.google.com/site/evidence4policy

Main publications

Kaune A. Werner M. Rodriguez E. Karimi P. de Fraiture C. 2017 A novel tool to assess available hydrological information and the occurrence of sub-optimal water allocation decisions in large irrigation districts, In Agricultural Water Management, Volume 191, 2017, Pages 229-238, ISSN 0378-3774

Lines, C., Iglesias, A., Garrote, L., Sotes, V., and Werner, M.: Do users benefit from additional information in support of operational drought management decisions in the Ebro basin?, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5901-5917, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-5901-2018, 2018.

Managing hydrological extremes: Droughts and Floods

The intensification of the world’s climate is leading to increased occurrence of droughts and floods. As a consequence of global socio-economic changes, the impact of these extreme events on society are increasing. Equally there are feedbacks between society and the occurrence of impacting events. Our research explores how these events can be characterised using appropriate indicators, and such events can be forecasted. Key research questions we address include how data and information can be used to inform decisions and the implementation of measures that can help mitigate impacts, and the role of uncertainty and communication.


EartH2Observe: Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment

DEWFORA: Improved drought early warning and forecasting in Africa

Main publications

Trambauer P. Werner M. Winsemius HC. Maskey S. Dutra E. Uhlenbrook S. 2015. Hydrological drought forecasting and skill assessment for the Limpopo River basin, southern Africa. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 1695-1711.

Lines C. Werner M. Bastiaanssen W. 2017. The Predictability of Reported Drought Events and Impacts in the Ebro Basin Using Six Different Remote Sensing Data Sets. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 21 (9): 4747–65.

Rogelis C. Werner M. 2018. Streamflow forecasts from WRF precipitation for flood early warning in mountain tropical areas. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 853-870

Casson, D. R., Werner, M., Weerts, A., and Solomatine, D.: Global re-analysis datasets to improve hydrological assessment and snow water equivalent estimation in a sub-Arctic watershed, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4685-4697, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4685-2018, 2018.

Grundemann, G. J., Werner, M., and Veldkamp, T. I. E.: The potential of global reanalysis datasets in identifying flood events in Southern Africa, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4667-4683, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4667-2018, 2018.


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