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Global Change adaptation in water resources management: The Water Change project
- Pouget, Laurent, Escaler, Isabel, Guiu, Roger, Mc Ennis, Suzy, Versini, Pierre-Antoine
- The Science of the total environment 2012 v.440 pp. 186-193
- business enterprises, climate change, decision making, funding, hydrologic cycle, land use, models, planning, water management, water quality, water resources, watersheds, Spain
- In recent years, water resources management has been facing new challenges due to increasing changes and their associated uncertainties, such as changes in climate, water demand or land use, which can be grouped under the term Global Change. The Water Change project (LIFE+ funding) developed a methodology and a tool to assess the Global Change impacts on water resources, thus helping river basin agencies and water companies in their long term planning and in the definition of adaptation measures. The main result of the project was the creation of a step by step methodology to assess Global Change impacts and define strategies of adaptation. This methodology was tested in the Llobregat river basin (Spain) with the objective of being applicable to any water system. It includes several steps such as setting-up the problem with a DPSIR framework, developing Global Change scenarios, running river basin models and performing a cost–benefit analysis to define optimal strategies of adaptation. This methodology was supported by the creation of a flexible modelling system, which can link a wide range of models, such as hydrological, water quality, and water management models. The tool allows users to integrate their own models to the system, which can then exchange information among them automatically. This enables to simulate the interactions among multiple components of the water cycle, and run quickly a large number of Global Change scenarios. The outcomes of this project make possible to define and test different sets of adaptation measures for the basin that can be further evaluated through cost–benefit analysis. The integration of the results contributes to an efficient decision-making on how to adapt to Global Change impacts.