EURO-FRIEND, Flow Regimes From International Experimental and Network Data

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Human influences and IWRM

Research topic

Various human activities affect natural low flow and drought. Examples are: climate change, landuse change, water abstraction, urbanisation and large-scale drainage. It will refine and apply existing methods (e.g. statistical, physically-based) to detect changes in hydrological extremes at different scales (e.g. river basin, regional). Additionally the trend detection analysis will deal with the attribution of the various human influences to possible trends in the low flow and drought. Co-operation with the climate community will be explored.

Usually it is not feasible to easily reduce the negative impact of human activities because it will have a detrimental effect on one or more water-related sectors. Hence, it will be explored how knowledge on low flow and drought can contribute to the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) concept similar to the recently published Integrated Flood Management (IFM). It implies the development of hydrological drought characteristics and measures suitable for meeting new European water policies, e.g. the Water Framework Directive. In this context the ecological status of both groundwater and surface water will be considered.

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