Water is a vital natural resource and an integral part of our environment and climate system. Excessive water exposure during flood conditions and water scarcity during droughts pose fundamental risks to life and weaken socio-economic resilience. Present-day water management in many sectors has to be able to cope with extreme hydrological conditions. In addition, the impacts of global warming on water resources have become a matter of concern to water resource managers and decision makers.
The research project IMPREX (IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological Extremes) which has been funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, provides innovative approaches, tools and practical case studies to help improve our ability to anticipate and respond to future hydrological extreme events. IMPREX demonstrates the successful practical application of innovations and provides recommendations for decision-making and the integration into EU policy frameworks.
IMPREX has developed models, tools and approaches that address operational hydrometeorological forecasting and climate outlook systems as well as operational system management by practitioners from different sectors, such as water transport, hydropower, agriculture, urban water supply and other economic fields. Improved climate services are indispensable in order to be able to tailor information on long-term climate change to operational activities such as infrastructure planning in the water sector.
This brochure presents an overview of new meteorological models, hydrological forecasting techniques, management approaches and innovative concepts that were developed and applied as part of the IMPREX project. Furthermore, sector-specific factsheets outline innovative solutions developed and applied within different sectors and addressed within the framework of the project: flood management, hydropower, water transport, urban water supply, management of droughts with a focus on the agricultural sector, and global water economy relations. Case studies illustrate how, within the IMPREX project, climate information was customized to meet the different stakeholders’ needs, providing guidance on current practices as well as innovative tools. Three policy briefs and one position paper, translating promising tools and relevant topics and approaches to the relevant target groups, are presented here. Selected topics are (1) compound events with regard to the implementation of the EU Flood Directive, (2) probabilistic approaches to improved flood risk assessment and management under consideration of uncertainties and (3) successful implementation of preventive drought risk management in Europe. Additionally, a position paper presents lessons learned with a view to possible steps towards action-oriented outcomes of applied research and climate services for the water sector.