Improving Drought and Flood Early Warning, Forecasting and Mitigation using real-time hydroclimatic indicators
Between 1998 and 2009, Europe suffered over 213 major damaging floods causing more than 1100 deaths, 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. For this reason, improve the scientific knowledge and strengthening drought and flood forecasting and early warning is therefore essential to increase adaptation to climate change. IMDROFLOOD (Improving Drought and Flood Early Warning, Forecasting and Mitigation using real-time hydroclimatic indicators) is focus on improve the mitigation of the impact of droughts and floods at the catchment level. IMDROFLOOD works in different catchments of Europe and South Africa (Ebro, Tagus, Prut, Emajõgi and Limpopo), covering contrasted environmental conditions and specific problematic.
The main objective of IMDROFLOOD is to enhance flood and drought risk management at the catchment level through the development of novel flood and drought information tools.
The specific objectives of the project are:
i) To obtain drought indices for different sectors useful for drought monitoring and early warning, using new monitoring networks, Doppler radars, and remote sensing data.
ii) To develop drought vulnerability curves for natural and managed ecosystems.
iii) To determine the role of vegetation type and density on modulating the severity of hydrological droughts and floods downstream.
iv) To improve short and medium term meteorological probabilistic forecast of high precipitation events.
v) To integrate meteorological predictions with hydro-ecological rainfall-runoff and hydrodynamic models for better flood prediction and the analysis of the destructive capacity of floods.
vi) To implement operative drought and flood early warning systems to establish risk thresholds and to help improve risk management.
IMDROFLOOD make use of currently available information sources on meteorological, hydrological and remote sensing data to generate new information relevant for flood and drought risk management. It is a very holistic project and the methodologies used to research the objectives have been very diverse e.g. hydrological modelling, forecast development, impact analysis, among others.
Thanks to the effective engagement of stakeholders has been possible to provide useful tools for monitoring and early warning systems for droughts and floods. From the scientific point of view, IMDROFLOOD has been a breakthrough in the study of hydroclimatic extremes and impacts at catchment scales. IMDROFLOOD have developed useful databases in the study of droughts and floods, which, thanks to the open source policy of the project, will be highly reused in the future. Moreover, the consortium has published 90 scientific articles to cover many knowledge gaps in the different basins. For more information of the project, you can visit our web https://imdroflood.csic.es/.