Internship work: The Importance of Cooperation Between Transboundary River Countries
Internship work: The Importance of Cooperation Between Transboundary River Countries – 2019
This work was composed during an internship at the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC), during a span of 3 months, from May to August in 2019. Taking up the publication from Molnar, Kata, et al. (2017), this internship work focuses on cooperation between countries. It points out the importance of cooperation especially within transboundary river countries using the Nile and the Rhine River as examples where cooperation has developed over time.
Assessment of Future Impacts of Climate Change, Land Use Change and Water Demand on Freshwater Resources in the Mediterranean Region – A Meta-Analysis
Veronika Zwirglmaier from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) stayed at the ICWRGC from 13 May – 12 November 2019 to write her master’s thesis on the topic “Assessment of Future Impacts of Climate Change, Land Use Change and Water Demand on Freshwater Resources in the Mediterranean Region – A Meta-Analysis”. She successfully defended her thesis at TUM on 5 December 2019.
Freshwater is a vital resource for all forms of life on earth. Thus, it is important to guarantee its sustainable management facing multiple pressures such as climate change, land use change and water demand as well as feedbacks between these drivers. The Mediterranean region is particularly vulnerable to alterations in climate and environment. The goal of this thesis is to assess the future development of the quantity of freshwater resources in the Mediterranean region and was performed in the scope of the MedECC (Mediterranean Experts on Environmental and Climate Change) initiative.
The assessment is based on recent, individually published simulation results found during a systematic literature review following pre-defined patterns. By performing qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods, a comprehensive statement on the future freshwater situation in the Mediterranean region at a basin, country and regional scale was made under various climate change, land use change and water demand projection scenarios. An aggregation of individual simulations produces more robust results and should be used as a basis for decision-making. Expanding the performed meta-analysis by further data is possible and increases the robustness of the statements.
If you are interested in reading the entire pdf of the master thesis, you may contact Ms. Zwirglmaier at:
Uncertainty Quantification Framework for Nutrient Load Estimation
Bruno Bezerra Bluhm from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) stayed at the ICWRGC from 13 May – 12 November 2019 to write his master’s thesis on the topic “Uncertainty Quantification Framework for Nutrient Load Estimation”. He successfully defended his thesis at TUM on 5 December 2019.
Nutrient loads, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, are a key indicator of water quality monitoring, management and assessment, particularly regarding eutrophication. Although flow data is commonly available in continuous forms, monitoring programs often sample concentration following low-frequency policies, which hinders flux calculations. This consequently limits purposes of load estimations, since, in order for the metric to be used in evaluations, its uncertainty must be within an expected threshold. This Master’s thesis conceives an uncertainty quantification framework to be used by an existing load estimation algorithm from GEMStat. The framework calculates expected errors by matching a target station, i.e. scarce data, and a reference station, i.e. continuous data. Brazil, a major GEMStat partner, has been selected as a case study to define the target station baseline. By performing Monte Carlo Simulations and credibility-based assessments, the framework evaluates which estimation algorithm is most suitable and what are the expected levels of uncertainty, given in three forms: credible interval, relative absolute error, and classification (under or overestimation). Expanding the current database to include a greater range of reference stations is the main challenge to improve the framework’s usability in the future.
If you are interested in reading the entire pdf of the master thesis, you may contact Mr. Bluhm at:
Observed Impact on Water Resources in the Mediterranean Region: A Meta-Analysis
Mihir Rambhia from TUM stayed at the ICWRGC from 07.11.2018–06.05.2019 to write his master thesis dealing with the “Observed Impact on Water Resources in the Mediterranean Region: A Meta-Analysis”. He successfully completed this thesis in May 2019.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recognized the Mediterranean region as the major ’hot-spot of climate change’. This, along with other anthropogenic drivers such as land use change and the change in water demand, is expected to significantly alter the average availability of freshwater resources in the region. This study uses a meta-analysis approach to identify the impact of these drivers on the observed quantitative change and trends in the water resources of the 22 countries bordering on the Mediterranean. In total, 125 studies were included in the meta-analysis covering climatic parameters (temperature), hydrological parameters (precipitation, evapotranspiration, and streamflow), and event parameters (droughts). For all the parameters except temperature, a highly heterogeneous spatial and temporal pattern has been observed within the countries. A decreasing precipitation trend in the Mediterranean is also in contradiction with globally increasing wetter conditions. Overall, it has been observed that with an increase in mean temperature and evaporation, and a decrease in precipitation and runoff, the climate in the Mediterranean region has become drier and warmer over the study period. However, the attribution of the observed changes could not be entirely implemented based on the selected drivers, due to a lack of such reporting in the primary studies.
If you are interested in reading the entire pdf of the master thesis, you may contact Mihir at:
Special Issue on ERB 2018 International Conference in Publication
The Special Issue in the journal “Advances of Geosciences” has been produced as a follow-up to the 17th Biennial Conference ERB 2018. It contains contributions summarising conference presentations, edited by B. Schmalz (TU Darmstadt), S. Dietrich (ICWRGC), and J. L. M. P. de Lima (University of Coimbra).
The ERB 2018 international conference on “Innovative monitoring techniques and modelling approaches for analysing hydrological processes in small basins” was held in Darmstadt, Germany, 11–14 September 2018. It was attended by scientists from 19 different countries.
MedECC booklet publishedA booklet by the MedECC initiative with information on climate change in the Mediterranean region and its impacts on water, food security, ecosystems, human security and health was published in December 2018 …
Toward an Understanding of Synergies and Trade-Offs between Water, Energy, and Food SDG Targets
is the title of a publication by Dr. Marianela Fader, Colleen Cranmer, Richard Lawford and Jill Engel-Cox.
Achieving the SDG targets will require committed efforts by nations and organizations over the coming decade. To determine the best compatible actions within funding, infrastructure development, and implementation of three closely aligned goals, the greatest synergies where investigated as well as conflicting resource needs creating trade-offs possibly threatening SDG success. The SDGs each have several targets that need to be realized to reach the goal. A methodology was designed to analyse each target of SDG 2 (food), 6 (water), and 7 (energy). The targets were compared pairwise and total interaction was calculated to determine different levels of synergies and trade-offs for every pair. It was concluded that achieving the water targets will make it continuously easier to achieve other targets. While the results may require adaptation to a specific locality or country, they provide an improved understanding of the interactions between the targets. The value of the study lies in the quantitative methodology as it can be used as a replicable analysis for any level of work on SDG implementation.
D. Kolesch – Master’s student from the Technical University of Munich
Dominik Kolesch from TUM stayed from 05.03. – 04.09.2018 at the ICWRGC to write his master thesis dealing with “Derivation of a Meta-Indicator for Water Quality by Comparison of Existing Water Quality Indicators and Indices with GEMStat Data”. He successfully completed this thesis in October 2018.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has shown that better protection of freshwater biodiversity and the health of aquatic life is imperative. SDG 6.3.2 demands an index to describe water quality in terms of ecological health. This study uses a new approach to a meta indicator for describing riverine water quality, resulting in 3 parameter sets for water quality measuring. The index has been applied in 2 rivers, Rio Tietê (Brazil) and Ebro (Spain). The chosen CCME Water Quality Index (WQI) was tested against existing applications of WQIs in the researched regions.
Indexing is an efficient tool of displaying complex data in an aggregated form. The goal of the study was to describe water quality in rivers. The real challenge is to tackle the whole river health. In the future, with some improvements based on the present approach, a new subindex for water quality will be developed and add a more precise piece to the puzzle.
If you are interested in reading the entire pdf of the master thesis, you may contact Dominik:
Climate change and interconnected risks to sustainable development in the Mediterranean
Recent accelerated climate change has exacerbated existing environmental problems in the Mediterranean Basin due to a combination of changes in land use, increasing pollution and declining biodiversity. For five broad and interconnected impact domains (water, ecosystems, food, health and security), current change and future scenarios point to significant and increasing risks during the coming decades. Policies for the sustainable development of Mediterranean countries need to mitigate these risks and consider adaptation options, but currently lack adequate information. This is especially true of the most vulnerable southern Mediterranean societies, where fewer systematic observations schemes and impact models are based. A dedicated effort to synthesize existing scientific knowledge across disciplines is underway, aiming at providing a better understanding of the combined risks posed.
The article has been published in Nature Climate Change, Vol. 8, November 2018:
Reconciling global-model estimates and country reporting of anthropogenic forest CO2 sinks
Achieving the long-term temperature goal of the Paris Agreement requires forest-based mitigation. Collective progress towards this goal will be assessed by the Paris Agreement’s global stocktake. At present, there is a discrepancy of about 4 GtCO2 yr 1 in global anthropogenic net land-use emissions between global models (reflected in IPCC assessment reports) and aggregated national GHG inventories (under the UNFCCC). The authors show that a substantial part of this discrepancy (about 3.2 GtCO2 yr-1) can be explained by conceptual differences in anthropogenic forest sink estimation, related to the representation of environmental change impacts and the areas considered as managed.
Published in Nature Climate Change, volume 8, pages 914–920 (2018).