Innovative methodologies for Climate Change Adaptation

The emphasis of this work package is the management and adaptation of the upcoming drought and extreme events due to climate change in Crete. This is a regional study. As part of the SoilTrec project, TUC has simulated the hydrologic response of the island of Crete using the SWAT model in collaboration with JRC. Figure 1 presents the geological map of Crete along with the 46 measuring points of the karstic springs and 22 measuring points of surface water used for the calibration and verification of the model. Modeling, which was based on “scaling-up” methodology, gave excellent results which have been sent for publication in the Journal of Hydrological Processes. Figure 2 presents the water balance for the year 1987 which corresponds to an average rainfall year for the 1983-2009 period.

Image 1. Geological map of Crete with 46 measuring points from karstic springs and 22 measuring points from surface water.

Image 2.  Water balance of Crete for the year 1987 (average rainfall year for 1983-2009). (ET: evapotranspiration; PERC: percolation; SURQ: surface runoff; LATQ: lateral flow; GWQ1: base flow; SA: shallow aquifer storage; DA_RCHRGN: amount of water recharge in the deep aquifer without the contribution for springs that discharge inside (Qkin ) and outside (Qkout) Crete; WYLDk.

Based on this calibrated hydrological model of Crete, targeted scenarios of possible future climate conditions through the application of advanced downscaling and bias correction techniques on new-generation climate models results (Euro-CORDEX) are studied. An evaluation of the program of measures for the adaptation of the island of Crete in climate change is following. The potential impact of climate change scenarios to biodiversity is assessed using river desiccation maps based on current and future hydrologic simulations. In particular, there are two studies included:

WP1a - Integrated Regional Drought and Flood Management Study for the Region of Crete - This study uses the hydrologic simulation of the region of Crete using the SWAT-Karst model providing meta-analysis on the following:

  • Establish a hydrologic budget for the Region of Crete
  • Conduct a distributed water deficit analysis for Crete and develop appropriate drought indices
  • Conduct frequency analysis of drought and floods
  • Develop a program of measures for drought management.

WP1b - Innovative program of measures for Climate Change Adaptation - This study conducts climate change scenario simulations of future hydrologic conditions for the region of Crete using the SWAT-Karst model and examines innovative measures for extreme future conditions adaptation (drought and flood) in the light of climate change:

  • The analysis (quality control), preparation (downscaling, bias correction) and provision of tailored climate information from CORDEX RCMs for the island of Crete for hydrological model simulations is taking place. The climate datasets are downscaled to station level and adjusted for biases using state of the art correction methods against observations from local stations. The use of data from a number of climate models and modeling experiments ensures the quantification of the uncertainty linked to the different RCM – GCM ((Regional Climate Model - Global Climate Model). The climate change results/timeseries are used as input to the hydrological model.
  • The water balance of the Region of Crete for several climate change scenarios is simulated using the SWAT-Karst model in order to quantify the hydrologic changes and their uncertainties due to climate change.
  • The results from the probable future hydrologic simulations are used to assess future water deficits as well as for the assessment of drought and flood probabilities.
  • Climate change adaptation measures are incorporated to the program of measures for drought.


Assessment of the Program of Measures for 4 representative basins of Crete

The current Program of Measures for the Region of Crete does not contain any prioritization of the measures neither any cost-benefit analysis for their implementation.  In order to develop a comprehensive methodology of setting priorities for a selected set of measures for a certain water body an assessment of the program of measures for four representative basins of Crete is taking place a) Geropotamos Basin – most important agricultural basin in Crete with signs for desertification, b) Giofyros Basin – includes urban section with major flooding problems, c) Ierapetra Basin – agricultural basin with many greenhouses and inadequate water supplies, and d) Keritis Basin – with major karstic spring resources where the Program of measure of spring water source protection will be evaluated. The evaluation of PoM in this WP is following the methodology developed in WP4. The PoM of the four basins is being assessed as follows:

  • Establish multi-criteria objectives for each basin and identify the most relevant measures out of the Program of Measures list that pertain to the respective basin,
  • For each measure, conduct a SWOT analysis and a cost-benefit analysis
  • Evaluate the efficiency of each measure in improving the multi-criteria objectives of the Basin
  • Incorporate climate change adaptation consideration to the program of measures
  • Set priorities with the involvement of stakeholders using the methodologies developed in Action 3

Where necessary, hydrologic simulations are performed using the HBV model to estimate the climate change impact on extremes (floods and droughts) such as on Giofiros basin. The results are compared to the respective SWAT simulations. The use of different hydrological model serves for the quantification of hydrological modeling uncertainty related to the selection of the hydrological model.


Improve Governance in the Field of Water Resources Management

An innovative methodology for evaluating current practices and improving water resources management is developed in work package 3. This methodology is used to evaluate the Programme of Measures in accordance with the assessment of the effects of climate change in the 4 pilot basins. Environmental governance literature has widely acknowledged the need for better understanding the role of the dynamics of social interactions in the outcome of planning and management procedures. Public participation has been repetitively achieved in various planning and management processes, however the implementation of the proposed plans and measures has been often hindered by the lack of common understanding among interested parts or involved actors and public agents, the insufficient comprehension of conflicting interests and the lack of know how regarding the technical and economic aspects of the implemented plans and measures. AQUAMAN develops an innovative methodology for assessing current policy and management practices and advancing water resources management in the 4 aforementioned basins and the region of Crete within the wider context of climate change adaptation. Given the rural character of the basins and the importance of agriculture, emphasis is placed on the balancing of the often conflicting targets of good environmental water quality and sufficiency with the preservation of a robust agricultural production. This study focuses on enhancing planning procedures through the reduction of transactions cost, the development of collective training, the increase of legitimacy and the improvement of the management quality. This idea is based on the need to combine the external evaluation criteria with the internal perception of success and failure. The following tasks are implemented:

  • Mapping of different views and values and identification of conflicting goals  through the analysis of all the comments and suggestions that took place during the 2014 public consultation events for the Water Management Plan of the Region of Crete. The differences among stakeholders' goals and conflicts between these goals and the priorities of the Water Framework Directive are clarified.
  • Synthesizing different perceptions towards the establishment of multi-criteria targets for the improvement of water quality in accordance with both the WFD priorities and the local and regional actors' quantitative goals.
  • Identification and presentation to stakeholders of the adopted water policy and the techno-economic dimensions of the proposed measures to enhance understanding and decision-making.
  • Prioritization of the measures that are relevant to climate change adaptation based on the results of the aforementioned analysis that combines European and national (external) prerequisites with regional and local (internal) needs and demands.
  • Comparison of the governance challenges' differences and similarities between the Norwegian region of Glomma and the Greek region of Crete.

The participation of stakeholders is pursued through the planning of group interviews at the regional level and the collection of open questionnaires at the local level of the 4 basins.


Management and Dissemination

TUC is managing the administrative and financial aspects of the project in collaboration with the project partners. Monitoring is implemented through the preparation of Management and Financial Progress Reports. The Management Progress Reports covers the identification and monitoring of all administrative activities towards the successful project implementation while the Financial Progress Reports  focuses on the identification and monitoring of all the financial issues (eg. relevant expenses).

The project dissemination includes the necessary actions for the publicity and dissemination of the project's results to inform social partners and citizens in general and increase awareness. The target groups of dissemination consist of the inhabitants of Crete, the social partners involved in water resources management and the personnel of the Water Directorate of the Decentralized Administration of Crete, in charge of the water resources management of Crete. Specifically the following actions are being conducted:

  • Information Workshop on the adaptation to the consequences of climate change
  • Presentation of scientific results in a conference
  • Preparation of the project's website