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Climate Changing? Meuse Adapting!

Jeudi 25 novembre 2010

News from IWW

With climate evolution, changes in flood discharges are expected within the Meuse basin. The annual number of flood disasters increased considerably in the last decades and the price paid is constantly increasing. Within the AMICE project the work of the IWW is focused on the assessment of the change of economic risk due to flood losses regarding climate evolutions. For flood loss calculations each country has its own methodology for impact assessment. Hence the main task regarding flood loss estimation was to set up a common methodology which produces comparable outputs between the participant partners. Generally the flood loss calculation will be done, by linking the results of hydraulic modelling (flood- plains, water depths) with the specific land use data.

Beside the increasing of annual flood disasters, impacts of low flows on the economy in the Meuse basin should not be under estimated. In dry periods when the water demand exceeds the water availability, several economic sectors could be affected. Possible economic losses occur, for example, when the water level in the river falls below a certain threshold and the water extraction for cooling circuits has to be stopped. This forces the power plant to operate with reduced energy production. Navigability is restricted in times of low flows. Ships have to reduce their cargo which causes increasing prices per tons while less cargo is transported. Nonetheless, even in times of water shortages the drinking water supply has to be ensured. This may cause industrial plants to reduce or stop their production. Furthermore, harvest losses due to dry periods bring severe economic damage to the agriculture sector. Because of the limited budget and available working time, the AMICE  project focus is only directed on this four economic sectors: navigation, agriculture, drinking water supply and energy production. Also for the low flow task, a transnational common methodology has to be worked out. For low flow losses an extensive literature research and data collection was needed. Based on available data and economic risk models, a methodology will be set up. Therefore the economic damage assessment (referred to floods as well as  low flows) is bounded to an intense exchange of knowledge between the countries.

With several calculations, the impact of different floods, today and for future scenarios of climate change will be done as well as for low flow losses. It will also reinforce the risk consciousness of floods and low flows as a basis to develop strategies for the populations living at the river to react.

The progress in the project is ensured by meetings with the other participants of AMICE in regular intervals.

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