Simulation and prediction for sustainable water resources management
Lead Researcher: Dr Wouter Buytaert
Climate change is one of many pressures on water resources. Predicting the joint impact of these stressors needs an integrated simulation system that resolves non-linear propagation of disturbances and feedbacks. Buytaert and his team are developing water resources models and tools that allow connecting them to a variety of other models and data sources, and building integrated modelling systems. Using web technology, decision support interfaces to those tools enable real-time simulation of the impact of different management options on water resources.
Several applications are currently under development. Our hydrological models drive the UK Environmental Virtual Observatory pilot, which is designed to provide cost effective answers to managing the soil-water system in the UK. In South America, hydrological models are coupled the ecological models to predict the impact of climate change the tropical Andes. In this region, fragile ecosystem services sustain the livelihoods of more than 100 million people.
The projects work in close collaboration with policy makers, ranging from national government institutes such as Defra and the Environment Agency, to local NGOs in the Andes.
- Viviroli, D., Archer, D. R., Buytaert, W., Fowler, H. J., Greenwood, G. B., Hamlet, A. F., Huang, Y., Koboltschnig, G., Litaor, M. I., López-Moreno, H. I., Lorentz, S., Schädler, B., Schwaiger, K., Vuille, M., and Woods, R., 2010. Climate change and mountain water resources: overview and recommendations for research, management and politics. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 15, 471-504.
- Buytaert, W., Cuesta-Camacho, F., Tobon, C., 2011. Potential impacts of climate change on the environmental services of humid tropical alpine regions. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20, 19-33.
- Buytaert, W., Vuille, M., Dewulf, A., Urrutia, R., Karmalkar, A., Célleri, R., 2010. Uncertainties in climate change projections and regional downscaling: implications for water resources management. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1247-1258, 2010.