The definition of adaptation strategies to climate change has become increasingly relevant in societies and an essential task to deal with the potential impacts already taking place today. In the Mediterranean region, in particular the aspects related to the water resources management, current climate projections from IPPC indicate a high risk for water availability mainly as a consequence of total annual rainfall decrease.
The GestAqua.AdaPT project is developed in this context, supported in a partnership between four institutions:
GestAqua.AdaPT aims at the development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies to water resources, particularly in the management of multipurpose reservoir systems. As case study the reservoirs of Monte Novo and Vigia were chosen, both located in the Alentejo region and water sources for the urban supply system in the municipalities of Évora, Redondo and Reguengos de Monsaraz, as well as providing a water source for irrigation in agriculture.
The geographical location of the two water bodies is an important aspect in the study taking into account that both are subject to Mediterranean climate, therefore at high risk associated with climate change.
The project objectives take into account the representativeness of the case study in the context of the Mediterranean region, as well as the multi-purpose nature of the reservoirs. This way it is intended that the methods may be implemented in other case studies.
Definition of adaptation strategies for managing water resources in Monte Novo and Vigia reservoirs
a. quantitatively, defining operating rule curves that take into account climate change impacts, and
b. qualitatively, defining management measures to minimize the risks associated with water quality
Reducing pressures in the water resources
Studying the hydrological regime of the river basins, associated with the study of climate impact and water quality in the two water bodies, is an important contribution to the characterization of pressures on the two reservoirs. Incorporating mathematical modeling to quantify the impacts of climate change will allow the characterization of future pressures, aimed at identifying necessary adaptation measures at watershed level which allow the control or reduction of these pressures.
Improving the safety of water availability
The project is dedicated to the study of solutions that minimize the risks to water availability, not only under present conditions but also taking into account those that may result from climate change, through the identification of management and structural solutions to address the impacts of climate change.
To improve the management and operation of these reservoirs, the project includes the study, characterization and incorporation of different risks: changes in water availability and quality, increased supply for irrigation and human consumption and potential energy costs increases.
Expansion and dissemination of knowledge
Improving the knowledge of water systems and the risks they face in view of climate change. The dissemination of this knowledge will be achieved by multiple means, including a website, presentations at national and international conferences or seminars, publication of papers, knowledge transfer within the AdP Group and the final project seminar.
The GestAqua.AdaPT project is developed under the ADAPT program, guided by the terms set out in the Memorandum signed between Portugal, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (MFEEE/EEA-Grants), being the Portuguese Environment Agency the program operator as manager of the Portuguese Carbon Fund.
AdaPT program operator