Impacts of Global Change on the Water Cycle in the Elbe Region - Risks and Options

River Elbe


GLOWA-Elbe Book 2008 (english)

GLOWA-Elbe Book 2005 (german)

| Overview | Aim | Research question | Subproject | Milestones

Phase II

The target for Phase II was redefined and is as follows:
Analysis of the regional effects of global change in the Elbe Basin and the resulting policy options for surface water management. GLOWA-Elbe II covers processes in the Czech and German parts of the Elbe basin, but policy options and recommendations are only analysed or made for the German part.

Among the spectrum of activities, special attention is given not only to the effects of climate change, but also to analysis of the impacts of new technologies, socio-economic change processes, land-use change and extreme events. Policy options for surface water availability and quality are formulated, analysed and assessed. The formulation of alternative policy options for water availability and quality is based on previous investigations of the potential for conflict under status quo conditions and under changes to the status quo through potential climate-change impacts. The expected final result of GLOWA-Elbe II will be specific policy options for the conflicting areas of water availability and quality, and overarching recommendations for adaptation of surface water management to global change.

Research questions
In order to achieve this target the following questions - looking at the period up to about the year 2050 - will be examined:

  • How are regional temperature and precipitation regimes likely to change in the Elbe basin, in particular precipitation extremes?
  • What consequences will social change in the region have on water demand and on nutrient and pollutant emissions to surface water?
  • How will climate change and social change effect water supply, water demand surface water availability?
  • What direct and indirect effects will global change have on the quality of surface water?
  • What alternative policy options are available for the German part of the Elbe basin, how can they be assessed, and which preferred options can be recommended to policy-makers

Phase I

Development of integrated strategies to sustainably overcome water availability problems and water-use conflicts resulting from global change, as well as related environmental and socioeconomic problems in the Elbe basin.

The central question in GLOWA-Elbe is the impacts of global change on water availability problems and conflicting uses for water in the Elbe basin. For the Spree-Havel region the project also aims not only to identify problems and conflicts, but also to develop integrated strategies to sustainably overcome these.

In the first phase of GLOWA-Elbe (2000-2003) the emphasis was on investigating the trend towards declining water availability. In the second phase, the increased likelihood of extreme events including floods and droughts is also examined. Starting point for the analysis are scenarios of the future development of basic values for water quantity and quality in the Elbe basin. These include not only climate change scenarios, but scenarios on population development, future energy supply, and agricultural and land-use options.



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