Securing European water resources in a changing climate – a 3-part webinar series with DIRT-X conducted

Presentation from the webinar.

On three occasions in March, the DIRT-X project arranged webinars aimed at those who in one way or another work with water resources. The focus was on how different services can be affected by sediment deposits in water reservoirs.

The DIRT-X research project is about how the changing climate and socio-economic conditions affect water reservoirs and the services they provide for various economic sectors.

– The participants in the webinars came from several different countries and economic sectors. During the webinars they got an insight into current research regarding how water reservoirs are affected by sediment, now and in a future climate – and how this can affect different types of services reservoirs provide including energy production, says Alena Bartosova, project manager and head of the Environment and Climate Section of the Hydrology Research Unit at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) who is an expert on water quality modeling with 30 years of experience in watershed and impact assessments.

The webinars were also an opportunity for the participants to influence future climate services by providing input on what they as users need to be helped in their operations. 

The Webinars:
#1                        Climate impact indicators and insights for hydropower from interconnected energy systems: A pan-European perspective (March 2nd)
#2                        Hydrological climate services and ecological impacts: insights from a coastal use case (March 16th)
#3                        Hydro-climatic change and sediment dynamics: Insight from two hydropower use cases (March 23rd)

Webinar #1:

Climate impact indicators and insights for hydropower from interconnected energy systems: A pan-European perspective

Speakers:

Jing Hu from Utrecht University is a researcher in energy system analysis and modelling and energy meteorology. He reported on the contribution of hydropower to adequacy and balance of European power system under future climate conditions.

René Capell is a hydrologist with expertise in catchment modeling and leads the Monitoring and Observation group within the Hydrological Research Unit at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). He presented European-scale model results of climate change impacts on hydrology and sediment transports.

Conrad Brendel is a researcher in water quality modeling at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) who specializes in modeling sediment fluxes and their impacts on hydropower reservoirs. He served on the panel of subject matter experts and participate in the discussions.

Webinar #2:

Hydrological climate services and ecological impacts: Insights from a coastal use case

Speakers:

Moa Edman from the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is an expert in coastal zone modelling. She talked about how a changed climate can affect the marine environment. Special focus was on the Orust-Tjörn fjord system on the Swedish west coast, but also differences and similarities to other sites along the Swedish coast was discussed.

Johan Strömqvist is a hydrologist with expertise in water quality modelling at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). He presented current and future riverine inputs of water flow, nutrients and suspended sediments to the Swedish west coast affecting the Orust-Tjörn area.

Bengt Karlson is a biological oceanographer/marine biologist specializing in phytoplankton and Harmful Algal Blooms. Bengt is a senior scientist at SMHI:s Oceanographic Research Department. He works mainly in the Kattegat-Skagerrak and in the Baltic Sea but is also active in the global context, e.g. in the UNESCO-IOC Governmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms.

Webinar #3:

Hydro-climatic change and sediment dynamics: Insights from two hydropower use cases

Speakers:

Thomas Bosshard is a researcher at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and has his expertise in the interface between climate models and hydrological models. He talked about how data from climate projections have been tailored to the requirements of our case studies.

Kilian Mouris (photo above) from the University of Stuttgart is an expert in hydraulic engineering and numerical modeling. He presented how global change is altering the catchments erosion and reservoir sedimentation processes.

Maria Pesci from Leibniz University Hannover is a hydrological modeler with focus on glacio-hydrological processes. She reported on flow (Banja & Gepatsch) and glaciers (Gepatsch) future changes.

Behnam Balouchi from Norwegian University of Science and Technology is an expert in hydraulic and river engineering with a focus on flow and sediment patterns using innovative and modern techniques. He talked about the quantification of sediment transport for sustainable hydropower operations.

Stefan Achleitner is an Associate Professor at the University of Innsbruck and an expert in hydraulic engineering with focus on sediment bedload transport. He will talk about sediment flows in Gepatsch catchment.

New article: Assessment of uncertainties in a complex modeling chain for predicting reservoir sedimentation under changing climate

A paper related to Dirt-X has been published: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40808-023-01705-6. It is titled “Assessment of uncertainties in a complex modeling chain for predicting reservoir sedimentation under changing climate” and the authors are María Herminia Pesci, Kilian Mouris, Stefan Haun and Kristian Förster.

Photo that shows the heading of tje article.
Click on the photo to access the article.

The Leibniz University of Hannover together with the University of Stuttgart assessed the uncertainties that arise when applying a complex modeling chain for predicting reservoir sedimentation under changing climate. The modeling chain consists of the water balance model WaSiM, the soil erosion and sediment transport model combination RUSLE-SEDD and the 3d hydro-morphodynamic reservoir model SSIIM2. In order to assess the propagation of uncertainties throughout the modeling chain, approximate model parameter uncertainties were quantified and compared to the uncertainties originating from climate models, which were represented by the spread of the climate projections (considering 3 GCM and 3 RCM). The results show that the model parameter uncertainties are much smaller than the spread of climate projections and are important not only for DIRT-X, but also for other modelers who would like to communicate different sources of uncertainty in complex modeling chains, including climate impact models,

Upcoming webinar series: Securing European water resources in a changing climate

An illustrated photo with a dam.

Do you work with water resources, e.g. hydropower, food agencies or in a water- or environmental authority? Would you like to know more about how the changing climate and socioeconomic conditions may influence water reservoirs and the services they provide to different economic sectors? Then join us in March for a 3-part webinar series where findings from the EU project DIRT-X will be presented!

The Webinars:

  1. Climate impact indicators and insights for hydropower from interconnected energy systems: A pan-European perspective (March 2nd, 14:00-15:00 CET)
  2. Hydrological climate services and ecological impacts: insights from a coastal use case (March 16th, 14:00-15:00 CET)
  3. Hydro-climatic change and sediment dynamics: Insight from two hydropower use cases (March 23rd, 14:00-15:30 CET)

Your key takeaways:

  • Learn more about how reservoirs are affected by sediment, now and in a future climate, and how this may affect your type of operations.
  • Discover the world of climate impact indicators, and how they can be useful for cross-sectoral assessments

Get in touch with the DIRT-X team during the Q&A, and support the future content and development of water- and climate services for your sector!

The webinars are held online in English and are free of charge.

REGISTER HERE and stay tuned for more information!

Presentations and conferences

  1. Bartosova A, Arheimer B, de Lavenne A, Capell R, and Strömqvist J, 2021. Assessing robustness of large-scale hydrological and sediment modeling using nested domains under current and changing climate. Oral presentation at The XIth Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS 2022), 29 May to 3 June 2022, Montpellier (France).
  2. Bartosova A, Brendel C, et al., 2022. Advancing large scale hydrological and sediment modeling for hydropower industry operations. Oral presentation at HYDRO 2022, 25-27 April 2022, Strasbourg, France.
  3. Bartosova A, Arheimer B, de Lavenne A, Capell R, and Strömqvist J, 2021. Assessing uncertainty in large-scale hydrological and sediment modelling using nested domains under current and changing climate. Oral presentation at The 24th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM2021), 5-9 December 2021, Sydney, Australia, (Online).
  4. Bartosova A, Arheimer B, de Lavenne A, Capell R, and Strömqvist J, 2021. Are large scale models useful? A case of nested model domains for assessing current and future stream runoff and sediments. Presented at The EGU General Assembly, 19-30 April 2021, (Online).
  5. Bartosova A, de Lavenne A, Mussuza J, Strömqvist J, and Arheimer B (2019) Exploring global sediment sources, processes, and impacts with a global dynamic model. Poster at International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality Conference, Aarhus, Denmark, 3-6 June 2019.
  6. de Lavenne A., Bartosova, Strömqvist J., Arheimer B (2020). Accounting for discharge simulation performances and observation quality for modelling sediment at global scale. Poster presentation at European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 4-8 May 2020.
  7. de Lavenne A, Bartosova A, Strömqvist J, Lindström G, Musuuza J, and Arheimer B (2019) Global drivers of sediment fluxes. Poster at The 27th IUGG General Assembly, Montreal, Canada, 8-18 July, 2019.
  8. de Lavenne A, Musuuza J, Bartosova A, and Arheimer B (2019) From annual to daily sediment fluxes modelling at global scale. Poster at European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 7-12 April 2019.
  9. Mouris, K., Schwindt, S., Haun, S., Pesci, M. H., Förster, K., Rüther, N., Schwarzwälder, K., and Wieprecht, S.: Climate reanalysis data with global coverage enable sediment load prediction in the absence of systematic field data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8432, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8432, 2021, CO Meeting Organizer EGU21 (copernicus.org).
  10. Pesci, M. H., Mouris, K., Bosshard, T., and Förster, K.: How do changes in model parameters compare to climate change impacts signals? A case study of a modeling chain to predict reservoir inflow and sedimentation processes in the Devoll Catchment (Albania), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-8002, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu22-8002, 2022, CO Meeting Organizer EGU22 (copernicus.org).

Invited presentations

  1. Bartosova A, 2020. Large scale modeling under changing climate and socioeconomics. Roorkee Water Conclave, Roorkee, India, 26-28 February 2020.
  2. Bartosova A, 2022. Understanding the interplay between sediment regime and water management structures at a large scale. The 2nd Roorkee Water Conclave, 2-4 March 2022, Roorkee, India (Online).
  3. Bartosova A, 2022. Evaluating sediment Delivery Impacts on Reservoirs in changing climaTe and society aCROSS scales – DIRT-X overview. Banja workshop, 28-29 March, 2022 (Online).

Introducing seasonal snow memory into the RUSLE

The University of Stuttgart have incorporated seasonal snow memory into the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and combined it with the SEdiment Delivery Distributed (SEDD) model in a recent scientific publication. The inclusion of snow-related processes, especially the separation of non-erosive snowfall from erosive snowmelt, was found to greatly enhance model accuracy. These results represent a major improvement for estimating suspended sediment loads, especially in data-sparse regions, further enhanced by the use of freely available satellite imagery and climate reanalysis datasets. These results are important for DIRT-X applications as long-term predictions of bathymetric change, necessary when modeling climate change scenarios, will require an objective calculation procedure for the sediment load as a function of a catchment’s specific characteristics and hydroclimatic features.

Read more: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-022-03192-1

A photo of an avalanche cone.
Figure: Avalanche cones from Tyrol, Austria. Photo curtesy of Sebastian Schwindt.

DIRT-X field excursion 2022

Before the GA in the end of June we participated in a field excursion.

Our first stop, after an amazing boat ride, was at NTNU’s Sletvik biological field station where we learned about their teaching/research in the bay of Hopavågen with special hydrological features due to its narrow inlet from the sea. Read more about Sletvik here.

The view behind a boat in Norway with the norwegian flag.
A photo from the boat ride.
The narrow inlet.
Narrow inlet from the sea.
The participants by the field station infront of a body of water and a mountain.
The eleven participants of the field excursions by NTNU’s biological field station

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second stop was at Follsjoe Dam, operated by Statkraft. We learned about new construction work being carried out to bolster the dam according to new regulations. Dams in Norway are reviewed every 15 years and checked for compliance with current regulations. This dam is special due to the chosen method for bolstering the dam (riprap), which is human-placed rock material to protect the dam against erosional processes. Check out the cool pictures below!

Downstream of the dam, a hydraulic structure has been added to prevent wild salmon from entering the river, to control for parasitic infestation.

The participants at a lecture.
The group at the dam.
The dam bolstering method.
The bolstering method at Follsjoe Dam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People standing with orange vests and security helments.
The group at the Follsjoe Dam.
The bolstering method at Follsjoe Dam.
By the Follsjoe Dam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last stop was to see a sediment trapping basin, reducing sedimentation of the reservoir located further downstream. At the photos below you can see basin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for a post from the GA!

DIRT-X Hybrid General Assembly

The Dirt-X General Assembly will be held June 29-30th, 2022 in Trondheim. It is a Hybrid meeting which means that there will also be participants joining the meeting online. All the work packages are represented in the agenda and there will be a number of topics presented and discussed.

The general focus of the meeting is to:
1. Improved understanding of catchment processes and their interactions with reservoir processes and economics/energy.
2. Climate impact indicators (CIIs) useful to our stakeholders as well as different sectors.
3. Reporting our achievements, coordination among WPs and planning future work.

The day before the General Assembly, on June 28th, there will be a field trip organized by  NTNU.

Stay tuned for an update from the meeting and some photos!

DIRT-X