Hydrological forecasts and projections for improved decision-making in the water sector in europe

Luis Samaniego*, Stephan Thober, Niko Wanders, Ming Pan, Oldrich Rakovec, Justin Sheffield, Eric F. Wood, Christel Prudhomme, Gwyn Rees, Helen Houghton-Carr, Matthew Fry, Katie Smith, Glenn Watts, Hege Hisdal, Teodoro Estrela, Carlo Buontempo, Andreas Marx, Rohini Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Simulations of water fluxes at high spatial resolution that consistently cover historical observations, seasonal forecasts, and future climate projections are key to providing climate services aimed at supporting operational and strategic planning, and developing mitigation and adaptation policies. The End-to-end Demonstrator for improved decision-making in the water sector in Europe (EDgE) is a proof-of-concept project funded by the Copernicus Climate Change Service program that addresses these requirements by combining a multimodel ensemble of state-of-the-art climate model outputs and hydrological models to deliver sectoral climate impact indicators (SCIIs) codesigned with private and public water sector stakeholders from three contrasting European countries. The final product of EDgE is a water-oriented information system implemented through a web application. Here, we present the underlying structure of the EDgE modeling chain, which is composed of four phases: 1) climate data processing, 2) hydrological modeling, 3) stakeholder codesign and SCII estimation, and 4) uncertainty and skill assessments. Daily temperature and precipitation from observational datasets, four climate models for seasonal forecasts, and five climate models under two emission scenarios are consistently downscaled to 5-km spatial resolution to ensure locally relevant simulations based on four hydrological models. The consistency of the hydrological models is guaranteed by using identical input data for land surface parameterizations. The multimodel outputs are composed of 65 years of historical observations, a 19-yr ensemble of seasonal hindcasts, and a century-long ensemble of climate impact projections. These unique, high-resolution hydroclimatic simulations and SCIIs provide an unprecedented information system for decision-making over Europe and can serve as a template for water-related climate services in other regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2451-2471
Number of pages21
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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