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Flood resilience of critical infrastructure : approach and method applied to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In order to increase the flood resilience of cities (i.e., the ability to cope with flood hazards), it is also crucial to make critical infrastructure functions resilient, since these are essential for urban society. Cities are complex systems with many actors of different disciplines and many interdependent critical infrastructure networks and functions. Common flood risk analysis techniques provide useful information but are not sufficient to obtain a complete overview of the effects of flooding and potential measures to increase flood resilience related to critical infrastructure networks. Therefore, a more comprehensive approach is needed which helps accessing knowledge of actors in a structured way. Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States has suffered from flood impacts, especially from disruptions in critical infrastructure. This paper shows how shared insight among different sectors and stakeholders into critical infrastructure resilience and potential resilience-enhancing measures was obtained using input from these actors. It also provides a first quantitative indication of resilience, indicated by the potential disruption due to floods and the effect of measures on resilience. The paper contributes to the existing literature on resilience specifically by considering the duration of disruption, the inclusion of critical infrastructure disruption in flood impact analysis, and the step from resilience quantification to measures.
Contribution of potential evaporation forecasts to 10-day streamflow forecast skill for the Rhine River
Medium-term hydrologic forecast uncertainty is strongly dependent on the forecast quality of meteorological variables. Of these variables, the influence of precipitation has been studied most widely, while temperature, radiative forcing and their derived product potential evapotranspiration (PET) have received little attention from the perspective of hydrological forecasting. This study aims to fill this gap by assessing the usability of potential evaporation forecasts for 10-day-ahead streamflow forecasting in the Rhine basin, Europe. In addition, the forecasts of the meteorological variables are compared with observations. Streamflow reforecasts were performed with the daily wflow_hbv model used in previous studies of the Rhine using the ECMWF 20-year meteorological reforecast dataset. Meteorological forecasts were compared with observed rainfall, temperature, global radiation and potential evaporation for 148 subbasins. Secondly, the effect of using PET climatology versus using observation-based estimates of PET was assessed for hydrological state and for streamflow forecast skill. We find that (1) there is considerable skill in the ECMWF reforecasts to predict PET for all seasons, and (2) using dynamical PET forcing based on observed temperature and satellite global radiation estimates results in lower evaporation and wetter initial states, but (3) the effect on forecasted 10-day streamflow is limited. Implications of this finding are that it is reasonable to use meteorological forecasts to forecast potential evaporation and use this is in mediumrange streamflow forecasts. However, it can be concluded that an approach using PET climatology is also sufficient, most probably not only for the application shown here, but also for most models similar to the HBV concept and for moderate climate zones. As a by-product, this research resulted in gridded datasets for temperature, radiation and potential evaporation based on the Makkink equation for the Rhine basin. The datasets have a spatial resolution of 1:21:2 km and an hourly time step for the period from July 1996 through 2015. This dataset complements an earlier precipitation dataset for the same area, period and resolution.
Decision support for low-emission policy pathways under uncertainty
This essay explores how decision-making under severe (deep) uncertainty (DMDU) approaches can be used to support decision-making on low-emission strategies in order to guide NDCs (Nationally determined contributions), taking into account uncertainties. We focus on dynamic adaptive policy pathways (DAPP) as an approach that can facilitate the design of policy pathways with low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Current insights into the effectiveness of riparian management, attainment of multiple benefits, and potential technical enhancements
Buffer strips between land and waters are widely applied measures in diffuse pollution management, with desired outcomes across other factors. There remains a need for evidence of pollution mitigation and wider habitat and societal benefits across scales. This paper synthesizes a collection of 16 new primary studies and review papers to provide the latest insights into riparian management. We focus on the following areas: (i) diffuse pollution removal efficiency of conventional and saturated buffer strips, (ii) enhancing biodiversity of buffers, (iii) edge-of-field technologies for improving nutrient retention, and (iv) potential reuse of nutrients and biomass from buffers. Although some topics represent emerging areas, for other well-studied topics (e.g., diffuse pollution), it remains that effectiveness of conventional vegetated buffer strips for water quality improvement varies. The collective findings highlight the merits of targeted, designed buffers that support multiple benefits, more efficiently interrupting surface and subsurface contaminant flows while enhancing diversity in surface topography, soil moisture and C, vegetation, and habitat. This synthesis also highlights that despite the significant number of studies on the functioning of riparian buffers, research gaps remain, particularly in relation to (i) the capture and retention of soluble P and N in subsurface flows through buffers, (ii) the utilization of captured nutrients, (iii) the impact of buffer design and management on terrestrial and aquatic habitats and species, and (iv) the effect of buffers (saturated) on greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for pollution swapping.
Outcome DAMSAFE project in Karnataka
In cooperation with the Karnataka Water Resources Department (KaWRD) a pilot project, called DAMSAFE, is recently completed at the Bhadra dam and reservoir, located in Karnataka (India). In DAMSAFE an operational monitoring and forecasting system is implemented and the results are demonstrated to the dam operator. The overarching goal of the pilot project is to contribute to enhancing dam safety and water management in India. The innovative technologies, integrated in DAMSAFE, are: PS-InSAR satellite measurements, in-situ measurements and the Delft-FEWS software platform. Delft-FEWS is used to integrate global weather forecasting and (measurement) data from different sources with automatic computations using different hydrology, hydraulic and geotechnical numerical models. The system supplies information on forecasting of inflow and water levels in the reservoir that can be used for Real Time Control (RTC) of reservoir operation. Based on water pressure measurements in the dam body and dam foundation the stability of the dam is calculated real time. In future, the forecasting of water reservoir levels allows for forecasting of dam stability. This information can be used to control flood risk and for emergency response actions.
International Dam Safety Conference 2019 (13-14 February 2019, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)
Water and health : from environmental pressures to integrated responses
The water-related exposome is a significant determinant of human health. The disease burden through water results from water-associated communicable and non-communicable diseases and is influenced by water pollution with chemicals, solid waste (mainly plastics), pathogens, insects and other water vectors. This paper analyses a range of water practitioner-driven health issues, including infectious diseases and chemical intoxication, using the conceptual framework of Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts, and Responses (DPSIR), complemented with a selective literature review. Pressures in the environment result in changes in the State of the water body: chemical pollution, microbiological contamination and the presence of vectors. These and other health hazards affect the State of human health. The resulting Impacts in an exposed population or affected ecosystem, in turn incite Responses. Pathways from Drivers to Impacts are quite divergent for chemical pollution, microbiological contamination and the spread of antimicrobial resistance, in vectors of disease and for the combined effects of plastics. Potential Responses from the water sector, however, show remarkable similarities. Integrated water management interventions could have the potential to address Drivers, Pressures, Impacts, and State of several health issues at the same time. Systematic and integrated planning and management of water resources, with an eye for human health, can contribute to reducing or preventing negative health impacts and enhancing the health benefits.
Automating surface water detection for rivers : the estimation of the geometry of rivers based on optical earth observation sensors
This thesis studies the extent to which the geometry of rivers around the globe can be determined in an automated manner, based on openly available optical Earth Observational (EO) satellite sensors. Knowledge of the course of a river allows for the bathymetry to be estimated. The utilization of remote sensing technology is investigated to observe the dynamics of rivers at frequent time intervals. Google Earth Engine is adopted for the analysis, interpretation and manipulation of multispectral satellite data. Although the estimation of the geometry of rivers in a more or less automated manner was found to be achievable, its global applicability remains limited to a local scale. Currently, the biggest limitation is the fact that the amount of usable memory is capped within GEE. Computations were found to be too resource-demanding, limiting the maximum size of a river polygon that can be generated. Furthermore, the estimation of the geometry of a river is found to be limited to rivers that are at least three to four times wider than the corresponding satellite’s spatial resolution in order to obtain usable results. Rivers that are relatively narrow (<100 meters) were found to be difficult to identify using either Sentinel-2 or Landsat 8 multispectral satellite data.
Report on the Nexus Humera case study in Ethiopia
The Nexus approach aims to analyse the linkages between the water, energy and food sectors and especially the trade-offs (developing one sector at the expense of the other) and possible synergies (innovative win-wins) between the sectors. Especially in the light of rapid population growth -as is the case in Ethiopia- and uncertain climate change outcomes is it important to zoom in and interconnect the three fundamental assets of people’s livelihoods: water, energy and food. The approach was applied in Humera woreda in western Tigray in August 2017 to provide insights as to how a nexus approach could work, how possible nexus solutions could be integrated into government programmes and business strategies, and how a contribution could be made to sustainable development of the economy of Humera woreda. The focus of the case study in Humera was the emerging development of a large-scale Agro-industrial Park and its role in potentially boosting sesame production in the area. In the case study three different models were applied: the LEAP model for the energy sector, the RIBASIM model for the water sector, and the Water-limited yield model for the agricultural sector. The models were run on the basis of collected data, for different scenarios and based on assumptions that were tested with stakeholders.
Spatiotemporal patterns of extreme sea levels along the western North-Atlantic coasts
The western North-Atlantic coast experienced major coastal floods in recent years. Coastal floods are primarily composed of tides and storm surges due to tropical (TCs) and extra-tropical cyclones (ETCs). We present a reanalysis from 1988 to 2015 of extreme sea levels that explicitly include TCs for the western North-Atlantic coastline. Validation shows a good agreement between modeled and observed sea levels and demonstrates that the framework can capture large-scale variability in extreme sea levels. We apply the 28-year reanalysis to analyze spatiotemporal patterns. Along the US Atlantic coasts the contribution of tides can be significant, with the average contribution of tides during the 10 largest events up to 55% in some locations, whereas along the Mexican Southern Gulf coast, the average contribution of tides over the largest 10 events is generally below 25%. At the US Atlantic coast, ETCs are responsible for 8.5 out of the 10 largest extreme events, whereas at the Gulf Coast and Caribbean TCs dominate. During the TC season more TC-driven events exceed a 10-year return period. During winter, there is a peak in ETC-driven events. Future research directions include coupling the framework with synthetic tropical cyclone tracks and extension to the global scale.