DROUGHT-R&SPI will enhance the understanding of:
- drought as a natural hazard, including climate drivers, drought processes and occurrence.
- environmental and socio-economic impacts
- vulnerabilities, risks and policy responses, incl. the further development of drought management plans in support of national and EU policies.
The project will address the past and future climate, link science and policy across scales and across a range of affected sectors.
The objective of the project is to reduce Europe’s vulnerability and risk to drought by innovative in-depth studies that combine drought investigations at the pan-European scale with case study areas in water stressed regions (river basin and national scale) for both past and future climate. Drought studies will be performed at different scales to advance our understanding of drought as a natural hazard, its environmental and socio-economic impacts and vulnerabilities, risks and policy responses.
Drought is a natural hazard that has wide ranging impacts on nature and society, e.g. agriculture, forestry, energy production, navigation, water supply and heat stress. Recent extreme events, like the record breaking event in 2003, have demonstrated Europe’s vulnerability to drought, which in the future is likely to increase due to a growing water demand and the expected impact of climate change. In Europe a trend towards a drier southeastern and wetter northwestern Europe can be observed in streamflow as demonstrated by the EU-WATCH project, but there are large regional and seasonal differences. In water scarce regions like the Mediterranean, the effects of climate change will make the current situation worse. Drought cannot be prevented, but its impacts can be reduced through adaptation and mitigation, i.e. knowledge, preparedness and good management practice.