Fostering European Drought Research and Science-Policy Interfacing (DROUGHT-R&SPI)

Water availability is expected to be highly sensitive to climate change and severe water stress conditions may cause major social, economic and environmental problems. This requires better knowledge on the drought generating mechanisms, its impacts and mitigation options.

The aim of the DROUGHT-R&SPI project is to improve drought preparedness in Europe through increased knowledge of drought generating processes, drought early warning and management plans, and improved science-policy interfacing.

Low flow at Pont du Gard, River Gardon, August 2003. Photo: Henny van Lanen.

Droughts are caused by large, global scale climate drivers, and as opposed to flood, drought forecasting has to consider large scale mechanisms over long time periods. Our ability to improve seasonal forecasting of drought depends on the potential to link large-scale climate drivers to the occurrence of drought at the regional scale.

DROUGHT-R&SPI is based on the recent enhanced knowledge of past droughts, their impacts and lessons learnt. The project will provide a suite of drought indicators, identify best practices crucial for the development of drought management plans, innovative methods for early warning (monitoring and forecasting) of drought at the pan-European scale and establish dialogue fora for science-policy interfacing. Furthermore, the drought hazard and potential vulnerability in the 21st century will be identified along with drought sensitive regions and sectors.

UiO researchers are responsible for Work Package 1 Drought as a natural hazard, and will primarily be engaged in work at the pan-European scale. The group will perform a quantitative analysis of historical large-scale droughts. This work will contribute to the identification of sensitive regions in Europe based on the physical exposure to drought, related impacts and projected future climate changes. Furthermore, the role of large-scale climate drivers in controlling drought development will be investigated and indicators and methodologies to support early warning of drought (monitoring and forecasting) indentified.


The project brings together 12 partners from nine European countries in an interdisciplinary approach to increase drought preparedness.

The project is coordinated by the Wageningen University, The Netherlands.


DROUGHT-R&SPI is a three year collaborative project (2011-2014) funded under the European Union 7th Framework Program (FP7).

Read more about the project at EU-DROUGHT-R&SPI.


Tags: Climate change, Hydrology, Drought analyses
Published Nov. 22, 2011 11:03 PM - Last modified Feb. 10, 2017 2:47 PM