User Stories
EC JRC Water Nexus

Assessment of water resources

Assessment of water resources

Abstract

As a JRC flagship cluster in support to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the “Danube Water-Agriculture-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus (Danube Water Nexus)” project aims at addressing the water challenges identified for the Danube Region. The project develops tools for decision makers and river managers in the region in support to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive’s programmes of measures in order to reach the good ecological status of freshwaters and enhance sustainable future use of water resources. In this context, integrated models may provide valuable information to assess current conditions and potential impact of management scenarios. The physics-based, distributed Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model is being adapted for application in the region to assess streamflow discharge, sediment yield, nitrogen and phosphorus loads and concentrations across the Danube Basin. The model uses input data on climate, topography, soil, land use, and land management. Consideration for best management practices currently implemented or envisaged can be catered for with process-based approaches. Water and water-borne fluxes in the stream network are calibrated and validated using information available at monitoring stations. Model outputs expand the knowledge basis on water resources, and help assessing the impact of management solution in reducing pollution across the basin. They are presently used for benchmarking independent assessments conducted by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in preparation of the 2nd Danube River Basin Management Plan. The model can be used in combination with economic cost-benefit modelling, to identify optimal mixes of measures to achieve the river basin management objectives.

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