Within the scope of the activities of CO-MICC, the ESO-UMR 6590-CNRS laboratory organised a two-day methodology workshop in cooperation with the partners from the three Maghreb countries (MAT), held at the university of Le Mans, France, on 4-5 July 2018. This workshop aimed at getting to know the researchers and the fields of research for the years to come as well as working with a common methodology.
Within the scope of the activities of CO-MICC, researchers from the University of Le Mans organised a two-day methodology workshop in cooperation with the partners from the three Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), held at the university of Le Mans, France.
This workshop aimed at getting to know the researchers and the fields of research for the years to come as well as working with a common methodology. The interviews of the stakeholders in charge of freshwater catchments in the selected basins were presented. A survey method based on the specific nature of the basins studied was discussed.
Scientists from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco presented results from their focus catchments. Colleagues from the ESO laboratory participated as well and contributed their expertise to the scientific discussions.
A synthesis of the work has been implemented for using a common methodology, considering special characteristics depending on the territory and based on activities in the workshop. We were able to discuss and adopt a method for performing tests in the selected sites in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
In May 2018, two scientists from the CO-MICC team interviewed 13 water and climate-change experts in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. A key result of the interviews was that the challenges facing the three countries are similar for the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast region in regard to their experiences with water shortage.
Interviewed experts came from national meteorological services, ministries concerned with water, national water supply agencies, basin agencies, university scientists and the civil society. The experts were very interested in participating in CO-MICC during the next two and a half years.
The situation in and challenges facing the three countries are similar for the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast region: they already experience considerable water shortage. Especially Algeria and Tunisia counter this by supplying additional water. Dams are already exploited to the maximum and will be strongly affected by climate change. Water transfers from dams to regions with less water availability are common (e.g. from the north to the centre in Tunisia, Algeria). A strategy to counter water shortage now and under worsening climate conditions is the use of non-conventional water resources (desalination plants, treated water reuse for agriculture, particularly in Tunisia and Algeria) and improved water efficiency (e.g. drip irrigation, notably in Morocco).
The impacts of climate change, such as extreme precipitation events and more frequent droughts and floods, are perceived as having been noticeable since the year 2000. At the same time, water demand is expected to increase in the future, due to population growth and a rising need for irrigation water. The situation looks different in southern Algeria and Tunisia: in the Sahara, water is used from the fossil aquifer SASS, which is not significantly impacted by climate change. Therefore, in CO-MICC we will focus on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of the Maghreb, which are expected to be strongly affected by climate change.
The current availability of data to experts (also from climate models) varies widely, depending on their domain of work. So far, the use of data from hydrological models is not widespread. Most interview partners have time frames for their work until 2020 or 2050, only meteorological services use data until 2100. Designing perception graphs helped to summarize and visualize the content of the interviews. Experts’ perceptions and data needs will be further discussed in the workshop to be held in Le Mans in December.
Petra Döll (leading PI) has been selected for the Henry Darcy Medal from the Hydrological Sciences Division of EGU which will be awarded to her at the next EGU meeting in April 2019.
The first project meeting with all project partners was held as a video conference in June. The main objectives included discussions on the outputs of the modelling group activities and the planning of the stakeholder workshops.
Planning of the infrastructure for the CO-MICC web portal to visualize model results and their uncertainties.
The major outcome of the meeting was an agreed set of simulations covering different aspects of uncertainty and outputs as well as planning common activities pending the next meeting.
The kick-off meeting took place in December. The main objectives included planning common activities pending the next meeting as well as embedding CO-MICC in further ERA4CS activities.