Case studies

DROUGHT-R&SPI will develop the understanding of drought events and future risks, through 6 case studies across Europe. The areas for case study development have been chosen to represent (future) water stressed environments, where drought-related impacts on different economic sectors and the environment have been particularly severe, covering the range of future risks that could be encountered across Europe. 

Case Studies

The case studies include:

  • The Po River Basin in Italy (pdf), where past drought episodes have resulted to extreme pressures on the river basin system, affecting downstream demands, energy production and agriculture and incurring economic damage that exceeded
    1.3 billion €
  • The Netherlands (pdf), where vulnerability to drought concerns primarily agriculture, navigation and sensitive ecosystems, and is exacerbated by the very controlled water management and the country’s dependence on transboundary waters
  • The Jucar River Basin in Spain (pdf), one of the most vulnerable areas of the western Mediterranean due to the high water exploitation index, and environmental and water quality issues. Due to the prioritization of water uses, past drought episodes have primarily affected agriculture and hydroelectricity, but had significant economic impacts across all water use sectors
  • Syros Island of the Cyclades complex in Greece (pdf), where drought impacts primarily concern local ecosystems, environmental quality and agriculture. The latter is a vital ingredient of the local economy and an important pillar in achieving a more balanced and sustainable economic development
  • Portugal (pdf), where the 2004-05 drought episode had a pronounced impact on all economic sectors and the environment, and resulted in the second worst wave of wildfires in the country’s history, destroying more than 325,000 hectares
  • Switzerland (pdf), where the impacts of the 2003 episode motivated authorities to seriously consider the country’s vulnerability to drought events, which are expected to become more severe as a result of climate change. Sectors affected by the 2003 drought concerned agriculture, navigation, energy production, and ecosystems

Read more about the Case Studies - Policy Recommendations (March 2015)

Project objectives

  • Drought as a natural hazard, incl. climate drivers, drought generating processes and occurrences
  • Environmental and socio-economic impacts
  • Vulnerabilities, risks and policy responses, incl. the further development of drought management plans in support of EU and other international policies