Science Policy Briefs

Science-Policy Brief - Lessons form Case Study Drought Responses Policy topic: How to have sustainable water management in Europe in the context of climate change, increasing water scarcity, and drought?
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Tuesday 28 May 2013
Science-Policy brief 2a: Tools and instruments to improve drought management and preparedness Policy topic: How to have sustainable water management in Europe in the context of climate change, increasing water scarcity, and drought?
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Thursday 16 July 2015
Science-Policy brief 2b: Improved science-policy interfacing from SPI to SPI-implementation Policy topic: How to have sustainable water management in Europe in the context of climate change, increasing water scarcity, and drought?
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Thursday 16 July 2015
Circular 4: Policy recommendations: Improving drought preparedness in Syros Island Key messages (in short): 1. A long-term strategy for dealing with drought-related risks shall be based on measures for supply enhancement. 2. A drought monitoring system must account for variations in water reserves. 3. Actions to increase drought awareness are necessary. 4. Participatory processes for water and drought management must be established to ensure transparency in decision making. 5. Wastewater reuse appears to be a valuable option for mitigating drought impacts. 6. Constraints to overcome: Limited awareness of drought related risks; Limited data availability for detailed drought impact and vulnerability assessments; Lack of a national drought policy and legislative frameworks for developing drought management plans.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 March 2015
Circular 4, Policy recommendations: Going beyond the crisis approach for drought management in mainland Portugal Key messages (in short): 1. Drought management is still mainly oriented to agriculture and domestic supply sectors. 2. The drought events of 2003-2005 and 2012 were managed as separate events. 3. Monitoring hydrological drought requires a better maintenance and new investments in the monitoring network. 4. Drought impacts on the urban water system supply are minimized by the implementation of measures for water loss reduction complemented by contingency plans. 5. Drought impacts on agriculture are mainly mitigated by water saving, increased use efficiency and conservation measures. 6. Construction of dams is the traditional response to mitigate drought impacts in agriculture. 7. New irrigation techniques allowing for a more efficient water use and reuse, while still not widespread, are becoming more available. 8.Implementation of green and blue infrastructures for water conservation is not yet considered by most stakeholders as a well-established option.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 March 2015
Circular 4, Policy recommendations: Preparing for future droughts in The Netherlands Key messages (in short): 1. With the present water system, the fresh water situation is well arranged in normal situations and damage due to a mild drought every now and then is accepted at policy level. 2. The current strategy will no longer hold on the long term. Next to the existing approach of reacting to shortages there is a need for a new policy for water shortage and salinisation. 3. The government with users and sectors, has taken the initiative to investigate the areas where all parties involved can actively contribute to creating a more robust system. 4. The Delta plan with 9 components (o.a. drought) is a broadly supported implementation programme, to which all water users commit.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 March 2015
Circular 4, Policy recommendations: Towards a higher resilience to drought in the Po basin Key messages (in short) 1. The drought early warning system should be improved and strengthened. 2. Recovery options in agriculture are supposed to be too expensive, not feasible, and apparently ineffective. But, analysis of the socioeconomic impact of drought events have underlined that farmers can even gain from them! 3. Increasing storage capacity, and options that entail relevant investments, both in agriculture and in energy, are not considered feasible and acceptable enough in the Po basin. 4. Public institutions should improve their efficiency and their enforcing role in the future. 5. Options that entail technological upgrades are quite popular among stakeholders and experts.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 March 2015
Circular 4, Policy recommendations: Improvement of drought risk management at the Jucar River Basin (Spain) Key messages (in short): 1. Drought management has been successful but requires improvements in order to adapt to future situations. 2. Participation of stakeholders in drought management decisions have been effective. 3. Decision Support Systems and Risk Assessment methodologies are of great help for agreed decision making. 4. Future droughts characteristics in the basin, and in all Mediterranean basins of the Iberian Peninsula in general, are very uncertain. 5. Drought Plans have been of great help to overcome past drought events although some gaps have been detected after post-episode assessments. 6. Many measures were implemented in previous events due to the availability of funds. The current economic situation generates doubts on whether a new episode could be dealt in the same way.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 March 2015
Circular 4, Policy recommendations: Improving drought preparedness in Switzerland Key messages (in short): 1. Preparing for drought risks focuses on water demand/supply and policies that set priorities, rules and look for synergies. Switzerland’s drought policy chooses a sector-specific approach which identifies sectors that are vulnerable, have impact on water availability and supply, and it aims at triggering short term and long term adaptation and changes. 2. Drought related data is partly available. 3. An important constraint to drought policies is that drought risk is not very high yet. It is difficult to convince stakeholders, politicians, administration, and the public to substantially improve preparedness.
DROUGHT-R&SPI Secretary, Wednesday 18 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