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UNESCO Working Group

Impacts of climate variability and land cover change on floods and low flows

The HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) programme has been created to cut across all themes of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. Specifically, the aim of the HELPprogramme is to deliver social, economic and environmental benefit to stakeholders through sustainable and appropriate use of water by directing hydrological science towards improved integrated catchment management basins. In the context of the IHP-VI Project 2.1 (Extreme events), and the cross-cutting activities FRIEND and HELP, the UNESCO Division of Water Sciences has initiated this working group on identifying the relative role of climatic variability and land cover change on floods and low flows as a function of spatial scale. The mandate of the working group, over a period of five years, is to  

  • summarise the state of the art of the subject, in particular, to identify at what scales each of the controls become important,
  • develop the key science questions,
  • plan a five year research strategy for testing in HELP basins and other research experimental basins,
  • plan a series of workshops and potential publications from the workshops,
  • consider possible locations of the workshops, one per year, and any other follow-up activities that the group may identify  

The research strategy should integrate modelling requirements with field experimental hydrology. These activities will provide a road map of how to address these issues and act as a catalyst for motivating communication and targeted research.


Members of the working group:

Günter Blöschl (chair), Sandra Ardoin, Mike Bonell, Maria Pilar Cornejo, Manfred Dorninger, David Goodrich, Dieter Gutknecht, Chris Kilsby, Maria Carmen Llasat, Gil Mahé, David Matamoros, Bruno Merz, Paul Shand, Jan Szolgay

Funding :


Key publications:

G. Blöschl, S. Ardoin-Bardin, M. Bonell, M. Dorninger, D. Goodrich, D. Gutknecht, D. Matamoros, B. Merz, P. Shand, J. Szolgay: " At what scales do climate variability and land cover change impact on flooding and low flows? "; Hydrological Processes, 21 (2007), 1241 - 1247.

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