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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"An indicator approach to assessing and predicting the quantitative state of groundwater bodies on the regional scale with a special focus on the impacts of climate change"

An integrated approach for assessing the availability of groundwater under conditions of Global Change is presented. The approach is embedded in the DANUBIA system developed by the interdisciplinary GLOWA-Danube project (2001-2010, to simulate the interaction of natural and socio-economical processes within the Upper Danube Catchment (UDC, 77 000 km2). The approach enables the quantitative assessment of groundwater bodies (zones), which are delineated by intersecting surface watersheds, regional aquifers, and geomorphologic regions. The individual hydrogeological and geometrical characteristics of these zones are accounted for by defining characteristic response times and weights to describe the relative significance of changes in different state variables (recharge, groundwater level, groundwater discharge, river discharge). The state variable changes in each zone are converted into indices (GroundwaterQuantityFlags). This article briefly descr ibes the motivation and particularities of regional-scale groundwater assessment and the background of GLOWA-Danube. The main focus is on the description of the developed methodology. The approach was applied to the UDC, where several different climate scenarios (2011-2060) were evaluated. A selection of results is presented to demonstrate the potential of the methodology. The approach was inspired by the European Water Framework Directive yet it has a stronger focus on the evaluation of Global Change impacts.