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  • DRIAS futures of climate

    Drias aims to provide regionalized climate projections computed by several French laboratories involved in climate modeling (IPSL, CERFACS, CNRM-GAME). Climate informations are delivered in a variety of graphical or numerical forms
  • European climate adaptation Platform

    The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) aims to support Europe in adapting to climate change. It is an initiative of the European Commission and helps users to access and share information on:
    ◦Expected climate change in Europe
    ◦Current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors
    ◦National and transnational adaptation strategies
    ◦Adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options
    ◦Tools that support adaptation planning

Climate change and uncertainty in water management

When formulating management plans for water resources, it is necessary to take into account the uncertainty weighing on climate change and its impacts. To that end, science has a central role to play in guiding and justifying decisions, and assessing the results. Though our knowledge on climate change has made great progress, it is still difficult and even impossible to know with any certainty what the future impacts will be, whether for water, aquatic environments or biodiversity in general. Climate projections are not forecasts, but rather statistical indications on probabilities. When attempting to characterise phenomena, numerous models must be used, which is a source of cascading uncertainty. But in spite of that uncertainty, decision-makers must formulate and implement adaptation measures as part of their water-resource management policy.

Deciding in spite of uncertainty

In order to make decisions in a context of uncertainty, elected officials and local stakeholders depend on different tools, e.g. DRIAS*, a site developed with support from the Ecology ministry, Météo France and various French labs that provides maps and data to assist in formulating management plans for water resources. In the Seine-Normandie basin, for example, a special committee on climate change and its consequences has been set up. In an effort to better grasp the uncertainties, the Adour-Garonne basin went even further by launching a prospective study titled "Garonne 2050" which looked at past trends and the major factors of climate change that will impact water. The study, which formulated different scenarios concerning water demand, resources and management, has become a virtual guideline for the revision of the 2016-2021 RBMP. Finally, an adaptation plan for climate change was initiated in 2014 for the Rhône-Méditerranéen basin in order to identify local vulnerabilities in terms of major factors, e.g. water resources, soil moisture levels and nutrient levels in water. The measures to reduce vulnerability produced by the plan will be included in the RBMP now being drafted.

Promote the science-policy interface

In the effort to characterise uncertainties and facilitate decision making, scientific knowledge will have an important role to play in clarifying debates, implementing rational approaches and setting priorities. It is therefore important to provide scientists with a clear role in the decision-making process. That means it is necessary to bring scientists and policy makers together, notably by creating a scientific council in contact with the negotiating and decision-making parties, e.g. the basin committees. By mobilising the know-how of its members and networks, the scientific council will be in a position to provide its opinion on the issues, measures and long-term uncertainties concerning climate change. Participation on the part of scientists will also enable them to better understand how policies are formed and the limitations imposed by the constraints confronting water stakeholders. * Data on Regional climate scenarios addressing the Impacts and Adaptation of Society and the environment.

* Substances termed "priority" are those listed by the Water framework directive and that must be reduced or eliminated from the natural environment by 2015.

Contact: frederique.martini@onema.fr

benedicte.augeard@onema.fr

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