Title: Climate change and Europe’s water resources
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2020
JRC N°: JRC118586
ISBN: 978-92-76-10398-1 (online)
ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 29951 EN
OP KJ-NA-29951-EN-N (online)
URI: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC118586
DOI: 10.2760/15553
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: In addition to the already existing pressure on our freshwater resources, climate change may further decrease water availability. In this study, projections of future water resources, due to climate change, land use change and changes in water consumption have been assessed using JRC’s LISFLOOD water resources model. The results presented are based on 11 climate models which project current and future climate under two Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs): RCP4.5 and RCP 8.5 emission scenario. RCP4.5 may be viewed as a moderate-emissions-mitigation-policy scenario and RCP8.5 as a high-end emissions scenario. A 30-year window around the year that global warming reaches 1.5oC, 2oC and 3oC above preindustrial temperature has been analysed and compared to the 1981-2010 control climate window (baseline). The 1.5°C and 2°C warming scenarios are explicitly considered in the Paris Agreement, while a 3°C global warming is a scenario that could be expected by the end of the 21st century if adequate mitigation strategies are not taken. First, we performed future projections without socio-economic developments to show the effect of climate change only. Next, an integrated assessment is performed including future changes in land use, water demand and population. This allows us to disentangle the effects of climate and socio-economic changes. In general, the climate projections reveal a typically North-South pattern across Europe for water availability. Overall, Southern European countries are projected to face decreasing water availability, particularly Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Italy and Turkey. Central and Northern European countries show an increasing annual water availability.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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