ACQWA - Assessment of Climatic change and impacts on the Quantity and quality of Water
The objective of ACQWA is to assess the impacts of a changing climate on the quantity and quality of water in mountain regions. Modelling techniques are used to project the influence of climatic change on the major determinants of river discharge at various time and space scales. Regional climate models provide the essential information on shifting precipitation and temperature patterns, and snow, ice, and biosphere models feed into hydrological models in order to assess the changes in seasonality, amount, and incidence of extreme events in various catchment areas. Environmental and socio-economic responses to changes in hydrological regimes are analyzed in terms of hazards, aquatic ecosystems, hydropower, tourism, agriculture, and the health implications of changing water quality. Attention is also devoted to the interactions between land use/land cover changes, and changing or conflicting water resource demands. Adaptation and policy options are elaborated on the basis of the model results. Specific environmental conditions of mountain regions will be particularly affected by rapidly rising temperatures, prolonged droughts and extreme precipitation. Case studies are carried out in the Rhone river basin, the Po river basin, the Aconcagua Basin (Chile), and Kyrgyzstan.