In recent years Switzerland experienced some unprecedented drought situations. At the political level solutions have been requested for early recognition of hydrological droughts. A prototype information platform has been developed to guide water resources management during situation where water resources drop below critical levels. www.drought.ch has been developed after a two-stage dialog with stakeholders from different sectors including hydropower, forestry, agriculture and river navigation.
Since June 2013 the platform is presenting daily updates information on anomalies in precipitation, streamflow, lake levels, groundwater levels, soil moisture deficit, snow resources, dryness in forests and stream temperatures. Ensemble forecasts of runoff, soil moisture, snowpack and groundwater storage are also provided.Information is obtained from operational services and real-time hydrological modeling.
The contents are evaluated against a seasonal climatology. Information for each variable is used for creating automatic “awareness maps” for nine large regions.
The system originates from research within the framework of the Funding Program on “Sustainable Water Use” (NRP61). It will run for the next two years at least and is supported by both the Swiss Federal office for environment and MeteoSwiss.
Short after its launch more than 140 users requested a (free) login. The site is in German. Comments and suggestions are highly appreciated.
Fundel F, Joerg-Hess S, Zappa M. 2013. Monthly hydrometeorological ensemble prediction of streamflow droughts and corresponding drought indices. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 395-407, doi:10.5194/hess-17-395-2013. [Direct Link]
PS: This blog will be submitted in sligthly adapted form as abstract to the IAHS Conference of Bologna (Jume 2014). http://distart119.ing.unibo.it/bo2014/