The detection of on-site farm reservoirs and ponds in large areas is a complex task that can be addressed through the combination of visual inspection of orthophotos and the application of automatic pixel classification algorithms.

This analysis applied a general workflow to detect and quantify the area and density of on-farm reservoirs and water bodies in three representative Mediterranean irrigated oases in Sicily-Italy, Northern of Morocco, and Israel. For each area of analysis, the most recent orthophotos available were collected from Google Earth, and the ilastik algorithms were implemented for the pixel classification (Random Forest -RF-) and semantic-segmentation. The RF classifier, which is previously applied to a set of filtered imagery and iteratively trained, provides probability maps of different classes that are finally used for quantitative analysis, or the retrieval of a segmentation-categorical (water vs non-water) maps.

Groundwater is one of the most important freshwater resources for mankind and for ecosystems. Assessing groundwater resources and developing sustainable water management plans based on this resource is a major field of activity for science, water authorities and consultancies worldwide. Due to its fundamental role in the Earth’s water and energy cycles, groundwater has been declared as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by GCOS, the Global Climate Observing System. The Copernicus Services, however, do not yet deliver data on this fundamental resource, nor is there any other data source worldwide that operationally provides information on changing groundwater resources in a consistent way, observation-based, and with global coverage. This gap will be closed by G3P, the Global Gravity-based Groundwater Product.

The G3P consortium combines key expertise from science and industry across Europe that optimally allows to (1) capitalize from the unique capability of GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite gravimetry as the only remote sensing technology to monitor subsurface mass variations and thus groundwater storage change for large areas, (2) incorporate and advance a wealth of products on storage compartments of the water cycle that are part of the Copernicus portfolio, and (3) disseminate unprecedented information on changing groundwater storage to the global and European user community, including European-scale use cases of political relevance as a demonstrator for industry potential in the water sector. In combination, the G3P development is a novel and cross-cutting extension of the Copernicus portfolio towards essential information on the changing state of water resources at the European and global scale. G3P is timely given the recent launch of GRACE-FO that opens up the chance for gravity-based time series with sufficient length to monitor climate-induced and human-induced processes over more than 20 years, and to boost European space technology on board these satellites.

In this project, FutureWater is in charge of a case which aims to prototype and calibrate a Groundwater Drought Index based on the G3P product, and to integrate it into InfoSequia, the FutureWater’s in-house Drought Early Warning System. The new InfoSequia component will be tested for inherent reliability and flexibility at the basin level in a total area of about 145 000 km2 in Southern Spain which largely relies on groundwater resources. This pilot region comprises three large basins (Segura, Guadalquivir and Guadiana) with many aquifers and groundwater bodies where very severe dynamics of overexploitation and mining have been identified and declared. Unsustainable groundwater development threats the water security in the region, but also the ecological status and preservation of unique and highly protected ecosystems in Europe (e.g., Doñana National Park, Daimiel National Park, Mar Menor coastal lagoon).

To visit the official G3P website, please click on this link: https://www.g3p.eu

Achieving water security and guaranteeing the sustainable use of water resources require series of investments at the catchment scale. Yet, competing water uses pose an initial layer of complexity about the type of intervention a catchment requires. Additionally, the nature of climatic and no-climatic uncertainties, threatening possible investments, leave decision makers with insufficient knowledge about the performance of chosen intervention options in a changing world. So, decision makers require novel tools which would facilitate the description and communication of key metrics in an uncertain future.

This project studies the sensitivity of the multipurpose Chancay-Lambayeque Basin water resources hydraulic system (Peru) to changes in climatic and no-climatic forces. A series of proposed interventions to enhance the current hydraulic system look to satisfy water supply to ~400,000 people, guarantee water for increasing irrigation activities, and maintain ecological flows, while providing protection for El Niño-driven floods.

The assessment was carried out using the DMDU deiven Decision Tree Framework (DTF, Ray and Brown,2015). This is a bottom-up and two-step approach which, in this project, examined the performance of economic, resilience, robustness, and reliability metrics of selected interventions such as the construction of new reservoirs, the expansion of groundwater development, and the conservation and generation of green-infrastructure, subjected to various climate realizations. Also, the effects of changes in urban water supply and irrigation demands, siltation in existing reservoirs, and other non-climatic parameters and trade-offs were analyzed. The results of this study highlight the potential (while acknowledging limitations) of DMDU tools to prioritize investments in river catchment planning while engaging local stakeholders in decision making.

Persbericht

De Valle del Cauca, in het westelijke deel van Colombia, is de op twee na grootste economie van het land. Suikerriet is er een belangrijke bron van inkomsten maar ook een gewas dat sterk afhankelijk is van voldoende water. Er is veel oppervlakte- en grondwater beschikbaar maar duurzaam gebruik van deze voorraad staat onder druk. Op 10 juli werd daarom HERMANA gelanceerd, een nieuwe tool om duurzaam watermanagement in de Valle del Cauca te bevorderen.

Betere communicatie over besluiten

De lokale overheidsorganisatie, Regionale Autonome Corporatie van Valle del Cauca (CVC), is verantwoordelijk voor het waterbeheer in het gebied. Zij brengen dagelijks en maandelijks bulletins uit over de watervraag en de beschikbaarheid, autoriseren vergunningen voor watergebruik, zijn mede verantwoordelijk voor planning van het waterniveau in het bovenstroomse reservoir en communiceren met de watervragers in het gebied. In die zin is hun werk vergelijkbaar met dat van de Nederlandse waterautoriteiten.

CVC beschikt wel over alle informatie over waterbronnen maar die is niet op een plek voor handen. Er was  behoefte aan een geintegreerd systeem om de besluitvorming eenduidig en transparant te maken. Dat zorgt voor betere en inclusieve beslissingen.

De HERMANA informatieketen

De eerste stap van de HERMANA implementatie was het in kaart brengen van het besluitvormingsproces en de daarbij behorende informatiebehoeften van CVC in samenwerking met Waterschap Brabantse Delta en Deltares. Vervolgens zijn voor HERMANA 3 Nederlandse producten volgens de Digitale Delta aanpak aan elkaar gekoppeld:

  • Delft-FEWS Colombia van Deltares geeft toegang tot alle relevante weer- en waterinformatie, modellen en verwachtingen van CVC en IDEAM, de nationale hydrologische en meteorologische dienst van Colombia;
  • Infosequía van FutureWater biedt gebiedsdekkende droogte-indicatoren op basis van satellietinformatie;
  • HydroNET van HydroLogic combineert de informatie uit InfoSequia en Delft-FEWS Colombia met lokale kennis en data van CVC en genereert vervolgens gepersonaliseerde online dashboards en rapportages die aansluiten bij de informatiebehoefte en het besluitvormingsproces van CVC. Voorbeelden van dashboards die zijn gemaakt: wateraanvoermogelijkheden voor de stad Cali, overstromingsverwachting voor de River Cauca en een droogte dashboard voor het CVC gebied.
HERMANA dashboards geven inzicht in de huidige en verwachte status van het watersysteem.

Dankzij deze ketenbenadering wordt de expertise van ieder systeem en iedere partner optimaal benut en ontstaat een schaalbare oplossing die ook toepasbaar is in de rest van Colombia en daarbuiten.

Relatie met Nederlandse waterschappen

HERMANA (wat zuster betekent in het Spaans) is een afkorting voor HERramienta para el MANejo integral del Agua en werd gebaseerd op de systemen die Nederlandse waterautoriteiten ook gebruiken. Bij CVC is HERMANA op maat gemaakt door experts in oppervlaktewater, grondwater, beslissingsondersteunende systemen, waterbeheer en bestuur zowel uit Nederland als uit Colombia. De samenwerking met CVC en andere Colombiaanse directoraten verliep bijzonder goed.

Het project kon tot stand komen door een Partners voor Water subsidie (RVO) en investering van CVC en bijdragen van Deltares, Hydrologic, FutureWater en de Nederlandse waterschappen. Het operationele testen en implementeren van InfoSequía in HERMANA is gedeeltelijk gefinancierd door het Horizon 2020 Onderzoeks- en innovatieprogramma van de Europese Unie onder subsidieovereenkomst Nr. 700699.

Dit project wordt opgenomen in de conference proceedings van het het IAHR world congres 2019.

During October 17, 18 and 19, several activities co-organized by FutureWater and Icatalist took place in Cartagena in the framework of the 6th Regular Meeting of the EU-H2020 BRIGAID project.

During the first day, a selection of innovators, users and financing actors from the region and the rest of Europe were gathered around a thematic workshop on the concept of Community of Innovation (CoI) as a sustainable and effective instrument for the co-development and implementation of innovative solutions for improving climate change adaptation and reducing the risks to hydrometeorological disasters. During the workshop, general aspects regarding financing tools and sustainability of CoIs were discussed, but also opportunities, and the main barriers and challenges around three particular case studies focused on the impacts of droughts and water scarcity in the agrosystem Campo de Cartagena-Mar Menor, flash floods in the Murcia region, and wildfires at the Iberian Peninsula scale.

During the second day the regular-coordination meeting of the project took place in which the coordinators and partners provide the latest progresses made. At this time, special attention was paid to aspects related to the exploitation strategies for results, for which different representatives of other European projects or initiatives were invited (Climate-KIC, BINGO, IMPREX, RESCUE, Diverfarming, NAIAD, I-REACT, etc.) to explore synergies and future collaboration.

On the last day, BRIGAID and the tools developed in its frame were officially presented in Spain. Different success stories of innovators who have received (or are receiving) the support of BRIGAID, or existing Communities of Innovation that are being promoted by the project were also presented. Finally, an innovation marketplace was organized where different companies and technological centers could explain their solutions and prototypes to end-users and funding actors and investors who, at the same time, raised the most important challenges and needs in the region for CC adaptation and DRR. The conference concluded with a technical visit to the Tomás Ferro Experimental Station managed by the UPCT and Los Alcázares WWTP where different technologies and solutions of desalination and denitrification are being tested.

The event was considered a success in view of the high number of participants (approximately 100 people in total) and the high interest aroused in the region.

Sergio Contreras (FutureWater) and José Luis García Aróstegui (IGME) during the Community of Innovation ‘Campo de Cartagena-Mar Menor’ workshop (Day 1).
Johannes Hunink presenting the IMPREX project during the BRIGAID coordination meeting (Day 2).
Johannes Hunink and Sergio Contreras (FutureWater) during the opening of the BRIGAID’s Innovation Event/Marketplace at the Auditorium El Batel (Cartagena, Spain); Martijn de Klerk (FutureWater) presenting ThirdEye as a success innovation for the monitoring of crops and decision making; ThirdEye and infoSequia technological solutions developed and tested with the support of BRIGAID.

From 5 to 9 March 2018, staff people of the HERMANA project presented the first version of the Water Management Information Center (WMIC) for the Cauca Valley Basin at the CVC headquarters in Cali, Colombia. This information center aims to be the cornerstone for supporting the decision-making process at the technical and institutional levels in those tasks related with the integrated management of water resources, and the management of extreme hydrometeorological risks (droughts, floods).

During the one-week mission, technical and participatory workshops were organized to reinforce the technical capabilities of the local staff in relation to using data and information effectively during the decision making process under different critical scenarios of dam operational management, high risks of floods, water scarcity, and pollution of aquifers. FutureWater led a specific workshop on “Conjunctive use of surface and ground water, putting special emphasis on the integration of data from the WMIC information with simulation and optimization tools.”

The first (beta) version of the WMIC, which integrates the data from FEWS-Colombia and infoSequia in the HydroNET platform, was presented to technicians and head staff of different departments of CVC, who showed their satisfaction and interest in continuing to improve its content and functionality.

Beta version of the Water Management Information Centre of the Cauca Valley Basin. From left to right: Martijn Visser and Sheila Ball (Deltares) and Sergio Contreras (FutureWater).

Project description

The groundwater discharge of irrigation return flows to the Mar Menor lagoon (Murcia, SE Spain), the largest coastal lagoon in Europe, is among one of the possible causes that would explain the high levels of eutrophication (hypereutrophication) and the several algal blooms accounted in this lagoon ecosystem in the last years. Previous studies, led and/or participated by FutureWater staff (e.g. Contreras et al., 2014; Jiménez-Martínez et al., 2017) suggest that the contribution of groundwater discharges from the Quaternary aquifer to the Mar Menor would reach values much higher than the ones officially recognized.

The construction of subsurface drainage system to intersect the groundwater flows in the surroundings of the lagoon is one of the potential solutions proposed to reduce the load of polluted groundwaters that reach the Mar Menor (Figure 1). Once pumped, these waters can be again reused for irrigation after a desalination and denitrification treatment. A large network of subsurface drainage channels are being currently operated by the Arco Sur-Mar Menor Irrigator Association (Arco Sur IA).

Flows and relationship between the Campo de Cartagena Quaternaty aquifer and the Mar Menor lagoon with (left panel) and without (left panel) a subsurface drainage system.

The Arco-Sur IA has commissioned FutureWater, in collaboration with Hydrogeomodels, this project in order to evaluate the usefulness of these infrastructures, and to explore the possibilities of extending them to the rest of the Campo de Cartagena region. The use of numerical modelling to simulate the groundwater dynamics in the Quaternary aquifer, and to quantify the spatial patterns of groundwater discharge to the Mar Menor lagoon would help to demonstrate the effectiveness of these type of infrastructures, but also to evaluate the best locations and exploitation regimes possible to reduce the discharges to the Mar Menor without compromising the provision of other ecosystem services (e.g. ecological status of coastal wetlands).

The development and calibration of the hydrogeological model for the Quaternary aquifer of the Campo de Cartagena has been rested on an intense collection of all the data available in the region, and their integration with the most advanced hydrological and hydrogeological simulation techniques. This hydrogeological model is considered a key tool to support decision making, and to evaluate the potential effectiveness of different water management strategies proposed for the region (pumping batteries, drainage networks), but also for assessing the potential impacts that would emerge due to land cover and climate change scenarios.

Objective and Methods

The objective of this study is to quantify the water balance in the Campo de Cartagena, to simulate the groundwater flow regime in the Quaternary aquifer, and to evaluate the spatial pattern of groundwater discharge to the Mar Menor lagoon for average and extreme hydrological conditions, through the calibration and implementation of a hydrogeological model.

The project has been organized into four tasks (Figure 2): 1) collection and processing of input data, 2) hydrological modeling, 3) hydrogeological modeling, and 4) reporting and and outreach activities.

Methodological diagram and execution phases.

Two missions in September and October 2017 were held in Calí, Colombia as the starting point of the HERMANA project. During these missions, the HERMANA team, composed by staff from Deltares, FutureWater, and the Dutch Water Authorities, shared Dutch and Colombian experiences in water monitoring, management and governance. Furthermore, they identified the main functional and technical requirements for setting up the new Water Management Information Centre (WMIC) for the Cauca Valley Basin. Issues related with policy planning, decision processes, roles and mandates, surface and groundwater interactions and conjunctive use, and how to effectively integrate current technologies as GeoCVC, GeoNetCast, FEWS-Colombia and FEWS-ESCASES, infoSequia and HydroNET were addressed through institutional and technical workshops, meetings, participatory exercises, and technical field trips.

During both events, our staff member Sergio Contreras provided different presentations regarding the FutureWater company expertise-profile and its role in the HERMANA project, and how infoSequia, a Drought Monitoring Assessment Tool developed by FutureWater, is being implemented in the WMIC. The next mission is planned at the beginning of March 2018.

Hydrometeorological station at Juanchito – Cauca river (upstream Calí urban area).

To support a sustainable and equitable management of increasingly pressurised water resources, water authorities need to have access to up-to-date information on the availability and use of those resources. However, such information is often scarce, or may at best be only available as static data in reports. This may lead to sub-optimal decisions, particularly during critical situations such as droughts, may diminish water security, slow down economic and social development, and even lead to disputes and conflicts on water allocation.

HERMANA aims to foster the development of an integrated water management decision support system (DSS) that supports daily, tactical and strategic decision-making related to water resources in Colombia, and specifically in the Cauca Valley Basin. The HERMANA tool will be a comprehensive system able to provide valuable, relevant, and reliable groundwater and surface water data, and information to high level decision makers and specific users, to an appropriate level of detail and at the time that it is required. HERMANA, which is based on the example of such integrated real-time decision support systems recently developed at selected Water Boards in the Netherlands, it will be executed by a solid team of experts in water resources, DSS, operational, tactical, and strategic water management and governance, that can work together to support water managers and governments around the world.

Objectives

The main objective of this project is to develop an integrated water management decision support system, HERMANA, which will enable CVC to make more informed decisions related to water management in the Cauca Valley. This project will contribute primarily to better informed and more transparent decision-making in managing water resources, in particular through the incorporation of the dynamic nature of groundwater resources and use, considering these as an integral part of the water resources in a river basin. This will contribute to a more balanced management of surface and groundwater resources and lead to improved water security. The goal is that this system will foster IWRM, as well as improving water use and efficiency.

Concretely, the goals of this project are to:

  • Provide CVC with an instrument to communicate with stakeholders;
  • Advance in the process of involving stakeholders in water-related decision-making;
  • Progress in the co-design of integrated water resources management tools and evaluate the lessons learned that can also be applied in the Netherlands;
  • Strengthen the cooperation between the consortium partners for future collaboration;
  • Develop a product to support IWRM that combines the complementary expertise of the Dutch water sector, including businesses (HydroLogic, FutureWater), a knowledge institute (Deltares), and public authorities (DWA), which can be replicated elsewhere; and
  • Develop a business case to show the viability of this system so that it can be implemented in other river basins in Colombia and elsewhere around the world.

Role of FutureWater

In this project, FutureWater has the mission to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and practical applications for drought monitoring and sustainable water management. FutureWater will configurate and implement the InfoSequia drought monitoring system (www.infosequia.es) as part of HERMANA, and will contribute to the definition of scenarios and strategies for water management in the Cauca Valley region, and to the overall evaluation of existing tools and models available in HERMANA.

The Local Action Group (LAG) Campoder CAMPODER at the Murcia Region (SE Spain) is an Association for Rural Development which aims to develop programs, projects and actions for the comprehensive and sustainable development of its territory. These actions encompass activities for the conservation and restoration of the environment, the exploitation and promotion of local resources (agriculture, industry), the improvement of the rural infrastructure, and the conservation and strengthening of the historical, artistic and cultural heritage.

During the period 2014-2020, some of the LAGs at the Murcia Region and their development strategies are going to be redesigned to fit with the priorities set out in the Rural Development Programme and the Europe 2020 Strategy. In this framework, new policies of development should pursue the sustainable management and use of the natural resources, and allow a balanced and inclusive economic development in regards to peri-urban areas.

This project aims to advertise about the environmental assets found in the LAG Campoder, and to quantify using social and economic techniques the degree in which these assets are perceived by local population. The projects has been organized in two tasks:

  • Characterization and description of three representative protected areas located in the GAL Campoder. FutureWater is in charge of this task.
  • Identification, and economic assessment and valuation by choice experiments, of the main management alternatives. This task is addressed by the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and University of Murcia.

A book titled “Caracterization and assessment of development preferences of the main protected areas located at the LAG Campoder” (in Spanish) has been published and can be downloaded from here. A video has been also edited in which the peculiarities and environmental assets of the study region are highlighted.

For more information, please contact with the PI of the project, Francisco Alcón (Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena) or Sergio Contreras (FutureWater).