FutureWater and IDOM have delivered the final report titled “Prognosis: Trends and Scenarios” developed in project “Indicative Land Use Plan for (PIOTA) for the Panama Canal Basin (PCB)”. The PIOTA-CHCP project, which is led by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to produce strategic guidelines to achieve sustainable and climate-robust territorial and socioeconomic development in the river basin.

The report recently delivered to the ACP includes a detailed analysis on how water security in the basin can be affected by a plausible range of socioeconomic development, land use changes and climate change trajectories which have been envisioned and projected for the region. Also, a wide range of adaptation options and policies were assessed which can reduce the vulnerabilities around climate change. For this purpose, a Robust Decision Making Methodology (RDM) has been adopted that combines the usage of a coupled model of surface hydrology and water supply-demand, and the numerical simulation of a wide range of territorial, climatic and adaptation scenarios (Figure 1). These analyses resulted in so-called “Climate Response Surfaces” (CRS) of the basin, from which the climatic robustness of the system can be assessed. Concrete recommendations and adaptation pathways follow from this analysis, as guidance for the Land Use Plan.

Flow diagram of Robust Decision Making methodology used (left) and a schematic of the WEAP model.
Figure 1. Flow diagram of Robust Decision Making methodology used (left) and a schematic of the WEAP model.

The delivery of the final report has been preceded by different activities that included:

  • Technical meetings with decision makers and technical staff of the ACP. These meetings aimed to: a) guarantee the integration of the results derived from the previous stage of the project, b) design, built and parameterize the WEAP-CHCP model, and c) define the most plausible scenarios of territorial development and adaptation.
  • A capacity building and training course focused on the general use of the WEAP modelling tool, and particularly on the WEAP-CHCP model built for the PIOTA project.
  • Two participatory public workshops which aimed to present and validate the intermediate results of the prognostic phase in close cooperation with all the key stakeholders in the region (Figure 2).
Participants in the workshop on outcomes of the water resources and climate robustness assessment which was organized online due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Figure 2. Participants in the workshop on outcomes of the water resources and climate robustness assessment which was organized online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For more information, link

Water and food security are at risk in many places in the world: now and most likely even more in the future, having large economic and humanitarian consequences. Risk managers and decision-makers, such as water management authorities and humanitarian-aid agencies/NGOs, can prevent harmful consequences more efficiently if information is available on-time on (1) the impact on the system, economy or society, and also (2) the probabilities for a failure in the system. EO information has proven to be extremely useful for (1). For looking into the future, considering the uncertainties, novel machine learning techniques are becoming available.

The proposed development is incorporated into an existing solution for providing Drought and Early Warning Systems (DEWS), called InfoSequia. InfoSequia is a modular and flexible toolbox for the operational assessment of drought patterns and drought severity. Currently, the InfoSequia toolbox provides a comprehensive picture of current drought status, based mainly on EO data, through its InfoSequia-MONITOR module. The proposed additional module, called InfoSequia-4CAST, is a major extension of current InfoSequia capabilities, responding to needs that have been assessed in several previous experiences.

InfoSequia-4CAST provides the user with timely, future outlooks of drought impacts on crop yield and water supply. These forecasts are provided on the seasonal scale, i.e. 3-6 months ahead. Seasonal outlooks are computed by a novel state-of-the-art Machine Learning technique. This technique has already been tested for applications related to crop production forecasting and agricultural drought risk financing. The FFTrees algorithm uses predictor datasets (in this case, a range of climate variability indices alongside other climatic and vegetative indices) to generate FFTs predicting a binary outcome – crop yields or water supply-demand balance above or below a given threshold (failure: yes/no).

The activity includes intensive collaboration with stakeholders in Spain, Colombia and Mozambique, in order to establish user requirements, inform system design, and achieve pilot implementation of the system in the second project year. Generic machine learning procedures for training the required FFTs will be developed, and configured for these pilot areas. An intuitive user interface is developed for disseminating the output information to the end users. In addition to development of the forecasting functionality, InfoSequia-MONITOR will be upgraded by integrating state-of-the art ESA satellite data and creating multi-sensor blended drought indices.

This week a training to various experts in Panama has started on the use of the WEAP tool to assess climate risks and future water resources availability and demands. The training will focus on water users in the river basin belonging to the Panama Canal, including the water requirements for the operation of the canal itself. Also the simulation of land use scenarios will be covered in the course.

The training is part of a project that aims at developing a climate-robust land use plan for the river basin. This project is funded by the IADB and FutureWater executes the project in collaboration with IDOM.

The training takes place during two weeks, divided in several half-day sessions. The participants are technical staff working for the Panama Canal Authority and the Ministry of the Environment of Panama.

This project is part of the technical-innovation support provided by FutureWater to ECOPRADERAS, an EIP-AGRI Operational Group led by Ambienta Ing. and co-funded by the EU and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture. As a general objective, ECOPRADERAS aims to improve the sustainable management of grasslands located at the Alagon Valley (Extremadura, Spain) through: (1) the transfer and implementation of innovative technologies, (2) the identification and strengthening of good cultural practices, and (3) the dissemination of the most relevant information and results among end users.

In the frame of ECOPRADERAS, FutureWater is tasked with the development of an operational monitoring tool able to inform, at the regional scale, on the health status of the grasslands by using satellite data of moderate spatial resolution. The ECOPRADERAS monitor includes the following innovative features:

  • Generation of a categorical index indicative of the health status of grasslands based on the combination of indices of spatial and temporal greenness anomalies.
  • Higher spatial details by using satellite images of moderate spatial resolution (collection of Landsat-8TM of 30 m resolution)
  • Large improvement for collecting and processing large satellite datasets by using the Google Earth Engine cloud-based geoprocessing platform (collection of Landsat-8TM from January 2014 onwards)
  • A user friendly web-mapping interface to visualize outputs

The methodology used by FutureWater uses massive data processing technologies in the cloud (Google Earth Engine) to compute a pixel-based categorical index that result of the combination of a spatial and a temporal anomaly of the greenness index (NDVI). After a local calibration that needs to be adopted, this qualitative index, called the Combined Index of Normalized Anomalies (ICAN) (figure), classifies the status of grasslands in the region of interest into different categories that informs on the health grasslands and how are they being managed. With the ICAN, land managers and local actors can early detect those portions in the landscape in which management practices may pose a risk for the sustainability of the agropastoral system and then would require special attention for improving them.

Logic diagram for computing the Combined Index of Normalized Anomalies (ICAN) in the ECOPRADERAS Monitor.The specific tasks developed by FutureWater included: the definition of a methodological framework for monitor the health of grasslands at the regional scale, the design of a processing and web-mapping platform and its practical implementation in the Alagon Valley (182 km2) from September 2019 to July 2020, and the calibration-validation of the results by comparing outputs with field observations collected in different pilot sites by other project partners.

An evaluation of the results points out to the strength of the methodology. The processing architecture is also easily scalable to other regions and rangeland landscapes. Further improvements have been also envisioned. The ECOPRADERAS Monitor stands as a very powerful tool to guide landscape managers local stakeholders on better decisions.

ECOPRADERAS Monitor at the Alagon Valley (Extremadura, Spain)

FutureWater and IDOM have successfully started a new project in Panama to support the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) with the challenges of the future such as regional development and climate change in the Panama Canal River Basin. 

To meet the challenges of regional development and climate change that the Panama Canal river basin faces, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has launched the preparation of a land use plan. For this plan, a roadmap will be established (Green Pathway 2050) that should secure water for the population, sustains socio-economic development, enables reliable operations of the Panama Canal, and preserves the ecosystem services of the basin.

The technical cooperation offered through this project will allow the ACP and the IADB to design an intervention implementation program at the strategic and project level to promote the sustainable development of the river basin.

The project is executed in 4 phases (see Figure 1):

  1. Diagnosis: sectoral and comprehensive characterization of the current river basin and regional planning
  2. Prospects: a robust decision making methodology will be applied to quantify the vulnerability of the current and possible future states of the system, considering climate change, socio-economic development scenarios and climate adaptation.
  3. Strategy development: the so-called “Green Pathway 2050” will be developed together with stakeholders, including priority actions, mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  4. Land Use Plan: the plan will address the implementation aspects related to regional zoning, pre-feasibility studies, and a monitoring and evaluation program
Figure 1. Phases of the Project “Formulation of the Land Use Plan for the Panama Canal river basin”.

FutureWater is responsible for assessing, in collaboration with stakeholders, realistic land use scenarios considering the uncertainties imposed by climate change and non-climate factors. A Robust Decision Making (RDM) approach will be applied for this purpose. The work will include the development of a supply-demand model using the WEAP tool and a technical training of ACP staff. Climate change vulnerabilities will be assessed through a bottom-up approach, including stakeholders´inputs from the start of the analysis. The climate change-uncertainties of the land use scenarios will be visualized to stakeholders and a realistic sub-set of scenarios, including adaptation options, will be produced.

To meet the challenges of regional development and climate change that the Panama Canal river basin faces, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has launched the preparation of a land use plan. For this plan, a roadmap will be established (Green Pathway 2050) that should secure water for the population, sustains socio-economic development, enables reliable operations of the Panama Canal, and preserves the ecosystem services of the basin.

The technical cooperation offered through this project will allow the ACP and the IADB to design an intervention implementation program at the strategic and project level to promote the sustainable development of the river basin.

The project is executed in 4 phases (see Figure 1):

  1. Diagnosis: sectoral and comprehensive characterization of the current river basin and regional planning
  2. Prospects: a robust decision making methodology will be applied to quantify the vulnerability of the current and possible future states of the system, considering climate change, socio-economic development scenarios and climate adaptation.
  3. Strategy development: the so-called “Green Pathway 2050” will be developed together with stakeholders, including priority actions, mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  4. Land Use Plan: the plan will address the implementation aspects related to regional zoning, pre-feasibility studies, and a monitoring and evaluation program
Figure 1. Phases of the Project “Formulation of the Land Use Plan for the Panama Canal river basin”.

FutureWater is responsible for assessing, in collaboration with stakeholders, realistic land use scenarios considering the uncertainties imposed by climate change and non-climate factors. A Robust Decision Making (RDM) approach will be applied for this purpose. The work will include the development of a supply-demand model using the WEAP tool and a technical training of ACP staff. Climate change vulnerabilities will be assessed through a bottom-up approach, including stakeholders´inputs from the start of the analysis. The climate change-uncertainties of the land use scenarios will be visualized to stakeholders and a realistic sub-set of scenarios, including adaptation options, will be produced.

Please visit this website for more information about the project: https://piota-panama-cyt.hub.arcgis.com/

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.