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.

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).