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Project Description

Evaluación y predicción de los efectos del cambio global en la cantidad y la calidad del agua en ríos ibéricos (SCARCE) [CSD2009-00065]
CENTRO DE EJECUCIÓN: Departamento de Química Ambiental del IDAEA-CSIC
DURACION DESDE: 17/12/2009 HASTA: 16/12/2014

Water has been a major driver of socio-economic development in the entire Mediterranean basin, despite of its typical temporal variability. The increasing anthropogenic manipulation of hydrology and the exacerbation of climate change have resulted in an even larger temporal variability. In particular, Mediterranean streams are undergoing severe alterations in the flow regime because of a decrease in the number of precipitation days, and an increase in days with heavy rains. The imbalance between the available water resources during extended droughts and the increasing anthropogenic water demand results in major ecological and economical problems. In consequence, water availability has become a major issue for all governments in Mediterranean regions. However, the consequences of global change will not only be on water availability but also on water quality and ecosystem services.
SCARCE is a multipurpose project that aims to describe and predict the relevance of global change impacts on water availability, water quality and ecosystem services in Mediterranean river basins of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as their impacts on the human society and economy. Hence, the project has assembled a multidisciplinary team of leading scientists in the fields of hydrology, geomorphology, chemistry, ecology, ecotoxicology, economy, engineering and modelling, in an unknown effort in the CONSOLIDER framework. The project also has the active involvement of Water Authorities and other relevant agents as stakeholders. The project has started on 17th December 2009 and will last 5 years.
SCARCE has two complementary objectives:
1. The first and largest tackles basic research questions that will define the long-term patterns and actual mechanisms that operate in the hydrology, water quality, habitat dynamics, and ecosystem structure and function of Mediterranean watersheds.
2. The second objective of the project, or its corollary, is related to the effects of climate and human footprint (taken both as key elements of global change) on the freshwater ecosystem services, as well as the urgent need to finalize, implement, and eventually refine the River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) demanded by the EU Water Framework Directive.

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