Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the water resources management of Southern Italy, due to the generalized increase in temperatures entailing changes in the seasonality of precipitation and hydro-climatic budget. Also, the possible increase in the frequency of extreme events could have a negative effect on soil erosion and sediment transport, causing a deterioration of surface water quality. On the other hand, sea level rise could negatively affect the salinization rate of coastal aquifers. These phenomena could lead, in a future scenario, to a condition where the availability of freshwater resources (with adequate quality and quantity parameters) could not match anymore the demand for civil, industrial and irrigation purposes. Such a condition could be exacerbated even more by an increase in drinking and agricultural water needs.
In this context, Acquedotto Pugliese S.p.A. has commissioned a study to understand and quantitatively assess the perils induced by climate change on water scarcity-related issues, in order to define an adaptation strategy and implement countermeasures.
Acquedotto Pugliese S.p.A.
15 months from 29/07/2022 to 26/10/2023
The goal of this formal cooperation with Acquedotto Pugliese S.p.A. (AQP) is to understand and quantitatively assess the hazards and risks posed by climate change on the availability of freshwater resources managed by AQP, in terms of both water quantity and quality. The project is included in a broader cooperation framework with AQP aiming at investigating and assessing the climate change impacts on all the processes and infrastructure relevant for the Integrated Water Service managed by AQP, also including, beside water supply, water distribution and collection networks, potabilization and treatment plants, and energy supply, among others.
CMCC will perform a list of research activities previously identified by means of an intense session of requirements elicitation and collection, now contained in a document called “Main Program”. During the project, CMCC will continuously report to AQP about research results to collect feedbacks. CMCC will also provide access and visibility to results by means of: 1) the DataClime portal, 2) scientifical and technical documentation, and 3) dissemination initiatives.
The research activities include two main issues, namely: 1) anomaly maps for relevant indicators (building on EURO-CORDEX projections’ ensemble and extending to different areas for different targets); and 2) impact models to quantify the effects of climate change on different facades of freshwater resources, with focus on drinking resources managed by AQP. In this project, the main focus is on the infrastructure involved in the initial stage of freshwater supply process, namely surface reservoirs, springs and groundwater resources in a broader sense. The possible increase in water demand for residential and irrigation purposes will also be addressed.
The main goal is to provide a comprehensive and accurate assessment of the climate hazards and risks posed by climate change on the processes and infrastructure relevant for the Integrated Water Service managed by AQP, with focus is on the infrastructure involved in the initial stage of freshwater supply process. In a strategic perspective, this will allow for the identification of intervention priorities for climate change adaptation. Great attention will be also paid to the communication and dissemination of approaches, tools and results by means of the DataClime portal.