As from 1 September 2014, Eddy Moors has been appointed Extraordinary Professor of Water and Climate at VU University Amsterdam.
The chair will be embedded at the Earth and Climate cluster of the Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences. Dr.ir. Eddy Moors currently heads the department Climate Change and Adaptive Land & Water Management at Alterra (WageningenUR). He will work at the VU for one day per week.
Eddy Moors has a PhD on land surface atmosphere interactions with a special focus on water use, obtained at VU Amsterdam in 2012. After working for the World Meteorological Organization in Africa and the Caribbean he moved to Wageningen University, from where he later transferred to Alterra WageningenUR. At Alterra he developed a scientific career in the field of mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. At present he is head of the Department Climate Change and Adaptive Land & Water Management of Alterra and actively involved in projects in Europe, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and California.
In Amsterdam he will be working on one of the main problems that already exists and which is expected to become more severe in the coming years, i.e. the partitioning of water between different uses during periods of water shortage. Recently it has been established that globally there is great uncertainty about the possible increase in drought. The largest source of uncertainty is related to the determination of evaporation. This indicates that research into drought, its underlying processes, consequences and possible mitigation options is needed. He will focus on improving our understanding of and knowledge on:
- The changes in the water balance during relatively dry periods because of climate change and changes in demand, with a special focus on the evaporation component;
- The feedback mechanisms (also at a regional scale) between groundwater, soil water, root-uptake and evaporation;
- The frequency and duration of periods of low rainfall and soil moisture;
Ultimately this knowledge should lead to improved maps of water availability by combining evaporation, soil moisture, groundwater and surface water data. In addition the research will be beneficial to improving real time forecasts up to the seasonal scale of water availability strongly enhancing the capacity of water managers to adapt to upcoming extreme conditions. The thus gained knowledge will be used in cooperation with applied research institutes such as Alterra to further investigate the impacts on sectors such as water management, ecosystems, and health.