Concept Sectoral Information Service for Water Management in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S-SIS)

The aim of this Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) project is to bridge the gap between climate change data production and the local decision-makers and water managers by providing climate impact indicators, together with knowledge purveyors.

A key problem in conducting climate change impact assessments to support decision-making and adaptation to future climate is bridging the gap between climate change data production and the local decision-makers and water managers. SWICCA (Service for Water Indicators in Climate Change Adaptation) aims to bridge this gap by providing climate impact indicators, which are co-designed by consultant engineers/purveyors to support decision-making in climate change adaptation.

Proof-of-concept of this future climate service

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is still in the development phase and will combine observations of the climate system with the latest science to develop authoritative, quality-assured information about the past, current and future states of the climate in Europe and worldwide. ECMWF operates the C3S on behalf of the European Union and will bring together expertise from across Europe to deliver the service. C3S will provide key indicators on climate change drivers and impacts. These indicators aim to support adaptation and mitigation. This solution will show the proof-of-concept of this future climate service using selected case studies.

Sectorial information service of water management

The project “Service for Water Indicators in Climate Change Adaptation” (SWICCA) has developed a sectorial information service of water management. It offers readily available climate-impact data, for open access from the website. The service is co-designed by consultant engineers and agencies in 15 case-studies spread out over the continent. SWICCA offers a technical solution in the form of an interactive user-interface, which shows maps and graphs, and facilitates download of climate impact indicators in user-friendly formats. In total, more than 900 open datasets are given for various variables, model ensembles, resolutions, time-periods and representative concentration pathways (RCP).

By using indicators, climate impact assessments can be done without having to run a full production chain from raw climate model results. The case studies have shown the indicators can be included in the local workflow by consultant engineers/purveyors with local methods applied, to facilitate decision-making by water managers to meet future climate challenges. The goal of the proof-of-concept is to bridge the gap between institutes who provide climate-impact data on one side, and water managers and policy makers on the other side. The project will add value to data and ensure that available information is useful for water management at local and regional scale across Europe.

The service offers more than 40 climate impact indicators (CIIs) and transient time-series of 4 essential climate variables ECVs) with high spatial and temporal resolution. To facilitate both near future and far future assessments, SWICCA provide the indicators for different time ranges; normally, absolute values are given for a reference period (e.g. 1971-2000) and the expected future changes for different 30-year periods, such as early century (2011-2040), mid-century (2041-2070) and end-century (2071-2100). An ensemble of model results is always given to indicate confidence in the estimates.

The SWICCA demonstrator includes user guidance, information sheets, tutorials, and links to other relevant websites. The aim of this service is to provide research data and guidance for climate impact assessments in the water sector. The main target group is consulting engineers (so called Purveyors) working with climate change adaptation in the water sector.

The SWICCA project runs from November 2015 to February 2018 by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) together with 10 sub-contractors from across Europe and 3 in-kind partners.