This interdisciplinary project will address questions such as:
1) How will climate change impact water resources management in mountain-dependent regions due to increased irrigation water demand across Europe?
2) How do climate adaptation strategies differ across regions and how does this influence local and regional water resources management?
3) What are the trade-offs and synergies of climate adaptation between irrigated agriculture and water use in other economic sectors? How can better coordination and collaboration across sectors, in water resources management, can be supported?
4) Will the expansion of irrigated agriculture to new regions threaten the sustainability of their water resources supply?
Are you interested in these questions? Then we are looking for you to join our team at the University of Aberdeen and Queen’s University Belfast.
The project will aim to quantify the effect of climate change on irrigation water demand in different case studies in mountainous regions across Europe and subsequent operational and management challenges. Regions of particular interest are the Spanish Pyrenees, Switzerland, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. These regions present various degrees of irrigation dependence, forecasted climate change impacts, and adaptive capacity. The project will be mostly desk-based, but it will be possible to organise exchanges and/or visits to the regions of study for stakeholder engagement and scenario development. The supervisory team is well connected to stakeholders in the study regions. Data are available to develop regional and local hydro-economic models to assess and compare the costs (direct and indirect) of alternative climate adaptation strategies.
The project will suit a student with a background in hydrology, geography/geosciences, natural resources management, agriculture or economics, and good numerical skills. The student will be given thorough multidisciplinary training, including in the collection of hydrological and socio-economic data, statistical analyses, and modelling. There is also the opportunity to develop skills in stakeholder engagement and developing and translating research into practical water management solutions. The relative importance of the different project components will depend on the interests of the student.
Lecturer in Global Hydrology and Water Security
Northern Rivers Institute, School of Geosciences,
University of Aberdeen,
Aberdeen, Scotland, UK AB24 3UF
UK Top 20 (The Guardian University Guide 2021)
World Top 180 (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021)