Key Research Projects

ADAPTS – Integrating science in local scale water management 

The poor are particularly vulnerable to climate variability and change. Climate change is increasing the severity, duration and frequency of extreme events. Water managers at the local level play a key role in the development of adequate adaptation strategies, and in reducing effects from droughts, floods and to sustain water supply. The ADAPTS project links scientific climate (change) information to empirical knowledge of local communities in developing countries. ADAPTS has setup 6 pilot studies - in Peru, Ghana and Vietnam - to better manage water resources and reduce risks of floods and droughts now and in the future under climate change.


Preparing New York City for climate change and flood risk

This study presents a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of flood risk management strategies in New York City—working with local policy makers. It applies a multidisciplinary scientific approach by combining probabilistic risk assessment of hurricanes and storm surge (in cooperation with MIT and Princeton University) with vulnerability determination of exposed assets, accounting for sources of uncertainty and the timing of investments in storm surge flood risk protection. The cost-benefit analysis of flood risk-management strategies evaluates the benefits (avoided risk) of a variety of building codes and flood protection strategies and their costs, under future scenarios of climate change and socio-economic development.


Global flood risk: GLOFRIS and Aquaduct

GLOFRIS is a state-of-the-art global scale river flood risk model. It is constantly updated and improved, incorporating the newest scientific knowledge on natural hazards, exposure, and vulnerability, generated by our research group and collaborating partners. We focus on current risk, future risk under scenarios of climate change and socioeconomic development, and also temporal shifts in risk due to interannual climate variability. Using results from GLOFRIS, we recently developed and launched the Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer, together with the World Resources Institute (WRI).



Risk from Droughts

By using (global) hydrological and risk model models, we developed and applied several techniques to asses drought and water scarcity, disentangling the impact of driving forces such as long-term climate and socioeconomic changes and climate variability. Current work is entitled to finalize a risk-based approach for the assessment of drought and water scarcity by the incorporation of economic exposure and vulnerability within the framework, and to allow for the evaluation of different adaptation options. We are using our global drought modelling framework together with several stakeholders, for example to assess the influence of climate change on poverty with the World Bank and WRI.