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  Information - HS5 Low flow and drought – estimation, propagation in the hydrologic cycle and forecasting (co-listed in AS & CL)

Event Information
Drought is one of the major weather related disasters and recent events have demonstrated Europe’s continuing exposure to this natural hazard. Low flows (streamflow and groundwater discharges at dry conditions) and drought (below average natural water availability of variables such as precipitation, soil moisture, groundwater and streamflow) are natural phenomena caused by a meteorological anomaly and modified by the physical characteristics of the land surface. It is important to advance our understanding of how different processes control the development of a drought as it propagates through the hydrological cycle. Low flow and drought estimation require the development of appropriate analysis tools and prediction techniques. Drought forecasting based on the combination of long-term meteorological forecasts, links to the climate system, and the understanding of drought propagation is of key importance for the mitigation of the potential impacts of drought. Drought-related local to continental scale analyses aim to quantify the potential impacts of past and future changes in climate and land-use on low flow and drought characteristics and/or related processes. Case studies that point out how nature and society are able to adapt to these shifts of drought climatology are important for assessing needs for continuous correction of vulnerability criteria and action thresholds.

The main objectives of this session are (a) to encourage methodological and practical studies dealing with low flow and drought estimation and forecasting, and (b) to foster the understanding of drought governing processes and the propagation of droughts in the hydrologic cycle, most notably with respect to drought forecasting.

We particularly encourage contributions on (i) the identification of the main factors governing low flow and drought at different scales, (ii) the estimation of low flow and drought characteristics from observed data (non-stationary time series, climatic variability, seasonal aspects) and at the ungauged site (statistical and physically based concepts and models), (iii) the characterisation of the spatial and temporal variability of low flow and drought, (iv) the potential impact of climate variability and land use change on low flow and drought, and (v) papers that address the uncertainty in low flow and drought estimation, with respect to natural factors (e.g. data quality, short records) as well as to anthropogenic influences (e.g. climate and land use changes).

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
Francis Chiew: "Modelling hydroclimatic variability for water resources management"
F. Chiew is the Program Leader "Climate Variability" in the Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Andy Young: "Low flow estimation in the United Kingdom: from statistics to time series"
A. Young is the Head of the River Regimes Group, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, UK


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