Water and Climate Services

How can we accelerate climate actions and secure sustainable water resources?

Water and Climate services involve the production and transfer of climate information and knowledge to assist decision-making and help society to build resilience to future change.  The goal is to enhance awareness of on-going changes among citizens and to help managers in various societal sectors to operate their business under the new climatic conditions. The actions from users can be both reduction of emissions (mitigation) and new practices or adjusted thresholds in their daily work (adaptation). By transforming raw climate and water data into key-messages, tailored information and knowledge, the services support a science-based and pro-active approach where climate becomes an essential decision variable.

Current co-creation of water and climate services between service developers and users requires data providers to understand the needs of specific users and, likewise, the users to understand the potential and challenges in water and climate sciences. Both simple and advanced users need inspiring showcases, guidance and training, which are also essential components of water and climate services.

Experience and new discussion on services urges us to revaluate how access to data and instruments capable to include climate information and change in the decision-making process will be effective for a wide range of actors in various sectors, when managing the global water and climate crisis.

Research and Development questions

Roadmap for exploring robustness: How can we improve the robustness and explore the uncertainties in each step of the production chain of climate information? We develop tools to bridge time and space scale separated climate data (forecast to projections) and guide robust assessments. We emphasize on quality assurance when transferring knowledge, and describe climate sensitivity and variability, trends and uncertainties, and interactions between climate and water sectors.

Improve usability of existing/new indicators: Which indicator to use for a specific issue? How to link the climate signal and forecast at global scale with local applications? We will explore these questions by examining sector specific climate and water indicators with adaptive thresholds and design-values for operational businesses. The aim is to improve the confidence information of indicators while enhancing their usability. Global and local scales will be linked by working with specific users in case studies.

Co-creation with user community: How do stakeholders take up climate information? How to create engagement that will lead to climate actions? We explore these questions by evaluating the effect of different methods enhancing awareness and actions of the general public and creating engagement within specific user communities. The focus is co-creation with users to support climate actions, water management, planning, policy-making, education, or research. The aim is to put best practices into action.

Recent web-based water and climate services we have developed

Our core publications in this Scientific focus

Merks, J., Photiadou, C., Ludwig, F. and Arheimer, B., 2020. Comparison of open access global climate services for hydrological data. Hydrological Sciences Journal, doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2020.1820012

Contreras, E., Herrero, J., Crochemore, L., Pechlivanidis, I., Photiadou, C., Aguilar, C., Polo, M.J., 2020. Advances in the Definition of Needs and Specifications for a Climate Service Tool Aimed at Small Hydropower Plants’ Operation and Management. Energies, 13, 1827, doi.org/10.3390/en13071827

Weichselgartner J. and Arheimer B., 2019. Evolving climate services into knowledge-action systems. Weather, Climate, and Society 11 (2): 385-399. journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/WCAS-D-18-0087.1

Höltinger, S., Mikovits, C., Schmidt, J., Baumgartner, J., Arheimer, B., Lindström, G., Wetterlund, E. 2019. The impact of climatic extreme events on the feasibility of fully renewable power systems: a case study for Sweden, Energy 178: 695-713, doi: 10.1016/j.energy.2019.04.128

Pechlivanidis I. G., Gupta H. and Bosshard T., 2018: An information theory approach to identifying a representative subset of hydro-climatic simulations for impact modeling studies. Water Resources Research. DOI: 10.1029/2017WR022035

Donnelly, C., Ernst, K., Arheimer, B., 2018. A comparison of hydrological climate services at different scales by users and scientists. Climate Services 11:24-35, doi.org/10.1016/j.cliser.2018.06.002

Krysanova, V., Donnelly, C., Gelfan, A., Gerten, D., Arheimer, B., Hattermann, F. and Kundzewicz; Z.W., 2018. How the performance of hydrological models relates to credibility of projections under climate change, Hydrological Sciences Journal 63(5): 696-720 DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1446214

Alkan Olsson, J., Jonsson, A., Andersson, L., and Arheimer, B. 2011. A model supported participatory process: a socio-legal analysis of a bottom up implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. International J. of Agricultural Sustainability 9(2), 379-389. doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2011.582361