Adapting water allocation management to drought scenarios
- Università degli Studi di Milano – Agricultural, Agri-food and Environmental Economics and Policy Department, Italy
Abstract. Climate change dynamics have significant consequences on water resources on a watershed scale. With water becoming scarcer and susceptible to variation, the planning and reallocation decisions in watershed management need to be reviewed. This research focuses on an in-depth understanding of the current allocation balance of water resources among competitors, placed along the course of the Adda River. In particular, during the summer period, the demand for water dramatically increases. This is due to the increase in irrigation activities in the lower part of the basin and to the highest peaks of tourist inflow, in the Como Lake and Valtellina areas. Moreover, during these months, the hydroelectric reservoirs in the upper part of the Adda River basin (the Valtellina) retain most of the volume of water coming from the snow and glacier melt. The existing allocation problem among these different competing users is exacerbated by the decreasing water supplies. The summer of 2003 testified the rise in a number of allocation problems and situations of water scarcity that brought about environmental and economical consequences. The RICLIC project is committed to the understanding of water dynamics on a regional scale, to quantify the volumes involved and offer local communities an instrument to improve a sustainable water management system, within uncertain climate change scenarios.