Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-276
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-276

  13 Oct 2021

13 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Lessons from the 2018–2019 European droughts: A collective need for unifying drought risk management

Veit Blauhut1, Michael Stoelzle1, Lauri Ahopelto2,3, Manuela I. Brunner1, Claudia Teutschbein4, Doris E. Wendt5, Vytautas Akstinas6, Sigrid J. Bakke7, Lucy J. Barker8, Lenka Bartošová9, Agrita Briede10, Carmelo Cammalleri11, Lucia De Stefano12, Miriam Fendeková13, David C. Finger14,15, Marijke Huysmans16, Mirjana Ivanov17, Jaak Jaagus18, Jiří Jakubínský9, Ksenija Cindrić Kalin19, Svitlana Krakovska20, Gregor Laaha21, Monika Lakatos22, Kiril Manevski23, Mathias Neumann Andersen23, Nina Nikolova24, Marzena Osuch25, Pieter van Oel26, Kalina Radeva24, Renata J. Romanowicz25, Elena Toth27, Mirek Trnka9, Marko Urošev28, Julia Urquijo Reguera29, Eric Sauquet30, Silvana Stevkova31, Lena M. Tallaksen7, Iryna Trofimova20, Michelle T. H. van Vliet32, Jean-Philippe Vidal30, Niko Wanders26, Micha Werner33, Patrick Willems34, and Nenad Živković35 Veit Blauhut et al.
  • 1Environmental Hydrological Systems, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Water and Development Research Group, School of Engineering, Aalto University, Finland
  • 3Freshwater Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, Finland
  • 4Department of Earth Sciences, Program for Air, Water and Landscape Sciences; Hydrology, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • 5School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
  • 6Laboratory of Hydrology, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Lithuania
  • 7Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 8UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, UK
  • 9Global Change Research Institute CAS, Brno, Czech Republic
  • 10Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Latvia, Latvia
  • 11European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
  • 12Facultad de Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain; and Water Observatory, Botín Foundation, Madrid, Spain
  • 13Miriam Fendeková, Univerzita Komenského v Bratislave, Slovak Republic
  • 14School of engineering, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • 15Energieinstitut an der Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz, Austria
  • 16Department of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussel, Belgium
  • 17Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology, Montenegro
  • 18Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • 19Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 20Laboratory of Applied Climatology, Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 21Institute of Statistics, University of Natural Resources and Live Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • 22Hungarian Meteorological Service, Budapest, Hungary
  • 23Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, 8830 Tjele, Denmark
  • 24Faculty of Geology and Geography, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria
  • 25Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
  • 26Water Resources Management Group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • 27Dept. of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 28Geographical Institute “Jovan Cvijić”, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Serbia
  • 29Department of Agroforestry Engineering, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica y de Biosistemas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
  • 30INRAE, RiverLy, Villeurbanne, France
  • 31Department of Meteorology, National Hydrometeorological Service, 1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
  • 32Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • 33IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Water Resources & Ecosystems Department, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 34Hydraulics and Geotechnics Section, Department of Civil Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 35Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract. Drought events and their impacts vary spatially and temporally due to diverse pedo-climatic and hydrologic conditions, as well as variations in exposure and vulnerability, such as demographics and response actions. While hazardous severity and frequency of past drought events have been studied in detail, little is known about the effect of drought management strategies on the actual impacts, and how the hazard is perceived by relevant stakeholders for inducing action. In a continental study, we characterised and assessed the impacts and the perceptions of two recent drought events (2018 and 2019) in Europe and examined the relationship between management strategies and drought perception, hazard and impacts. The study was based on a pan-European survey involving national representatives from 28 countries and relevant stakeholders responding to a standard questionnaire. The survey focused on collecting information on stakeholders’ perceptions of drought, impacts on water resources and beyond, water availability and current drought management strategies at national and regional scales. The survey results were compared with the actual drought hazard information registered by the European Drought Observatory (EDO) for 2018 and 2019. The results highlighted high diversity in drought perceptions across different countries and in values of implemented drought management strategies to alleviate impacts by increasing national and sub-national awareness and resilience. The study concludes with an urgent need to further reduce drought impacts by constructing and implementing a European macro-level drought governance approach, such as a directive, which would strengthen national drought management and lessen harm to human and natural potentials.

Veit Blauhut et al.

Status: open (until 24 Nov 2021)

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Veit Blauhut et al.

Veit Blauhut et al.

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Short summary
Recent drought events caused enormous damages in Europe. We therefore questioned the existence and effect of current drought management strategies on the actual impacts, and how drought is perceived by relevant stakeholders. Over 700 participant from 28 European countries provided insights to drought hazard and impact perception, and current management strategies. The study concludes with an urgent need to collectively combat drought risk via an European macro-level drought governance approach.
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