Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-174
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-174
 
22 Jun 2022
22 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Analyzing the informative value of alternative hazard indicators for monitoring drought risk for human water supply and river ecosystems at the global scale

Claudia Herbert1 and Petra Döll1,2 Claudia Herbert and Petra Döll
  • 1Institute of Physical Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, 60438, Germany
  • 2Senckenberg Leibniz Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt (SBiK-F), Frankfurt am Main, 60325, Germany

Abstract. Streamflow drought hazard indicators (SDHI) are mostly lacking in large-scale drought early warning systems (DEWS). This paper presents a new systematic approach for selecting and computing SDHI for monitoring drought risk for human water supply from surface water and for river ecosystems that is also relevant for meteorological or soil moisture drought. We rec-ommend considering the habituation of people and ecosystems to the streamflow regime (e.g., a certain interannual variability or relative reduction of streamflow) when selecting indicators. Distinguishing four indicator types, we classify indicators of drought magnitude (water deficit during a pre-defined period) and severity (cumulated magnitude since onset of the drought event). We quantify eight existing and three new SDHI globally using the global hydrological model WaterGAP2.2d. We recommend streamflow hazard indicators that should be included in large-scale DEWS as they are suitable for risk systems that are differently adapted to low water availability and characterized by either perennial or intermittent streamflow regime and the existence or not of large reservoirs. Drought magnitude is best quantified by return period or relative deviation from mean, and severity by return period or water volume below a threshold relative to mean annual streamflow. Both anomaly and deficit indicators should be provided.

Claudia Herbert and Petra Döll

Status: open (until 03 Aug 2022)

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Claudia Herbert and Petra Döll

Data sets

Streamflow drought hazard indicators for monitoring drought risk for human water supply and river ecosystems at the global scale Claudia Herbert and Petra Döll https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6647609

The global water resources and use model WaterGAP v2.2d: model description and evaluation Müller Schmied, H., Cáceres, D., Eisner, S., Flörke, M., Herbert, C., Niemann, C., Peiris, T. A., Popat, E., Portmann, F. T., Reinecke, R., Schumacher, M., Shadkam, S., Telteu, C.-E., Trautmann, T., and Döll, P. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.918447

Claudia Herbert and Petra Döll

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Short summary
This paper presents a new systematic approach for selecting global-scale hazard indicators for monitoring drought risk for human water supply and river ecosystems. The new taxonomy distinguishes indicators by their inherent assumptions about the habituation of people and the ecosystem to the streamflow regime and their level of drought characterization, namely drought magnitude (water deficit during a pre-defined period) and severity (cumulated magnitude since beginning of the drought event).
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