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National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) 2012

Assessment and proactive planning to face drought

Βαγγέλης, Χαρίλαος Κοσμάς

Titre : Assessment and proactive planning to face drought

Εκτίμηση και προληπτικός σχεδιασμός αντιμετώπισης της ξηρασίας

Auteur : Βαγγέλης, Χαρίλαος Κοσμάς

Université de soutenance : National Technical University of Athens (NTUA)

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2012

Drought is a recurrent natural phenomenon, which is nowadays considered as a significant natural hazard, attracting the attention of a wide range of scientists, international organisations and governments. Droughts occur in virtually all climatic zones, regardless the high or low rainfall regime in an area and are mainly related to the reduction in the amount of precipitation over a long period of time. Although the water deficient countries, such as those of the third world, are mostly exposed to this hazard, there are signs that even the sufficiently developed countries of the north and especially the countries of the Mediterranean region, will face problems of water availability in the near future partly due to the increased frequency and magnitude of the drought events. The objective of the thesis is to study and analyse the phenomenon of drought, based on two main axes, the identification and characterisation of drought, namely the assessment of its severity, and the proactive planning to combat drought. Through a process of analysing drought as a uni-dimensional phenomenon (instead of a three-dimensional one), the emphasis on the characterisation of the phenomenon is directed towards the assessment of the intensity of drought events. This approach is original and its adoption fundamentally changes the way drought is studied. The thesis is finally facing the phenomenon of drought in such a way as to contribute to its better comprehension, assist in simplifying its simulation and create a framework to face drought based on the philosophy of Proactive Planning. Emphasis is given to the impact analysis and participatory processes for decision-making to combat drought. Furthermore, the thesis develops an innovative drought index, the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI), which with its strong theoretical basis may become the only parameter in the uni-dimensional analysis of drought. The RDI, is a simple drought index, however it incorporates two meteorological determinants (cumulative rainfall and potential evapotranspiration) making it an appropriate indicator for drought analysis under the anticipated climate change. In a second level, the thesis presents innovative proposals, related to Planning against Drought with an emphasis in Proactive Planning. Specifically, a system of annual drought forecasting is proposed, based on the RDI values of shorter reference time periods starting from the beginning of the hydrological year. Also, in the framework of the options proposed to combat drought, a rational hierarchical method for satisfying water demands in various sectors was proposed, with an innovative methodology called "brick wall". The method is valid for the distribution of limited available water supplies to various categories of users.

Mots Clés : RDI (Reconnaissance Drought Index) ; Drought ; Proactive planning ; Uni-demensional analysis ; Drought indices ; Reconnaissance drought index (RDI) ; Climate changes ; Decision support systems

Présentation (National Archive of PhD)

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Page publiée le 19 janvier 2017