A Simplified Water Accounting Procedure to Assess Climate Change Impact on Water Resources for Agriculture across Different European River Basins Academic Article uri icon

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  • European agriculture and water policies require accurate information on climate change impacts on available water resources. Water accounting, that is a standardized documentation of data on water resources, is a useful tool to provide this information. Pan-European data on climate impacts do not recognize local anthropogenic interventions in the water cycle. Most European river basins have a specific toolset that is understood and used by local experts and stakeholders. However, these local tools are not versatile. Thus, there is a need for a common approach that can be understood by multi-fold users to quantify impact indicators based on local data and that can be used to synthesize information at the European level. Then, policies can be designed with the confidence that underlying data are backed-up by local context and expert knowledge. This work presents a simplified water accounting framework that allows for a standardized examination of climate impacts on water resource availability and use across multiple basins. The framework is applied to five different river basins across Europe. Several indicators are extracted that explicitly describe green water fluxes versus blue water fluxes and impacts on agriculture. The examples show that a simplified water accounting framework can be used to synthesize basin-level information on climate change impacts which can support policymaking on climate adaptation, water resources and agriculture.


  • Hunink, Johannes
  • Simons, Gijs
  • Suárez-Almiñana, Sara
  • Solera, Abel
  • Andreu, Joaquín
  • Giuliani, Matteo
  • Zamberletti, Patrizia
  • Grillakis, Manolis
  • Koutroulis, Aristeidis
  • Tsanis, Ioannis
  • Schasfoort, Femke
  • Contreras, Sergio
  • Ercin, Ertug
  • Bastiaanssen, Wim

publication date

  • October 1, 2019