Seasonal and Long-Term Prediction of Low Flows in the Rhine Basin



Persons involved

Mehmet C. Demirel, MSc (PhD student)

dr. ir. Martijn J. Booij (daily supervisor)

prof. dr. ir. Arjen Y. Hoekstra (promotor)


Dr. Ir. Cornelis Lely Stichting / University of Twente


2008 – 2012


Low flows in rivers may result in several types of problems to society, e.g. lack of water for drinking water supply, irrigation, industrial use and power production, hindrance to navigation and deterioration of water quality. It is expected that climate changes will to lead to drier summers in Western Europe and therefore possibly to more frequent and more severe low flows in rivers in the future. Facing these problems, it is crucial for low flow management that more accurate seasonal (months) and long-term (decades) predictions of low flows become available. The objective of this project is to contribute to the improvement of seasonal and long-term prediction of low flows in the Rhine basin by analyzing historical trends and estimating future trends of low flow generating mechanisms (such as precipitation deficits, groundwater discharge and snow melt) and determining related low flows. This will be done using data-based methods (such as statistical modeling, time series analysis and trend analysis techniques), output from climate and hydrological models, and climatological, hydrological and geographical data. Results of the project include improved insight in low flow generating mechanisms in the Rhine basin for different seasons, tools for seasonal and long-term prediction of low flows and improved insight in climate change impacts on low flows in the Rhine basin.