WATER2050: Impact of climate change on shallow subsurface water resources in the next 50 years
WATER2050 deals with the evolution of water resources from now to a century ahead (2050-2100) as a function of climate change and anthropic pressures. WATER2050 more specifically concerns the shallow subsurface water resources in temperate climates, which provide large temporary storage through the variations between wetter and drier seasons. Directly connected to the surface and atmospheric water cycles, they are vulnerable of subtle changes in atmospheric forcing. Among other regions, it is the case of Brittany where the oceanic climate provides regular precipitations, but where the crystalline basement only provides for limited storage capacities resulting challenging the sustainability of water resources.
WATER2050 aims at identifying the dominant factors of the recharge, storage and discharge of free aquifers that should be modeled at the regional scale on the long term to assess the effects of climate change on the availability of water resources. Climate change as well as geological structures will especially be considered as two essential but uncertain factors, climate because of the uncertain evolution scenarios and geology because of the lack of resolution of its hydrodynamic characterization. Vulnerability and adaptation will be investigated based on the produced evolution scenarios. WATER2050 will set up the necessary modeling framework to leverage the existing knowledge on geology, geomorphology and climatology and the available data for the past decades both in aquifers and rivers to provide dynamic scenario of resources evolution for the next 50-100 years. Low flow periods will be specifically studied in their relation with climate forcing and critical geological storage capacities.
From limited quantities of information, the challenge is to set up modeling strategies to constrain water balances on a broad range of temporalities (months, seasons, years). To this end, the project will seek deep understanding of the lithological and geological controls on the fluxes exchange between the surface and the subsurface. It will investigate the structure of aquifer storage and its dynamics of drainage to the hydrographic system. Recession data will especially be handled to determine spatial variations of storages and discharges to capture the diversity of response times of the shallow aquifers. Correlations with geological structures and rock types will especially be investigated to extrapolate findings from gauged to ungauged basins.
The candidate should have hydrology and hydrogeology knowledge with advanced competences in environmental modeling. He/She will need collaborative skills to work with the different academic and non-academic partners involved in the project.