Project 9

Managing the impacts of extreme events related to inputs of organic matter on the Ecosystem Services provided by water supply reservoirs.

Based in: Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain.

Objectives: the overall objective is to establish the casual link between extreme events, the input of organic matter from the watershed into water supply reservoirs, and the formation of DBPs during water treatment. To accomplish this, the PhD will apply state-of-the-art statistical analysis and modelling tools with also a focus on the future impacts on extreme events considering climate change projections. They will take advantage of the impressive long term record in Sau Reservoir (ES), with almost uninterrupted measurements since 1964, and also the high frequency records started in 2015 under the umbrella of NETLAKE. This will be fully supported by ATLL, the water supply company that manages the reservoir, who will also contribute an impressive on-line, high frequency analytical system for detecting DBPs after the treatment of reservoir water. The final aim is to quantify and predict the impact of extreme events on the Ecosystem Service at play (water supply) using the costs related to the avoidance of DBPs in treated water as an end-point for the analysis. The prediction of extreme events at the seasonal time scale (expertise provided by partner BSC) will be the keystone for assessment of the long term threat for water supply and the investigation of mitigation measures during extreme events both at the strategic and operational level. We want to use this case study as a flagship exemplifying how data collection and treatment from natural to engineered systems helps protect Ecosystem Services from threats posed by extreme events.

This student will be primarily based in the Catalan Institute for Water Research, Spain, supervised by Dr Rafa Marcé, and will be co-supervised by and spend study time with Dr Lisette Senerpont-Domis, Netherlands Institute of Ecology. The PhD will be a double degree awarded by University of Girona (ES) and Wageningen University (NL).