Vulnerability information

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The vulnerability information provided here based on a basic traffic light-like ranking with three categories: 'high vulnerability' (+++), 'moderate vulnerability' (++) and 'low vulnerability' (+) is qualitative, not normalized and unweighted. For that reason no final assessment of vulnerability is done. Additionally, vulnerability characterizations colored in grey are not in the scope of this study but relevant for the specific problem. For details on the vulnerability assessment concept, methodology and classification systems please refer to the complete report attached at the bottom of the page, as well as to the deliverable D11.2 of EUPORIAS ("White paper on sector specific vulnerabilities"), which can be found at here.

Vulnerability characterisation

Referring to the analysis of the critical situation, decision-making processes and critical climate conditions, one primary vulnerability can be identified (see the attachment below).

Vulnerability to spring-flood discharge (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by an inefficient reservoir capacity utilization which implies economic losses. Related decision-making processes imply the timely management of the reservoir levels and require lead times of several weeks to months. Critical climate conditions are high winter precipitation and sudden and significant increases in air temperature in spring possibly accompanied by high rainfall events during the spring flood.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: 3-6 months

  • Temporal scope for climate information: 3-6 months

Vulnerability assessment for S2D-vulnerability

Climate-impact type (+)(+++): the ‘climate impact type’ can be classified as ‘systemic climate impact’: the climatic impact is basically systemic since the snowpack buffers winter precipitation but also moderates discharge process and thus the spring flood development. Consequently, information on mean winter precipitation is suitable for this kind of problem since the timing of precipitation events is of minor importance.

However, the critical part is rather the onset of the spring-flood and its intensity which occur on a rather sub-seasonal time-scale (weeks). The related decision-making processes, however, require lead times of a couple of weeks to months. With respect to temperature the climate-impact type is rather ‘decision-conditioned or pseudo’ and thus the prediction of such events is technical very challenging and accompanied with great uncertainties.

Role of climate (+++): the role of climate is that of a resource since climate parameters define and control the snowpack which provides the water for hydropower production. This implies a potentially significant impact on decision-making since climate parameters constitute the economic basis.

Priority of scale (+++): decision-making processes on seasonal scale are of primary importance. No short-term decision-making processes and no long-term robust decision-options are available or desired.

Success criteria (+): the success criteria are primarily of economic nature and aligned to profit optimization. The general lack of ethical issues or societal interests moderates the severity of a seasonal critical situation.

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HSFS provides seasonal forecasts of the spring flood onset and volume (1-5 months ahead) in support of hydropower reservoir regulation planning.