Case Study Catchments

REFRESH Catchment case studies - responding to future change

There are a number of global drivers of change currently acting on the environment, including climate change, land use change, changes in water resource requirements and atmospheric pollution. The extent and impact of these changes are set to change over time. In REFRESH we are concerned with what will happen to freshwater environments between now and 2060 and what effects this will have, in particular with reaching compliance with the Water framework Directive. We are also concerned with what management measures can be taken that will account for future change and whether the costs incurred are cost effective, proportionate and have other benefits,

We have six case study catchments where we have undertaken scenario analysis to see what climate, land use, water resource demand and pollution pressures may be imposed in future and how this will affect the chemical and ecological indicators of representative river basins across the European climate gradient.

These case studies were undertaken using a number of steps (see below) integrating catchment and lake modelling with socio-economic assessments. The work undertaken at each of the case study catchments is briefly summarised on the relevant web page for each case study. More details can be found following the links highlighted.

Scenario Catchments


1. Lake Pyhäjärvi /River Ylaneenjoki (Finland)
2. Vansjø-Hobøl (Norway)
3. River Thame (England)

4. Vltava (Czech Republic)
5. River Louros (Greece)
6. River Dee (Scotland)

Framework for integrated modelling and cost effectiveness case studies

Step 1: Identify non-compliance issues (with WFD) and define problems using monitoring data and consulting national experts and catchment-specific stakeholders
Step 2: Run models to provide baseline modelled flow and hydrochemistry conditions.
Step 3: Identify a series of management measures to counter non-compliance issue, also through consultation with stakeholders.
Step 4: Collate information (e.g. agronomic data through consulting national experts) outlining the implications of each management measure for diffuse pollution
Step 5: Assess efficacy of measures identified using the models to check compliance with the WFD and determine the efficiency of the measures at the catchment scale.
Step 6: Assess the cost effectiveness of mitigation measures which achieve compliance.
Step 7: Run the scenarios through the catchment-scale models without any measures. Compliance with the WFD will be checked using those ecological indicators identified as relevant for the catchment.
Step 8: Run the models to include the proposed measures found to be effective at Step 5 in each of the scenario runs. Compliance with the WFD will be checked, as will the catchment-scale efficiency of the measures. Comparison of the results from steps 5 and 8 will determine if the measures, effective at Step 5, will be more or less effective under climate change.