Observation & modelling of water resources

Robust, integrated modelling of catchment-scale hydrological response and water-quality dynamics is highly relevant to predict floods, droughts, groundwater recharge, land-atmosphere exchange and diffuse pollution within limited uncertainty. This is of critical importance for sustainable water resources planning and management to prevent or mitigate the risks related to these factors and to facilitate the development of suitable policies. The concepts and developed model frameworks will be, for example, of considerable interest for waterway authorities. In the Netherlands, we cooperate closely with Rijkswaterstraat, who is in the process of implementing the recent developments into their hydrological forecasting system.

Research on catchment hydrology concentrates on an innovative approach to better understand, model and predict hydrological processes at catchment scale. The main innovation is the landscape and ecosystem-based approach that allows model concepts to be transferred between different catchments with minimum calibration, making use of a Darwinian approach to determine root zone storage. In addition, we have developed dual-permeability models and applied them on meso-scale hillslope hydrological case studies to study the response to rainfall and associated slope stability.