On Tuesday, November 21st, starting at 12:00 p.m., the PhD defense of the doctoral student Omar Cenobio Cruz will take place at L'Observatori de l’Ebre Library, entitled “Advancing hydrological modeling for understanding drought dynamics in the Ebro river basin. The role of Land Surface Models in coupled natural-human systems”, which has been carried out under the direction of Dr. Pere Quintana Seguí and Dr. Luis María Garrote de Marcos. The doctoral student is part of the PhD Group Geofísica (GRG) at L’Observatori de l’Ebre - Universitat Ramon Llull.
Droughts are a complex and multidimensional phenomenon. While global, their most severe consequences are observed in arid or semi-arid regions like the Iberian Peninsula. However, these hydrological extremes are not solely driven by natural processes. Human activities, including dam construction, groundwater abstractions, and irrigation practices, have significantly altered the natural water flow, leading to the current era being labeled the Anthropocene. This highlights the critical importance of water resources management in regions already facing variable and limited water availability.
This research applies various approaches to improve hydrological simulations using the physically based and spatially distributed hydrometeorological platform SASER (SAFRAN-SURFEX-Eaudyssée-Rapid) to consider the anthropogenic influences. These approaches aim to enhance (i) the temporal variability and patterns in precipitation in the Ebro river basin, (ii )the representation of hydrological processes, particularly for low flows where a genetic algorithm approach was implemented, and (iii) incorporate human-water management considerations into the current framework of SASER platform.
The results of this research have allowed us to advance hydrological process representation in a semi-arid region through the SASER platform, incorporating various approaches and a module for considering human-water management. These improvements contribute valuable insights into the dynamics of hydrological response and drought, offering new possibilities for studying and managing droughts in coupled natural-human systems.
The tribunal is made up of the President, Dr. Juan José Curto Subirats; the Secretary, Dr. Ana Iglesias; and the vocal, Dr. Jan Polcher.