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Project HYdrological Modelling for Assessing Climate Change Impacts at differeNT Scales

HYdrological Modelling for Assessing Climate Change Impacts at differeNT Scales (HYACINTS) will develop new methodologies and tools to enable easier and more accurate use of regional scale climate and hydrological models to address local scale water resources problems.

HYACINTS will recieve a funding of 2 M € from the Danish Council for Strategic Research under the Programme Commision on Energy and Environment.

In addition the partners contribute 1.2 M € to the project.

Project number n/a
Geographical coverage Denmark
Budget (in €) 3200000
Programme The Programme Commision on Energy and Environment (Danish Council for Strategic Research)
Web site

The overall objectives of HYACINTS are to establish improved tools and methodologies for assessing effects of climate change on water resources at both regional and local scales and to test these on cases relevant for the water supply sector in Denmark and for an international case relevant for export of Danish water resources management expertise. The specific scientific objectives are:

  • To make a full dynamic coupling of a climate model code (HIRHAM) and a distributed physically based hydrological model code (MIKE SHE).
  • To further develop precipitation downscaling and bias correction methods when converting climate model results to hydrological model inputs.
  • To develop grid refinement methods for hydrological models and methodologies for optimal conceptualisation, simulation and downscaling of complex geological environments.
  • To develop new methods for estimation of precipitation from remote sensing data, particularly aimed at mountainous regions with poor data coverage.
  • To establish a coupled climate-hydrological model for the entire Denmark based on the regional climate model HIRHAM and the MIKE SHE based national hydrological model (DK-model) and to assess the hydrological change at local scale at selected cases.
  • To assess the uncertainties related to prediction of climate change effects on water resources at local scale, including all sources of uncertainty (climate scenarios, model structure, geological interpretations, model parameters and adaptation strategies).
Results A new fully dynamic coupling exploiting OpenMI technology will be established between the climate model code HIRHAM and the distributed physically based hydrological model code MIKE SHE . Based on the coupled model system, an integrated climate-hydrological model for the entire Denmark will be established by combining the regional climate model HIRHAM and the national hydrological model (DK model ). As part of the coupling a statistical downscaling and bias-correction method will be developed for conversion of data from large (25 km) climate grids to small (e.g. 1 km) hydrological grids. Remote sensing data and techniques will be utilised and further developed with respect to assessing and downscaling of global precipitation datasets in mountainous areas where precipitation is controlled by orographic effects. In order to facilitate downscaling of hydrological models from regional models (e.g. the existing DK model) to local scale models with more detailed geological and topographical resolution, improved grid refinement methods based on the local model builder concept will be developed. Furthermore, improved methods will be developed for handling complex geological environments when changing model scale. The total uncertainty in hydrological change predictions taking all sources of uncertainty into account will be assessed and an improved methodology for assessing the effects of geological uncertainty will be developed.

Expected output

The intention of the present project is to develop the scientific basis for the next generation of hydrological impact assessment methodologies caused by future climate changes. The project will provide the foundation for operational hydrological change assessment with higher accuracy and better precision than previously developed.
Period [01/01/2008 - 31/12/2012]