Research at catchment/basin/regional scale

Catchment hydrology and territorial studies

For the strategic planning of water management at the catchment scale, integrated modeling is a novel approach and its potential is used to couple knowledge and models from different disciplines and research fields (Gaiser et al.,2007). The integrated approach can also enable decision makers and planners to evaluate the trade-offs within the landscape under different hydrologic scenarios and management objectives (Yates et al., 2005). There is much information about the application of integrated hydrological models to obtain a better understanding of how water flows through a watershed in response to hydrologic events and about the allocation of water resources that become available to different uses in response to those events (Yates et al., 2005). Some hydrological models also offer the possibility to study the impact of possible future climate and land use changes on water resources, and this kind of analysis is of great importance in those regions characterized by water scarcity, vulnerability to desertification, and climate variability. In fact, hydrology studies are becoming more important in arid regions where climate elements - particularly rainfall - are severe, sporadic and difficult to forecast.

Starting: 8.01.2006
Scheduled ending: 23.09.2019
Real ending: 23.09.2019

The purpose of this research is then to respond to the increasing request for reliable tools in the domain of water resource management and planning in semi-arid areas. This need is related to the increasing gap between water demand and supply, to water quality deterioration, scarcity of reliable data, lack of measurements and specific information of relevant water flow parameters.

In addition, this research allows the analysis of different future scenarios that are the reference baselines for long-term strategic planning of sustainable water resource management. Successful territory management is based on evaluating and monitoring the impacts of possible changes (climate, land use, etc.) on water resources, and on the consequent assessment of possible solutions and mitigation strategies (policies and technologies).


Such research line was motivated by the need to determine the natural water availability in a basin, which is an essential prerequisite to understand the economic and social assessment of a semi-arid Mediterranean country, characterized by water scarcity and drought.

As a short-term impact of drought events, water availability temporarily diminishes. Coupled with an increased demand, particularly for human needs, this leads to substantial water stress for humans and ecological systems. Over the long run, groundwater resources and reservoirs will not be able to recover from over-exploitation, and will be exacerbated by times of drought, turning towards a situation of water scarcity. Moreover, an increase in droughts due to climate change effects via reduced precipitation and increased temperatures will lead to a further decline in water availability. For this reason  it is also important to evaluate alternative future scenarios.


This research will allow defining the most reliable tools to be used in order to study the water balance and all the freshwater related issues at catchment scale. All the data collected for the application of hydrological models will constitute a database of all the investigated areas. In addition, the evaluation of alternative future scenarios will support stakeholders and decision makers in planning interventions.

  • Strengths

All the outputs from the previous research lines can be integrated and up-scaled within the framework of this research. This allows studying the impact of: i) the current situation on water resources and ii) possible climate and land use changes scenarios.

  • Weaknesses

The Mediterranean region is characterized by lack of some systematic measurements, such as stream-flow, and by scarcity of available data. In some cases this situation makes it difficult to calibrate the hydrological models.

Reference person/s: Lamaddalena Nicola /
Collaborators: D'Agostino Daniela / Hamdy Atef / Scardigno Alessandra / Todorovic Mladen /
Thesis: Evaluation of annualized Agricultural Non Point Source model (AnnAGNPS) for runoff, peak flow and sediment yield estimations in the Carapelle watershed, Puglia Region (Southern Italy).
Assessment of irrigation scenarios for cotton and wheat in North-Eastern Syria
Study on the evaluation of crop irrigation water requirements in the Apulia region (Southern Italy) with the aim to optimize water use in agriculture
Water allocation strategies under scarcity and specific socio-economic and environmental conditions in the Central Jordan Valley
Analyzing spatial and temporal variability of soil water content in the IAMB experimental field for irrigation management
Assessment of potential water scarcity and water delivery performance in large-scale pressurized irrigation scheme
Field-scale spatial variability of hydraulic properties estimated by infiltrometry and time domain reflectometry
A methodological approach to the development of integrated coastal zone management indicators for Port Said area (Egypt)
Assessment of zones vulnerable to pollution caused by nitrate and seawater intrusion: an example of Apulia region
Modeling water balances and assessing scenarios in the Candelaro basin (Apulia, Italy)
Spatial variability of solute transport mechanisms based on time domain reflectometry and generalized transfer function model
A comparative analysis between simulated and measured water deliveries at farm level in an irrigation district managed by the water users association
Integrated water resources management: a case study for Northern – Eastern Sinai Peninsula in Egypt
Evaluation of water users’associations performance in the Aksu irrıgation project area
Initiation d’un outil pour l’aide à la décision en cultures sous serre au Liban
Management, operation and maintenance of large scale distribution systems in the GAP Region (Southeastern Anatolia Project)
Developing monitoring and evaluation systems for Water Users Organizations. The case study of District 4 « Sinistra-Ofanto » irrigation system (Consorzio per la Bonifica della Capitanata)
Equivalent pipeline methodology in computation of water hammer. Effects in branched irrigation network. Analysis and possibilities
Prévention de l’intrusion de l’eau de mer par la recharge artificielle de la nappe phréatique sur la côte libanaise
Climate change, climatic water balance and crop water requirements: investigation on the next 100 years for the Apulia Region
A (GIS) platform for the evaluation of a water resources system (Case study from Egypt)
Monitoring of groundwater salination by seawater intrusion on the Lebanese coast
Assessment of regional irrigation requirements considering water scarcity: application to Stornara and Tara Consortium.
Optimisation de la gestion de barrage en milieu semi-aride. Cas de Barrage Ghezala
Performance evaluation of Lower Seyhan irrigation project after turnover of management to irrigation association
A methodology for assessing regional irrigation water demand
La gestion participative de l'irrigation dans le projet Moyen Sebou et Inaouen Aval. Cas du secteur II (Maroc)
Constructed wetlands an appraisal of design efficiency and economy
Irrigation management under drought conditions
Amalgamation of GIS and environmental indicators for decision making in water resources management
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