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AWARE : A tool for monitoring and forecasting Available WAter REsource in mountain areas


AWARE is a research project that aims at providing and distribution in those drainage basins where is a major component of the annual water balance, such as the Alpine catchments. AWARE is funded with the contribution of the European Commission - Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry - under the Sixth Framework Programme. The duration of the project is of 3 years starting from July 2005. The aim of the AWARE project was to provide innovative tools for monitoring and predicting of water availability and distribution in those drainage basins where snowmelt is a major component of the annual water balance, a common condition in Alpine catchments. Recent droughts observed in these basins call for the need of an efficient technology to predict medium and long-term flows for sustainable water resources management. The project developed appropriate mathematical models to represent snow-pack dynamics and snowmelt runoff. These models are expressly designed to integrate Earth Observation data and in-situ hydrological and meteorological measurements, introducing therefore a novel approach to the representation of the involved physical pro cesses in time and space. Model innovation stems with the enhanced capability of Earth Observation data to provide continuous information on state variables, that can be poorly accounted for using the traditional approach based on input-output control. Model calibration, validation and demonstration was performed for representative catchments of different geographic conditions (climate, geology, geomorphology, hydrography) in the European Alps. Models were implemented in a geo-service for tailoring data and models to different environments under an integrated, but modulated approach capable of effective addressing the specific problems raising from different stakeholders, these including water policy makers, economic (hydropower companies, irrigation schemes, municipal water supply), and social (regional, basin and municipal authorities, citizens) stakeholders. The geo-service, fully compliant with the architecture of the Inspire initiative, is capable of coupling global and local data to compute, archive, upgrade and distribute snow derived information.

Project information

IREA - IInstitute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment

IREA-CNR - Milan, Italy; DIIAR-POLIMI - Milan, Italy; SLF-WSL - Davos, Switzerland; TUW - Vienna, Austria; ULFGG - Ljubljana, Slovenia; ICC - Barcelona, Spain; RSDE - Milan, Italy; UJI - Castellón de la Plana; Regione Lombardia, Italia; ARPA Val d'Aosta, Italia; ARPA Emilia Romagna, Italia; Monterosa 2000 S.p.A., Italia; Consorzio dell'Adda, Italy; ARSO, Environmental agency, Slovenia; JP VO-KA, Municipal water supply, Slovenia; SEL, Electropower Company of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Source of funding

Reference information



mountain areas, water management



Climate impacts

Droughts, Water Scarcity


Adaptation Measures and Actions


Water management

Geographic characterization


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