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Published on 09 April 2017

IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGES ON THE RUNOFF AND WATER MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTAIN REGIONS: EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS OF THE ALPS FOR THE CAUCASUS

Rolf Weingartner, Alexey Gunya

The aim of the article is to analyze the limits of knowledge transfer in the field of climate change and water resources management in different mountain regions – the Alps and the Caucasus. The main method is a comparative geographical analysis of climatic and hydrological data, as well as the method of regional analogues, which allows comparing regions similar in nature but different in development. Results (discussion). The Alps and the Caucasus have much in common that allows to compare current trends in change of the environment, in particular, of change of hydrological processes under the influence of climate. Reducing the proportion of melt water runoff, as well as an increase in the dry season in the late summer set the Alpine scientists and managers thinking of possible consequences in water management. Compared to the Alps, the Caucasus is clearly lagging behind in the study of climate change impacts on hydrological processes. In the Alps, the important role of the cryosphere, in particular, a decrease in melt water runoff is acknowledged. For the Caucasus, this trend could be confirmed only on the materials from the Central Caucasus, while for other regions reliable data are scarce or they are non-existent. Analysis of the impact of various factors on hydrological processes in the Alps and the Caucasus shows that at the present stage, the more powerful are the social and economic transformations that overshadow climate change. However, the role of climatic factors should not be discounted. The need to address short-term problems should not reduce attention to long-term problems. Problems of water management in the Alps (the fragmented water use, unequal access to water, a tangled system of law in the field of water use regulation) are characteristic also for the Caucasus. The Alpine experience of the integrated water management could be successfully used in the Caucasus. Conclusions. The knowledge transfer between regions with similar natural conditions, but at different levels of socio-economic development, allows taking into account the positive and negative experiences and avoiding some mistakes in the regulation of water resource management. In particular, the alpine experience may come in handy for the Caucasus region in the field of integrated water management and the creation of water storage.

CityBern, Moscow
CountrySwitzerland, Russia
UDC 91:001.89; 910.21; 551.582
Issue2017, № 1(Т.9)
Key words Climate change, runoff, water management, the Alps, the Caucasus
Number of views (1038)

Categories: Geo-ecological,-Recreational-and-Biomedical-Issues-of-SDMT

Tags: Кавказ, изменения климата, сток, водопользование, Альпы

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ISSN 1998-4502 (Print)                                                            ISSN 2499-975Х (Online)