The Alps have been marked as the water tower of Europe for many decades because of their glacier-rich mountains, snowfields, and underground aquifers. Despite being protected from prolonged droughts due to its temperate climate and high elevation, in recent decades the Alpine region has faced several drought events. This situation primarily stems from shifting climate patterns that have resulted in a decline in water resources. Furthermore, climate projections indicate that rising water demand is expected in the future, resulting in greater susceptibility to drought in the region.
Traditionally, physically based hydrological models have been used to simulate the terrestrial water cycle and extreme events (flood and droughts) in the Alps. Nevertheless, these models require a substantial amount of data and require lengthy calibration procedures.
In accordance with the EU’s new policy on adapting to climate change, decision making should take place in view of uncertainty, and be based on the latest scientific knowledge. The use of cutting-edge digital technologies and climate services is integral to facilitating decision-making through digital transformation.