Nonstationarity in Water Resources – Central European Perspective


  • Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz

    1. Professor and Research Director, Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznan, Poland; and Senior Scientist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg A62, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
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  • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0054-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA).Discussions are open until six months from print publication.



Kundzewicz, Zbigniew W., 2011. Nonstationarity in Water Resources – Central European Perspective. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 47(3): 550-562. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00549.x

Abstract:  Nonstationarity in variables describing water quantity and water quality characteristics is reviewed, and an attempt to interpret nonstationary behavior is made with particular reference to the Central European region. Nonstationarity in water-related variables results from several nonclimatic and climatic factors. Albeit evidence of climate change in Central Europe is clear, anthropogenic nonclimatic change, such as land-use or land-cover changes, water engineering measures, and in-catchment water management play important roles. Systemic socioeconomic and political changes are the main factors responsible for the observed change in water quality in the region. The observed climate change in the Central European region has not been dramatic enough to persuade the water management community that changes of standards, criteria, and evaluation procedures should be made. Projections for the future largely differ between models and scenarios, hence information obtained from climate models is found too vague to be used. However, the water management community shows interest in climate change observations, projections, and impact assessments. Numerous hydrological research projects to tackle nonstationarity have been undertaken in the region. Also important acts of legislation, such as the European Union’s Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive can be regarded in the context of nonstationarity of water-related variables.