Summer School on Water resources and the Water Cycle in a Changing World

4th -8th July, 2011 St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, UK

Sponsored by the WATCH “WATer and Global CHange” Project

A key component of the climate system is the global water cycle. As global temperatures increase and the climate
changes a more intense but variable water cycle is resulting in globally increased precipitation with regionally more
intense rainfall events leading to floods or failure in rainfall producing droughts. At the same time man’s demands on
water are increasing with engineering works (dams and reservoirs) and abstractions (for agriculture, industry and
cities) strongly modulating the natural flows of many large river systems, greatly influencing available water
resources, and increasingly causing conflicts between different water users.

This intensive 4 and a half day course will cover an introduction to the major issues in climate change, the water
cycle and water resources. This will include consideration of newly-developed global and regional data sets to
assess the past and future water cycle, the use of climate model outputs in hydrological analysis, large-scale
hydrological models, evaporation, trend analysis and the detection and attribution of extreme events.
The course will mainly consist of morning lectures given by international experts combined with afternoon discussion
sessions and some time for hands-on training. Participants will be asked to give a short presentation on their own
research interests, preferably showing a link with global change, and to share knowledge among themselves and
with the experts in the field.

The course will address in detail:

  1. Global water cycle and past and future water resources
  2. Regional case studies, continental to regional scale
  3. Extremes (floods and droughts)
  4. Human impacts on the water cycle

In addition discussion groups and exercises will explore:

  • How to access and make use of global and regional data sets and data from climate models
  • How to analyse time series
  • Regional and global issues in water resources

Who should attend?
The course is suitable for masters and PhD students as well as early career scientists, primarily studying or
conducting research within the area of water and global change. Priority will be given to applicants from the
developing world and particularly those who are interested in increasing their knowledge and learning more about
modern tools for analysing the global hydrological cycle. The activity will be conducted in English.

A restricted number of places are available. There will be no registration fee and no accommodation fees. Some
funds are available for travel for participants from the developing world. Participants will receive a certificate that
specifies a workload of 2 ects (European Credit Transfer System).