Water as primary commodity and as natural hazard
Fresh water is a primary commodity for life on land. It sustains food production and ecosystems, and it is the primary agent for transporting sediments and nutrients from the mountains to sea. But it can be a natural hazard when in over abundance: causing devastating floods, avalanches and landslides.
From source to sea
A natural unit of study is the catchment or river basin. A catchment’s upstream areas, often in mountain areas, provide water and sediments to the river network. The transmission zone, shaped by rivers, lakes, wetlands and groundwater bodies, transports water and sediments to the rivers outlet, where sediments are deposited in floodplains, estuaries, barrier coasts, coastal wetlands, mudflats and shelf seas.
Design of integrated solutions
Studying this complex system in its entirety enables the design of integrated solutions to cope with negative effects of climate change and population growth. Research groups in this research line are providing input to societal challenges such as future food and water security, increasing flood risk and decreasing biodiversity.