Project:Completion of Project Climate Cascades: Impact of toxic substances and pathogens on man and ecosystems
Client:Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM)
Partners:Utrecht University - Department of Physical Geography
Objective:The objective of this project is to finish the UU-RIVM project Climate Cascades by writing and publishing a number of publications focussing on the impacts of climate change on metal and pathogen transport in lowland catchments.

A few years ago project Climate Cascades was initiated by a consortium consisting of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Utrecht University, VITO (Belgium), and ALTERRA. The project aims at gaining an improved understanding on the effects of climate change on contaminants in the hydrological system. The outcomes of this project were/are reported by means of a few scientific publications. In the FutureWater project "Completion Project Climate Cascades" the objective is to submit and revise a few of these articles, focussing on the impacts of climate change on heavy metal and pathogen transport in a lowland catchment.

Climate change will likely influence the concentrations and loads of contaminants in and towards ground- and surface waters. To have a better understanding on the effects of climate change on contaminants in the hydrological system, a consortium was formed a few years ago, consisting of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Utrecht University, VITO (Belgium), and ALTERRA. The project was entitled as “Climate Cascades”, which represents interrelated processes that occur as a result of climate change, and the influences of these processes that are exerted on man and ecosystems.

In the project “Climate Cascades”, Utrecht University adopted the task to develop a “River Basin Model” aiming at simulating the climate change-induced changes in catchment-scale heavy metal and pathogen concentrations and loads. The “River Basin Model” has been developed by implementing and applying a conceptual lumped hydrological model, called WALRUS (Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator), in a semi-distributed way. For the implementation and application of the model the catchment of the Dommel River (i.e. located in the border region of the Netherlands and Belgium) was selected as study area. Subsequently, a metal transport module was coupled with the hydrological model in order to simulate Cd and Zn concentrations and loads in ground- and surface water. Following the coupling between the hydrological model and the metal transport module, a pathogen transport model was coupled with the hydrological model in order to simulate the transport of Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium from land surface and sewage to surface waters.

The outcomes of the studies as mentioned above were and are reported by means of scientific publications. The aim of this project is to finish two papers that were initiated at the Utrecht University. The first paper focussing on the effects of climate change on metal transport has already been submitted and is currently in review. The second paper focussing on the effects of climate change on pathogen transport is in development and has to be submitted. The main aim of this project is to finish these papers and to guide them to publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Publications

  • 2017 - Water, Air, and Soil PollutionWijngaard, R.R, M. van der Perk, B. van der Grift, T.C.M. de Nijs, M.F.P. Bierkens. 2017. The Impact of Climate Change on Metal Transport in a Lowland Catchment. Water Air Soil Pollut, 228, 107, doi:10.1007/s11270-017-3261-4 .X

    The Impact of Climate Change on Metal Transport in a Lowland Catchment

    Wijngaard, R.R, M. van der Perk, B. van der Grift, T.C.M. de Nijs, M.F.P. Bierkens