The droughts of 2018-2020 in the Netherlands created great social distress, induced huge economic damages in agricultural production, disrupted river navigation and damaged buildings and unique nature. Drought events are among the world’s most impact-full disasters and can be characterized as a slow-onset event whose impacts build up over time and extend spatially in relation to a range of contextual factors. With the projected increase in drought frequencies and the mounting pressure on water and natural resources, it is important for scientists and policy makers to better understand drought and their impacts to justify policy and planning decisions. The relation between drought, impacts and adaptation measures has rarely been analysed. This research aims to fill this knowledge gap as part of the WUNDER project. The WUNDER project aims to develop an integrated monitoring and modelling system for understanding the dynamics of drought processes and the behaviour of water-soil-plant systems during prolonged drought events. Within the WUNDER project, this research will have a specific focus on the socioeconomic implications of changes in the national water allocation and the adaptive capacity of farmers at the national, regional, and local levels, via selected use cases. In addition, this research will assess the role of citizen science and their potential use for modelling drought and impacts.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.