The islands of Macaronesia are not spared from the effects of climate change, being very vulnerable to their consequences given their particular geographical situation, insularity, remoteness from the continent, fragmentation, external dependency, scarcity of natural resources, demographic density, dependence on the tourism sector and great biodiversity.
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During the 1980s and 1990s, the neighbourhood of Augustenborg in Malmö was an area of social and economic decline and was frequently flooded by an overflowing drainage system. Between 1998 and 2002, the area was regenerated. The physical changes in infrastructure included the creation of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS), including 6 Km of water channels and ten retention ponds.
The Kis-Sárrét area is located in south-eastern Hungary close to the Romanian border. The area is part of the Körös-Maros National Park and is included in the Natura 2000 network. It hosts numerous plants, animals, and habitat types of EU community importance. Its landscape has undergone dramatic changes during the past 200 years. In particular, extensive marshes were reduced and altered as a result of water regulations between 1856 and 1879. As a consequence, many areas constantly or temporarily covered by water disappeared, and the traditional management of the natural landscape changed.
The Ebro delta (Catalonia, Spain) and its coastal lagoons (Alfacada and Tancada) are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly to sea level rise. In combination with sediment deficit due to river regulation and subsidence, sea lever rise can lead to exacerbated coastal erosion and retreat. Local management practices (e.g. intensive rice farming) have also affected the natural habitats and species of the delta, causing wetland loss and changes in salinity and water quality.
The Albert canal in the eastern part of Flanders connects the industrial zones around Liege with the harbour of Antwerp. Ships can continue their way at both ends of the canal: via the river Scheldt to the Netherlands and via the river Meuse to France. In the future, the Meuse basin, from which the Albert canal receives its water, is projected to experience more and longer periods of low river discharge, as a consequence of climate change. Thus, less water is expected to be available for sluicing ships. This would limit inland navigation.
Historically, the Regge was a free-flowing shallow lowland river which meandered through a landscape containing marshes, wet meadows and sandy levees. To facilitate shipping, from 1848 onwards the river was straightened by cutting off meanders, and the river channel was deepened and widened. Dams were built to better regulate the river flow, and the floodplain was embanked to protect the adjacent land from flooding. In 1935, the river was almost completely canalised, reducing its length from roughly 70 km to 50 km.
The former industrial area “Luciline” in Rouen, along the Seine river, has been profoundly re-designed into an ecodistrict covering 9 hectares in total and including both climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. Sustainable living is the core principle of the neighbourhood re-design. Sustainability solutions are implemented in fields playing an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, such as energy, water, biodiversity, transport and planning.
91% of Italian municipalities are currently under risk of river and pluvial flooding, an important increase as compared to 2015 when 88% of municipalities were at risk (ISPRA, 2018). These already fragile hydrogeological conditions are worsened by the growing consumption of soil, which occurs more in Northern Italy than in the rest of the country.
Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park is a protected natural space, a unique Mediterranean wetland of great natural and cultural value due to the hydrographic basin and geology on which it sits. The confluence of two rivers in an area of minimum slope causes their waters to overflow, which together with the underground contribution of a large aquifer leads to the formation of a puddled river zone: the fluvial flats.
Author of the picture: Guillermo Cobos Campos/Fototeca CENEAM
Until the 70s, the lower course of the Arga River near the confluence with the Aragon River flowed with a meandering channel, occupying a wide flood plain characterized by intense fluvial dynamics. In this situation, it was considered necessary to carry out works to contain river floods, by rectifying and channel the section stretching from the town of Falces to the mouth of the Aragón River.