#8/10 In brief: LIST RA17 – Build one of the best hydroclimatological observatories in the World

Published on 28/08/2018

Over the summer, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is publishing a series of bite-sized highlights from “New Horizons”, the Institute’s Annual Report 2017.

We cannot deny that that climate change has long-lasting impacts on our water resources. We can see the effects of this all around us: floods, heavy rainfall or even changes in the water levels of rivers. While we cannot overcome these impacts, at LIST we endeavour to understand, foresee and even anticipate the formation of natural catastrophes. To obtain such results, we have put in place a doctoral training unit in hydrological sciences, which has already welcomed around 15 doctoral researchers specializing in hydrology, remote sensing, soil erosion, hydrological modelling, etc. To give ourselves the best chances, we have joined forces with the most renowned universities in this domain, the TU Wien in Austria, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and finally the University of Luxembourg.

Together, we created Hydro-CSI, a dedicated research project, to not only encourage studies in the domain of water resources but also to better understand the fundamental hydrological functions of catchments, the areas of land where all the water run-off from them converges to the same outlet. The new generation of highly qualified experts, trained within our doctoral unit, is involved in the design, development, testing and marketing of innovative technological solutions, enabling more reliable predictions to be made. In partnership with this hotbed of young talents, we would like to carry out not only predictions over several hours but also projections for several decades relating to rising water levels and water channels.

Beyond the project itself, the competences and expertise of the young researchers that we welcome, associated with the tools that they will develop, are major milestones in guaranteeing a state-of-the-art national hydro-climatological observatory. We have already established this observatory, unique in Luxembourg, but above all, one of the best-equipped research sites in the world, in the hydrographic zone of the Alzette, one of the main rivers in Luxembourg, which crosses the country from south to north and is the source of numerous floods. Thanks to the observatory, our researchers have been continuously monitoring more than 80 sites for many years, relying on a very dense network of different sensors allowing them high quality spatial and temporal observation. The research developed by the doctoral students will enable us to ensure that our observatory remains at the cutting edge of the latest technologies and methodologies.

> This article originally featured in the “Train the next generation of world-renowned researchers” section of the report.

> The Institute invites you to read the report in full online. The next article to be published on list.lu will be “Develop materials for autonomous sensors and energy recuperation”.

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