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Test study 2: Seasonal forecasting of irrigation potentials

Groundwater abstraction for irrigation causes reduction in streamflow, which for low flows may be critical for the river ecosystems and for biotopes such as e.g. wetlands and marshes. Permissions for irrigation are today limited by a requirement related to a maximum reduction of low flows. Hence, forecasts of low flows some months in advance can optimise use of the groundwater resources, considering both environmental requirements and agricultural production.

Seasonal forecasting of low flows and irrigation potentials will be tested for a part of the Ringkøbing Fjord catchment, which currently is subject to research and data collection within the framework of the HOBE center. The probabilistic seasonal forecast system will be implemented and used for analysing the value of seasonal forecasting. The data assimilation system will be implemented for providing improved initial conditions of the hydrological system at time of forecast, which will be very important for the seasonal hydrological forecast. Two forecast horizons will be considered, respectively, a forecast mid-February which can be used for planning of agricultural crops, and a forecast mid-April to be used for issuing irrigation permissions.