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Automatic design of basin-specific drought indexes for highly regulated water systems

Authors: M. Zaniolo; M. Giuliani; A. F. Castelletti; A. F. Castelletti; M. Pulido-Velazquez;

Automatic design of basin-specific drought indexes for highly regulated water systems

Abstract

Socio-economic costs of drought are progressively increasing worldwide due to undergoing alterations of hydro-meteorological regimes induced by climate change. Although drought management is largely studied in the literature, traditional drought indexes often fail at detecting critical events in highly regulated systems, where natural water availability is conditioned by the operation of water infrastructures such as dams, diversions, and pumping wells. Here, ad hoc index formulations are usually adopted based on empirical combinations of several, supposed-to-be significant, hydro-meteorological variables. These customized formulations, however, while effective in the design basin, can hardly be generalized and transferred to different contexts. In this study, we contribute FRIDA (FRamework for Index-based Drought Analysis), a novel framework for the automatic design of basin-customized drought indexes. In contrast to ad hoc empirical approaches, FRIDA is fully automated, generalizable, and portable across different basins. FRIDA builds an index representing a surrogate of the drought conditions of the basin, computed by combining all the relevant available information about the water circulating in the system identified by means of a feature extraction algorithm. We used the Wrapper for Quasi-Equally Informative Subset Selection (W-QEISS), which features a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm to find Pareto-efficient subsets of variables by maximizing the wrapper accuracy, minimizing the number of selected variables, and optimizing relevance and redundancy of the subset. The preferred variable subset is selected among the efficient solutions and used to formulate the final index according to alternative model structures. We apply FRIDA to the case study of the Jucar river basin (Spain), a drought-prone and highly regulated Mediterranean water resource system, where an advanced drought management plan relying on the formulation of an ad hoc "state index" is used for triggering drought management measures. The state index was constructed empirically with a trial-and-error process begun in the 1980s and finalized in 2007, guided by the experts from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar (CHJ). Our results show that the automated variable selection outcomes align with CHJ's 25-year-long empirical refinement. In addition, the resultant FRIDA index outperforms the official State Index in terms of accuracy in reproducing the target variable and cardinality of the selected inputs set.

Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22 (4)

ISSN:1027-5606

ISSN:1607-7938

Countries
Italy, Spain, Switzerland
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Engineering Index (economics) Evolutionary algorithm Feature selection computer.software_genre Resource (project management) Redundancy (engineering) Selection (genetic algorithm) business.industry Contrast (statistics) Variable (computer science) Data mining business computer

Library of Congress Subject Headings: lcsh:Technology lcsh:TD1-1066 lcsh:Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering lcsh:Environmental sciences lcsh:GE1-350 lcsh:T lcsh:Geography. Anthropology. Recreation lcsh:G

Keywords

INGENIERIA HIDRAULICA, Technology, Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering, Drought, drought index, input variable selection, wrapper for feature selection, G, input variable selection, Geography. Anthropology. Recreation, GE1-350, TD1-1066, General Environmental Science, Drought, T, drought index, Environmental sciences, General Earth and Planetary Sciences, wrapper for feature selection

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    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
views
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