Pilot Study 3

Climate change adaptation in the new water regime in Puglia region, Italy

Overall aim

The pilot study investigated economic and social vulnerability to extreme climate events such as droughts and the already observable trend towards reduced water yields in the region of Puglia, with a special focus on coastal areas. The aim was to use the findings to improve existing water and coastal planning methodologies and to develop guidelines for taking into account existing and future climate scenarios. 

Study area

The pilot study covered selected watersheds and coastal areas in Puglia region, Italy. 


Based on regional climate model outputs from WP3 covering the period 1970 to 2070, extreme event indicators for coastal areas were investigated using maps and aggregated data to report the spatial distribution of meteorological and agricultural drought indices.

In addition, building on water balance evaluations, streamflow-based indices were selected and applied to derive a set of indicators for hydrological droughts that enabled the study of changes in the frequency, duration and magnitude of low-flow extremes.

Relationships (e.g. thresholds, non-linearity) between meteorological, agricultural and hydrological drought indicators were then investigated.

Existing climate scenarios for the southern Adriatic were analysed in Puglia's coastal area. These scenarios provided maps of sea surface temperature, salinity and currents in future years, making it possible to evaluate trends.

The DESYCO decision support system for coastal climate change impact assessment was used to undertake an integrated assessment of multiple climate change impacts represented by indicators in relation to vulnerable coastal systems. The system uses a regional risk assessment methodology that ranks the natural and human targets and areas potentially at risk from climate change, identifies hotspots and priority areas for intervention, and defines adaptation strategies using site-specific physical, ecological and socioeconomic data.

Finally, climate adaptation policies, guidelines and methodologies were analysed and developed to support and update existing water and coastal planning and management tools.


Pilot Study 3 Report: Adaptation in water and coastal areas in Puglia, Italy