Workpackage 3


Assessment of impacts on different compartments



Prof. A. Pastor

University of Alicante, Spain (Partner 3)



To identify and assess impacts on different compartments at each study site



Impacts are trends of loss of sustainability, and an analysis of the changes over time was  made for the systems at the study sites.

Firstly, in order to assess impacts, indicators of changes were chosen for each area of concern, e.g. on water quality and quantity (hydrology), environmental and biological resources (ecology), socio-culture and economic (socioeconomy), using inputs from Workpackage2. Then changes in different compartments were assessed using “historical” information at different scales. The spatial and time scales of the trends were different according to the issues and the methods applied, and were those specified in Workpackage1.

The local communities and key stakeholders were involved in the assessment to provide their perception of the changes.

The following compartments were analysed: socioeconomy (e.g., employment, production, income, economic structures, resources); ecology and hydrology (e.g., landscape, biological resources and conditions, physical conditions, land uses); cultural heritage (e.g., hydraulic archaeology, traditional irrigation methods; role of rural women as users).

Concerning the time scales, for the medium term (few decades) questionnaires were used to assess past situation; for the long terms, historical archive information (photographs, maps and written documents), old cartography and archaeological remains were used to establish the baseline conditions and changes.

Human perception of change was considered in the impact assessment, and the results were compared with those obtained from other sources, biological and sedimentological. Bioindicators of ecological short and long term changes were used for the impact assessment, exploiting population and behavioural variation in key animal species. In principle any environmental change would be reflected in changes in biological adaptation, through evolutionary (long term), developmental (life history term) and physiological (short term) changes. Other biological indicators, such as water plants and some other clonal species, marsh vegetation, and sedimentary records (information in sedimentary cores from the water body) were eventually used to assess past situation and changes over decades.

The quantitative information gathered in Workpackage2 and the indicators of changes analysed in this workpackage were used to develop models of trends. The models developed were used to develop alternative scenarios (Workpackage4).



Indicators of impacts – these were demonstrated to stakeholders and interested persons

Impact assessment for each case study

Models of trends of change for the case studies


Milestones and expected results

Impact assessment for each case study



See the detailed description of the other workpackages:

  1. workpackage 1

  2. workpackage 2

  3. workpackage 3

  4. workpackage 4

  5. workpackage 5


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