MEDROPLAN – Mediterranean Drought Preparedness and Mitigation Planning

Background and Goals

As a part of MEDROPLAN, guidelines are being developed that follow an integrated approach for addressing drought. These guidelines present a risk management perspective in order to minimise the consequences of drought on both resources and the population as much as possible. The finished guidelines will be translated into six languages.

Water resources in semi-arid countries are scarce, particularly in the Mediterranean region, and annual availability levels are difficult to predict. Water management problems have increased, even without the occurrence of drought, as a result of heightened demand due to population growth and higher standards of living. Water scarcity coupled with the effects of drought, which is a recurring phenomenon in every climate, has a dramatic effect on the economy, environment and population in Mediterranean countries. Often the primary response to drought involves expensive measures, when the need for comprehensive action looms large. Yet, efficient and forward-looking structures and plans for addressing drought are largely unavailable.

The objective of this project is to develop preparedness plans for drought and to establish a drought preparedness network in Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia).

Content time


Research area/region

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Cyprus
Spatial resolution 

Mittelmeer, Afrika

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

No climate scenario has been created: meteorological and hydrological indicators for drought are being identified along with spatial and temporal characteristics concerning periods of drought.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Dry periods
Time horizon
  • short term = next year’s / decades

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

Risks of drought are being analysed.

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

As part of MEDROPLAN, the vulnerability of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Tunisia to drought is being estimated. Like all natural hazards, droughts are comprised of both natural and social components. The risk associated with a drought is a combined product of exposure and social vulnerability to such an event. Such vulnerability is determined by factors such as population growth/migration, demographic characteristics, governance/policies, environmental awareness, water use/trends, social behaviour and water availability.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

Plans/guidelines are being developed to address drought and water scarcity (“Drought Management Guidelines”). Additionally, risk management methods for mitigating the effects of drought are being examined. A network is being organised to support drought preparedness in affected countries (Drought Preparedness Network).


Funding / Financing 

Partially funded by the European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office under the MEDAWATER Programme

Project management 

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

  • Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM-IAMZ) 
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) University of Cyprus
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics National Technical University of Athens University of Catania
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Institut Agronomique et Véterinaire Hassan II Canal de Isabel II Confederación Hidrográfica del Tajo Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Environnement et des Ressources Hydrauliques, Direction Générale des Barrages et des Grands Travaux Hydrauliques (DGBGTH)

Technical University of Madrid (UPM)
Department of Agricultural Economics
Avenida de la Complutense s/n
28040 Madrid

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  biological diversity  human health and care  water regime and water management