This study, titled ‘The snow and glacier melt components of streamflow of the river Rhine and its tributaries considering the influence of climate change’ was done under the auspices of the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin (CHR), by two universities and an engineering company in Germany and Switzerland.
The CHR is an organization in which the scientific institutes of the Rhine riparian states develop joint hydrological measures for sustainable development of the Rhine basin. The CHR was founded in 1970 following advice by UNESCO to promote closer co-operation in international river basins. Since 1975, the work has been continued within the framework of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the UNESCO and the Operational Hydrological Programme (OHP) of the WMO. The member states of the CHR are: Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Quantified daily fractions of the rain, snowmelt, and glaciers ice melt components of streamflow from 1901-2006 of the entire Rhine basin are available in the report. The contemplation over a period of several years creates more knowledge on trends and changes that are caused by climate variability, and the disappearance of glaciers and the increase of the reservoir volume in the Alps. Discovered was that the daily run-off values give a good insight into the amount of water that is added by the melted snow and ice to the extreme low discharges.
In a follow-up of this project they will look into trends of discharge components for the coming decennia, with the help of climate scenarios.