Agricultural drought in the light of Climate Change

Ku i landskap

A case study on the implied transborder climate change risks of international supply chains.

Case 5

Staus report, October 2021


Case content

Drought adaptation in Austria is still in its early phase, as drought has not posed a major problem in Austria until recently. Accordingly, potential future impacts resulting from drought are still underexplored. There are, to date, only few drought risk assessments for Austria, and Salzburg province in particular, but the topic is gaining traction. In this case study, we conducetd two stakeholder workshops. Based on the first workshop we developed impact chains that resembled causal loop diagrams to capture the drought risk system. This was the basis for a quantitative, indicator-based risk assessment that focused on the spatial co-development of drivers of agricultural drought. Since drought is a spatial phenomenon that is not bound to adminsitrative boundaries, our reporting units were not administrative units but units of similar risk profiles, so-called geons. Deriving risk geons was one of the core achievements of this case study. In a second workshop, the results were presented to the stakeholders. They expressed interest in the holistic persepctive on the risk system, that goes beyond short term effects, that the causal loop diagrams offer. The quantitative assessment gave, that total monthly precipitation for almost all parts of Salzburg is projected to increase, rather than decrease, under both RCP4.5 and 8.5 in the near and distant future. However, the development of factors such as consecutive dry days or heavy precipitation events were not considered.

Research Innovations

Co-development of drivers of agricultural drought and derivation of adaptation approaches; application of causal loop diagrams as well as integration of systems modelling approaches; application of regionalisation approaches independent from admin boundaries.

Study areas

Province of Salzburg in Austria.

Stakeholders involved

Various - governmental institutions (national, provincial, regional), farmer associations, farmers, insurance representative, scientists.

Summary data collection

Qualitative data was gathered through stakeholder dialogues and workshops; Quantitative data, such as socio-demographic and socio-economic data, bio-physical and satellite derived data are collected from various open government data portals and other freely and openly available sources.

Expected results

Spatial risk maps, adapted and improved methodology of IC, insights on stakeholder consultation.

Case study responsible

University Salzburg (PLUS)


Deliverable 3.1

Impact chain figure

Dashboard risk assessment

Final indicators description


Workshop info

Workshop presentation 1

Workshop presentation 2

Workshop presentation 3