Scientists are constantly seeking to gain a better understanding of climate-related phenomena such as floods and hurricanes. The EU-funded HYDRALAB IV
project deepened understanding of climate change by improving access to relevant European research infrastructures.
Adopting the theme 'More than water', the initiative consolidated all efforts of the first three HYDRALAB projects to create an outstanding network of research infrastructures. Topics that converged under this powerful new platform included water, environment, sediment, structures and ice, which represented the latest in hydraulic research and interaction of all these elements.
Project members coordinated access to unique research facilities through the project's common User Selection Procedure. This enabled users from different geographical locations and at different stages in their career to conduct high-quality research. In addition, access was simplified by the development of tools for the dissemination of important background information on both infrastructures and instruments, and results of experiments.
The consortium therefore enabled researchers to conduct high-quality research in a simpler and more cost-effective way. It also helped to strengthen the European knowledge triangle covering research, education and innovation.
To achieve its aims, the project is articulating methods to exploit research tools on several fronts, for example experimental, theoretical and numerical. Another important objective is to transfer cutting-edge knowledge to the next generation of young, skilled researchers across Europe.
As part of its drive to communicate information to stakeholders, two key events and three workshops were organised that dealt with the development of future experimental hydraulic infrastructure. HYDRALAB IV also updated and improved the project website and disseminated results to stakeholders. These included experiments on sediment flow and on environmental threats associated with interaction of water.
HYDRALAB IV consolidated research infrastructures, which together with their state-of-the-art equipment and comprehensive databases will help the European research community gain greater insight into the hydraulic mechanisms of our planet. This will make a major contribution to the European Research Area's (ERA) efforts to tackle environmental challenges and climate change.