Projections of future climate change point to increasing water scarcity and drought in the Mediterranean region. This will cause serious socio-economic loss and have significant environmental impact. In this context, efforts are needed to strengthen public participation and embed a sense of responsibility within society concerning water management and adaptation towards these threats. The combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of civil society and stakeholders are the key to ensuring successful adaptation strategies and their implementation, leading to increased resilience of the social-ecological system of a river basin.
BEWATER aims to promote dialogue and collaboration between science and society in sustainable water management in the Mediterranean. Project partners will organize participatory processes involving scientists and other stakeholders in four pilot river basins throughout the Mediterranean (Catalonia, Cyprus, Slovenia and Tunisia).
Each will identify and share the challenges of climate change in their particular region and the various water management options available, designing joint plans for adaptation to climate change in their regions. BEWATER will help to find sustainable and inclusive solutions to key challenges facing European society, to incorporate Science in Society issues into research and innovation systems and to improve transnational cooperation.
Objectives of the BEWATER project are to:
1. launch an innovative process of societal transition towards a more sustainable, resilient and adaptive river basin management.
2. develop an innovative, stakeholder-driven method.
3. promote the transfer of BEWATER results into policy.
4. promote mutual and multi-directional learning among the project partners, entities and actors within and between the river basins and with the broader society.
5. raise awareness and promote a bottom-up approach within the scientific community for planning and implementation processes.
6. enhance social participation and build societal resilience.
7. explore and assess opportunities for Research & Innovation (R&I) collaboration between organisations, universities, SMEs and civil society actors to boost innovation in the water sector.
Cyprus Case Study River Basin
The Pedieos River is a temporary stream, which originates in the Macheras Forests in the north-eastern hillslopes of the Troodos mountain complex. The river basin has it highest point at Kionia at 1400 m above sea level. The forested upstream area hosts beautiful picnic sites and nature trails and forms an important Natura 2000 site. The fractured volcanic formations in the upstream area are mainly covered by conifers, with smaller areas of sclerophyllous and shrub woodlands and few plots of rainfed cereals, irrigated fruit trees, greenhouses and livestock farms. There are also a few old copper mines.
At the bottom of the foothills, the Tamassos dam, which was completed in 2002, captures and stores the runoff of the 45-km2 upstream river basin in a 2.8-million m3 reservoir. The dam provides flood protection, groundwater recharge through the release of water to the downstream alluvial aquifer, and water supply for nearby communities. Downstream from the dam, the river basin crosses about half a dozen rural communities, which grow rainfed and groundwater-irrigated crops in the Mesaoria plain.
The river then flows into the urban agglomeration of the capital Nicosia and its adjacent municipalities, where it receives part of the storm runoff of the city. The Water Development Department has identified this as an area of potentially significant flood risk, for the European Flood Directive (2007/60/EC). Along the river, a linear park with cycling path offers a quiet green corridor in the hectic urban environment of Nicosia. The river flew originally through the center of the old town of Nicosia, but was diverted northwards by the Venetians in 1576. The river basin covers approximately 120-km2 at the green line in Nicosia, at 150 m above sea level. The average annual precipitation (1980-2010) ranges between 320 mm downstream to 670 mm at the top.
1st Pedieos Workshop - Report
- Acronym: BEWATER
- Website: http://www.bewaterproject.eu/
- Center: EEWRC
- Funding Source: EU FP7-Science in Society
- CyI Funding: 267,273
- Starting Date: 01/10/2013
- End Date: 30/4/2018
- Coordinator: Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), Spain
Corporation Blue, the Netherlands; Ecologic Institut, Germany; Europe for Business, UK; European Forest Institute (EFI); Institut National de Resecherches en Genie Rural, Eaux et Forets, Tunisia; Institut za Vode Republike Slovenije, Slovenia; JRC - Joint Research Centre – European Commission; Prospex, Belgium; Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (GWP-MED), Greece; Anbessa Environmental Consulting di Leone Andrea, Italy