Projections of future climate change point to increasing water scarcity
and drought in the Mediterranean region . This will cause serious
socioeconomic loss and have significant environmental impact.
In this context BEWATER, a new European project, aims to promote dialogue and collaboration between science and society in sustainable water management in the Mediterranean.
Project partners will organise 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. Based on this
information, all stakeholders will design joint plans for adaptation to
climate change in their regions.
Photo: Enrico Vidale
"These plans will allow an increase in the resilience of social and
ecological systems linked to each river basin," said Diana Pascual,
CREAF researcher and one of the project coordinators.
BEWATER aims to improve public awareness of the importance of sustainable water management, develop innovative processes of mutual learning and create more social responsibility in this area. These three factors will be key to defining and implementing successful adaptation strategies and policies.
The project, lasting three and a half years, has a total budget of
almost three million Euros and is funded by the European Union’s 7th
Framework Programme under the Science in Society initiative. Led by
CREAF, it involves project partners from 12 institutions, including
research centres, businesses, NGOs and European institutions; platforms
and organisations with a strong commitment to promoting these processes
using innovative methodologies applicable to other regions and
Among its partners, BEWATER includes the Mediterranean
Regional Office of the European Forest Institute (EFIMED), which will
coordinate project dissemination across Mediterranean Basin countries
through its large network.
A project based on multi-actor collaboration
The project symbolises a transition in approach from water
management based only on technological solutions towards a new vision,
incorporating planning and management conducted by multiple actors. The
project is based on an iterative process of mutual learning between science and society, as well as multi-directional and multi-sectoral knowledge transfer. BEWATER’s commitment to this change will facilitate a proactive response to the challenges of climate change.
More information: Sarah Adams sarah.adams (at) efi.int