Protecting river basins in the Mediterranean

Feb 10, 2014

We as European citizens may not be directly exposed to all of its consequences yet, but global warming is progressively driving lifestyles across the world into a corner. Some of its most devastating - and probably most documented - effects are related to water. Taking a look at broadcast news reveals how Europe has not been spared: some of our most delicate and precious ecosystems, river basins, are regularly threatened by climate-related extreme events. Droughts and floods affect hundred thousands of people every year. And in spite of its continuous efforts, science is still lagging behind.

The EU BEWATER project is the latest pan-European initiative looking into the issue of droughts in . The project consortium, which includes 12 partners from research centres, businesses, NGOs and European institutions, aims to identify sustainable and adaptive options in the most vulnerable regions of the Mediterranean. It will perform case studies in Catalonia, Cyprus, Slovenia and Tunisia, with the aim of building societal resilience to the impacts of global change.

'We are now about to start the first stage of the participatory processes in each one of the Case Study River Basins, where we aim at engaging society in the discussion on current water uses and their related problems, especially focusing on the expected at River Basin scale,' says project coordinator Anabel Sanchez from the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) in Spain.

Current projections for the Euro-Mediterranean region forecast an increase in and droughts, causing substantial socioeconomic losses and environmental damage. The consortium stresses that the combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of both civil society and stakeholders are essential to ensure successful adaptation strategies and their implementation.

This bottom-up approach, relying on the active participation of society in water adaptation strategies to , is what really sets BEWATER apart. Project participants are hopeful that their work will result into effective adaptation policies while raising awareness about the challenges of water management and water use among local populations. The BEWATER methodology also integrates physical, ecological, social and management processes, which is expected to allow for an out-scaling of results of national and international relevance.

Explore further: 2014 confirmed as one of the warmest years on record globally

More information: cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/111232_en.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scrutinising rivers upstream

Oct 17, 2013

Climate change influences water cycles. Particularly, it has an effect on the natural and socio-economic processes of river basins. Major rivers of the world have their origin in alpine-style mountains. The trouble is that ...

Minimising water use, maintaining productivity

Jan 07, 2014

As the climate warms up, more and more farmers in Switzerland need to irrigate their crops. This is problematic because many rivers carry less water. If the increase in water use is limited, agricultural production will not ...

Models for a more effective response to climate change

Aug 05, 2013

There is now widespread acceptance that the climate is changing due to human-related greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change will affect all sectors of society and the environment at the local, national ...

Recommended for you

British lawmakers demand freeze on fracking

6 hours ago

A committee of British lawmakers demanded a national moratorium on fracking due to environmental concerns on Monday, ahead of a crucial vote intended to boost the shale gas industry.

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

Jan 25, 2015

UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

Ocean science needs more funding

Jan 23, 2015

Facing critical dangers like rising seas and the impact of climate change on marine life, US scientists need more funding in the next decade, officials said Friday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.