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: Europe to suffer from more severe and persistent droughts

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

Predicting bioavailable cadmium levels in soils

17 hours ago

New Zealand's pastoral landscapes are some of the loveliest in the world, but they also contain a hidden threat. Many of the country's pasture soils have become enriched in cadmium. Grasses take up this toxic heavy metal, ...

Oil drilling possible 'trigger' for deadly Italy quakes

21 hours ago

Italy's Emilia-Romagna region on Tuesday suspended new drilling as it published a report that warned that hydrocarbon exploitation may have acted as a "trigger" in twin earthquakes that killed 26 people in ...

Snow is largely a no-show for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

21 hours ago

On March 1, 65 mushers and their teams of dogs left Anchorage, Alaska, on a quest to win the Iditarod—a race covering 1,000 miles of mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, tundra and coastline. According ...

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

21 hours ago

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Study shows less snowpack will harm ecosystem

22 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A new study by CAS Professor of Biology Pamela Templer shows that milder winters can have a negative impact both on trees and on the water quality of nearby aquatic ecosystems, far into the warm growing season.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Warm US West, cold East: A 4,000-year pattern

Last winter's curvy jet stream pattern brought mild temperatures to western North America and harsh cold to the East. A University of Utah-led study shows that pattern became more pronounced 4,000 years ago, ...

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

ESO image: A study in scarlet

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

First direct observations of excitons in motion achieved

A quasiparticle called an exciton—responsible for the transfer of energy within devices such as solar cells, LEDs, and semiconductor circuits—has been understood theoretically for decades. But exciton movement within ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.