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Research project NeWater

NeWater (New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty) is a research project supported by the European Commission under the sixth framework program, PRIORITY 6.3 "Global Change and Ecosystems" (contract No 511179 (GOCE)), running from 2005 to 2008. The project NeWater is based on the hypothesis that IWRM cannot be realized unless current water management regimes undergo a transition towards more adaptive water management.

The project identifies key elements of current water management regimes and investigates their interdependence. Research is focused on transformation processes of these elements in their transition to adaptive integrated water resources management. Key IWRM areas where NeWater is expected to deliver breakthrough results include:

    • governance in water management (methods to arrive at polycentric, horizontal broad stakeholder participation in IWRM)
    • sectoral integration (integration of IWRM and spatial planning; integration with climate change adaptation strategies, cross-sectoral optimisation and cost-benefit analysis)
    • scales of analysis in IWRM (methods to resolve water resource use conflicts; transboundary issues)
    • information management (multi-stakeholder dialogue, multi-agent systems modelling; novel monitoring systems for decision systems in water management)
    • infrastructure (innovative methods for river basin buffering capacities; role of storage in adaptation to climate variability and climate extremes)
    • finances and risk mitigation strategies in water management (new instruments, role of public-private arrangements in risk-sharing)
    • stakeholder participation (promoting new ways of bridging science, policy, and implementation)

    The USF is responsible for the overall co-ordination of the project and has a leading role in Work Block 1 “Transition to adaptive management of river basins” and Work Block 6 “Management and Project Internal Coordination Platform”, as well as in several Work packages.

    For further information:

    Linked to NeWater is the project ACER (Developing Adaptive Capacity to Extreme events in the Rhine basin). ACER aims at identifying how long term developments such as climate change, socio economic developments, spatial planning and policy developments influence water management in the Rhine basin. The project develops an integrated Rhine model that enables quantifying the effects of term trends on the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts in the Rhine. An important issue will be to assess changes in future flood and drought probabilities.