River Basin Adaptation Plans
In the Mediterranean region, water resources are expected to be severely affected by climate change and other pressures. The impact of these pressures needs to be considered in water management decision making in order to ensure a sustainable supply and use of high quality water resources in the future.
Given the cross-cutting nature of these issues and of water management itself, it is crucial to involve society at large, stakeholders, experts and policy makers in decision making processes from the earliest development phase. A screening of over 65 water management initiatives across the globe highlighted the importance of establishing shared definitions and ambitions, clarifying stakeholder interests, demands and concerns, and integrating risks and uncertainties in an adaptive planning process.
Steps in adaptation planning
Taking these lessons forward, BeWater developed a participatory approach to explore how adaptation to climate change can be integrated in river basin planning in an inclusive process. One crucial step was elaborating how the individual water management options could be implemented in river basin adaptation plans for the Pedieos, Rmel, Tordera and Vipava river basins. Together with stakeholders, the BeWater team assessed how the water management options could be combined and whether there are potential synergies and conflicts between options. They also assessed how the options could be implemented in practise in terms of costs and responsibilities and how their effectiveness could be monitored.
Although the options developed within BeWater cannot be implemented within the scope of the project. However, the options, the analyses and the plans within which these elements are contained lay the foundation for successful future water management efforts within the four case study basins. Furthermore, these elements represent an important contribution to river basin adaptation planning within the Mediterranean and beyond.