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Adaptation plans

A key objective of the BeWater project is the collaborative development of adaptive water management approaches at the river basin scale in the Mediterranean region, and specifically of a River Basin Adaptation Plan for the Pedieos, Rmel, Tordera and Vipava river basins. Using a novel approach developed within and for the BeWater project, four River Basin Adaptation Plans have been developed, following dialogue between science and society, that aim at fostering adaptation to climate change within targeted river basins.


The plans contain information on individual water management options, how the water management options could be combined and whether there are potential synergies and conflicts between options. The plans also include information on costs, responsibilities and how the effectiveness of the water management options could be monitored.

All four plans have been developed over the course of the BeWater project. They are the result of intense team effort, wide stakeholder integration, targeted information gathering, critical analysis and thoughtful planning.

The four plans developed are important documents for each of the river basins. In addition, these plans aim to serve as a reference for other basins - within the Mediterranean region and beyond - that wish to undertake such a participatory development process and increase their resilience.

Pedieos, Cyprus

Adaptation planning in Pedieos

The main emphasis of the Pedieos River Basin Adaptation Plan is on river basin management under climate change. The stakeholder-driven approach adopted in the formulation of the plan allowed a common understanding of the major challenges and their interlinkages in the Pedieos River Basin. The adaptation plan is based on the outcomes of the co-design and evaluation of adaptation responses by stakeholders and scientists. The following six bundles of adaptation options were formulated to address the multiple outcomes of climate change in the river basin and maximise the co-benefits among the adaptation options:

  • Sustainable Irrigation Water Management
  • Good governance
  • Sustainable urban drainage and flood management
  • Hydrological management
  • Domestic water supply
  • Environmental engagement

The implementation of these complementary bundles of adaptation options enhance synergistic benefits and reduce trade-offs. Adaptation pathways within the bundles of the options were indicated by the stakeholders based on their effectiveness over time and local preferences. A description of the 30 adaptation options that make up these bundles is presented in Part 2 of the plan. The bundles of adaptation options can assist stakeholders and decision makers in planning water resources management and can improve governance for adaptation to climate change. The Pedieos River Basin Adaptation Plan increases the awareness of local actors and citizens on climate change challenges and strengthens the adaptive capacity of the river basin.

The following documents are available for download:


Rmel, Tunisia

Adaptation planning in Rmel

The main emphasis of the River Basin Adaptation Plan at Rmel river basin is on the selection of water management options that will improve sustainable water management in the short, mid and long terms. The Rmel river basin was selected due to the need for increased awareness on challenges facing its citizens and the environment due to global changes. The project has identified 19 individual water management options for the Rmel river basin, which have been further grouped into six thematic bundles:

  • Water quantity
  • Water quality
  • Agriculture
  • Forest and biodiversity management
  • Sensitization of civil society
  • Human resources and Employment

The wider goal of the adaptation plan is to act as a catalyst for the development of river basin adaptation plans in the Mediterranean region, as well as across Europe more broadly.

The following documents are available for download:



Tordera, Spain

Adaptation planning in Tordera

The Tordera River Basin Adaptation Plan is intended to address the main challenges that the Tordera basin has to face with regards to improvements of water body’s quantitative status, water quality, health of ecosystems and integrated water management.

Crucial actions to face the identified challenges within the Tordera river basin are:

    • The implementation of environmental flow regime is considered by all participants by far the most important action needed in the Tordera basin. This option, which addresses the challenge “water quantity”, would indeed provide an answer to the current the depletion of water bodies, allowing a certain quantity of water to be kept in the river for maintaining ecosystem functionality. Its implementation would trigger a whole set of improvements of different kinds, like recovering hydrologic connectivity between water bodies, correct sediment dynamics and improved water quality.
    • Creating a permanent participation centre is considered crucial to improve integrated water management of the Tordera Basin. Different issues are not being implemented, like the revision of current exploitation rates of water bodies, because of a lack of adequate procedures to take into account local socio-economic drivers into decision making and technical planning procedures.
    • Creating “Adaptive forest management agreements” reached the highest score of the whole Tordera set of water management options evaluation process, and answers to the challenge to improve current forest management in the basin. Until a certain degree, many actions of those included in this option are already implemented in the Montseny and Montnegre-Corredor natural parks: like thinning, clearing, eradication of alien species, erosion prevention and other specific interventions, like facilitating grazing. Nevertheless, these should be consolidated and expanded, making use of lessons learned.
    • To “Create an Integrated Plan for the Protection of the Tordera Delta (IPPTD)” is considered an important process to reach better resilience to global change in the basin, by improving the health of water and forest related ecosystems. An integrated planning process would also enhance the effectiveness of actions taken by combining sectorial approaches and assure engagement of all stakeholders in its design and development.

To assure the successful implementation of individual water management options or bundles of options, the development and execution of a monitoring plan including sound indicators is crucial. The plan presents some indications on synergies with existing monitoring schemes regarding the identification of suitable indicators for measuring the output.

Moreover, the implementation of the Tordera River Basin Adaptation Plan or of key elements of it, requires strong political will, as the transition to more resilient societies implies to overcome rooted trade-offs and socio-economic inertia. Overall policy recommendations to facilitate this aim to address leverage points that could enhance the integration of adaptive principles in current normative, legal and political practices.

The following documents are available for download:


Vipava, Slovenia

Adaptation planning in Vipava

The Vipava River Basin Adaptation Plan is a guiding document for stakeholders from water use sectors and linked policy areas acting in the Vipava river basin. The specific aim of the Vipava River Basin Adaptation Plan is to increase the resilience of the social and ecological system of the river basin and to allow a proactive response to emerging global changes and related challenges. Therefore, the objective of the adaptation plan is the delineation of water management options that aim to implement sustainable water management in the Vipava river basin for the period until 2030.

Based on stakeholder knowledge and scientific information, three water-related challenges and 20 water management options that would tackle these challenges and support the adaptation process were identified. To maximise the co-benefits among the individual options and to increase their effectiveness, seven different complementary sector-based bundles of options were defined. Within the bundles, stakeholders indicated also the optimal timing for implementing the options over the short, medium and long-term.

Five water management options have highest priority for the implementation process:
a) Establishment of inter-municipal expert working group,
b) Awareness campaign for local public,
c) Construction of water reservoirs
d) Awareness campaign for water management experts and
e) Improve the financing system for water infrastructure.

To assure the successful implementation of individual water management options or bundles of options, the development and execution of a monitoring plan including sound indicators is crucial. Hence the alignment of existing monitoring plans with the objective to monitor the implementation of water management options should be considered.

The following documents are available for download: