Single water management measures are insufficient to tackle global change in the Pedieos river basin
Climate change is affecting our environment and our water resources. Research and dialogue are needed to identify how to adapt to longer droughts, higher temperatures and more intense rain events. A participatory workshop at the Cyprus Institute on March 18th engaged representatives of governmental and local authorities, including the Departments of Water Development, Agriculture and Town Planning and Housing, as well as Municipalities and Community Councils to develop an adaptation plan for the Pedieos river basin.
To address the challenges of climate change and other pressures on the Pedieos river basin, the workshop explored how water management measures identified in previous workshops can be combined and whether there are potential synergies and conflicts between them, as well as their implementation in practise. The thirteen participants of the workshop identified and discussed potential synergies and conflicts between 30 individual measures. Participants identified the implementation timeline of the measures based on their effectiveness over time and their preferences. They also highlighted the effectiveness of implementing bundles of measures compared to implementing individual options. Participants identified the lack of environmental awareness among society, limited political interest and the absence of a mechanism for coordination between different authorities as potential obstacles in the implementation of climate change adaptation measures.
Researchers from the The Cyprus Institute organised the workshop together with experts from Ecologic Institute in the context of the BeWater project. The workshop was part of a series of workshops aiming to develop a river basin adaptation plan for the Pedieos river basin. In a first workshop, the participants identified challenges related to water management and discussed options to deal with these challenges. In a second workshop, no less than 30 measures were refined and evaluated. Preferred measures were the restoration and maintenance of the river bed, the implementation of good agricultural practices, and the dynamic management of the water of the Tamassos dam. Stakeholders expressed their appreciation for the holistic approach followed throughout the participatory process of the BeWater project.
“The measures will be part of a river basin adaptation plan we are currently developing. Based on the valuable contribution by the participants, we plan to finalise the adaptation plan for Pedieos by summer 2016” said dr. Elias Giannakis, who is a researcher at The Cyprus Institute. “The stakeholders indicated that the adaptation plan can provide valuable contributions to the challenges of the Pedieos River Basin. However, they stressed the need of establishing a coordinating actor that would be responsible for the continuation of the achieved collaboration and the need of more frequent consultations and awareness campaigns” he added.
Similar workshops are carried out in three other river basins in the Mediterranean area, located in Slovenia, Spain and Tunisia. The four river basins cover different environmental and socio-economic settings within the Mediterranean area.
Photo credits: Ecologic Institute