BeWater Promotes a Debate Between Citizens and Scientists on the Future of Water Management in the Tordera River Basin
The participatory process promoted by the BeWater project in the River Tordera and other Mediterranean basins, aims to involve society in a dialogue on current water uses and to collectively develop water management plans adapted to future climate change scenarios.
Future climate change projections indicate that extreme events, like droughts and floods, may increasingly occur in the Mediterranean region.
In particular in the River Tordera basin, studies published by CREAF indicate a reduction of groundwater recharge of almost 10% by 2030 and river flow reductions up to 37% by the end of the century (2100). These events will cause significant socio-economic losses and relevant environmental impacts in the basin.
In this framework, and taking into account growing social concerns regarding water related issues, the BeWater project started a process of dialogue and collaboration between scientists and citizens in 4 case study basins: River Tordera (Catalonia), Vipava (Slovenia), Pedieos (Cyprus) and Rmel (Tunisia).
The workshop in the Tordera River Basin took place in the old rectory of Sant Celoni Municipality and involved scientists from CREAF institute coordinating the project, together with more than 30 people from the region.
All participants have been selected in order to get the best possible reference of the different visions on water management in the basin (NGOs, irrigation water user associations, public authorities, representatives of natural parks, industry, education, farmers, etc.)
The BeWater project foresees various moments of interaction with the society of the basin, through specific working groups and activities enhancing local citizen involvement.
"The participatory process which we are promoting in the River Tordera and the other Mediterranean basins, aims at involving society in the debate on current water uses and related problems" commented Anabel Sánchez, the project coordinator, "Scientists will present the foreseen impacts of global change on water availability to citizens in each of the water basins, in order to generate joint proposals to reduce the vulnerability of the basin and its citizens".
This meeting was the first step of a collaborative elaboration of Adaptation Plans, to be developed over the course of the project, which would allow water to be managed while taking into account the challenges of future global change scenarios.
More Information: Anabel Sanchez: a.sanchez ( at) creaf.uab.cat
Photos: Sarah Adams