BeWater workshop in Ajdovščina: The First interaction with stakeholders in Vipava, Slovenia
The BeWater project actively involves stakeholders from the Vipava river basin in a participatory process about water use and water management. Society is involved in the dialogue with the aim of designing a plan for adaptation to climate change in the Vipava region.
According to the data from the Environmental Agency of Slovenia, the average annual temperature in the Vipava river basin (Bilje) will rise by 1.3 °C by 2030, which will result in changes such as reduced precipitation of approximately 5% in the summer season and increased precipitation of approximately 2% in the winter season. Experts also estimate that extreme weather events in the future will lead to socio-economic losses and will have a significant impact on the environment.
The Institute for Water of the Republic of Slovenia (IZVRS), together with Prospex from Belgium, organized the first BeWater stakeholder workshop in the region. The workshop, which was held on 10 June 2014 at the premises of the Territorial Chamber of Craft and Small Business of Ajdovščina, was attended by 32 stakeholders from different sectors with a common interest in the Vipava river basin.
The workshop opened with an introduction by Mr. David Bratož, Director of Development Agency ROD Ajdovščina and Dr. Nataša Smolar-Žvanut from IZVRS. This was followed by presentations from meeting attendees and a general presentation of the BeWater project, delivered by Dr. Aleksandra Krivograd Klemenčič from IZVRS.
The presentations explained the current state of the river basin and projections of future climate change in Slovenia with an emphasis on the area of the Vipava river basin.
The second part of the workshop was dedicated to active participation of the attendees in order to set out the problems, needs and constraints of the Vipava river basin. This was a key step towards defining the desired state and water management options. Attendees worked in groups to highlight key problems and then defined the desired state of the basin by the year 2030. The last part of the workshop was dedicated to creating a variety of water management options according to the desired state. They highlighted the common starting points for the future of water management in order to reduce or prevent droughts in the upper part of the river basin and to prevent flood events in the lower part of the basin.
Most of the attendees highlighted the importance of stakeholder involvement in the future planning of water management. Dialogue and collaboration bewteen the inhabitants of the basin and the local, regional and national policy makers, is crucial for successfully resolving problems.
This workshop was the first of three stakeholder workshops organized within the framework of the BeWater project. It represents the first step towards developing a plan for sustainable water management and adaptation to the impacts of global change in the Vipava river basin.
Dr. Aleksandra Krivograd Klemenčič:
Dr. Nataša Smolar-Žvanut:
Sabina Blumauer, IzVRS
Nataša Smolar-Žvanut, IzVRS
Marjan Maes, Prospex