Local citizens work together with scientists to tackle challenges for water management in the Tordera river basin
Climate change and other global developments are expected to affect the Tordera river basin. Local citizens are now working together with scientists to identify the main challenges ahead for the management of water resources, as well as potential solutions to adapt to changing future conditions.
Scientists from the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) are involved in the BeWater project and have organised several workshops to discuss water management in the context of global change for the Tordera river basin. Participants of these workshops shared an interest in the 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, these options were refined and evaluated.
During these workshops, participants highlighted water quantity, water quality, health of forests and water ecosystems, and integrated water management as the most pressing challenges for the Tordera basin. As a result of the discussions, the participants suggested 33 water management options. Important options include establishing environmental flows and recovering groundwater levels, information access and availability, citizens’ engagement and adaptive forest management agreements.
On 24 October, Fundació Emys in Can Moragues (Riudarenes) hosted an open consultation event led by CREAF during which the final set of water management options were presented and discussed with 15 new stakeholders that had not participated in previous workshops. They represented agricultural and forestry sectors, public administration, educational centres, environmental NGO’s, scientists and civil society from the North-Eastern part of the basin.
Participants reviewed in groups the 33 options defined in previous workshops and complemented them with information on concrete places in their area where these options would be relevant to implement. They also reported on experiences in their local area implementing similar proposals, as for example wetland restoration or livestock management.
Stakeholders from public administration highlighted the importance of options that promote to better coordinate between competent authorities, sectors and with local society. Environmental NGO’s stressed the need for options that allow better enforcing, monitoring and controlling environmental legislation preventing undesirable or illegal behaviour.
‘It was very interesting and important for the project that stakeholders who didn’t participate in previous activities did confirm the validity of the water management options presented today’ says Annelies Broekman case study coordinator from CREAF.
These challenges and water management options that have been identified will form the basis for an adaptation plan for the Tordera river basin. This plan will be elaborated during the next phase in the BeWater project.
Similar processes are carried out in three other river basins in the Mediterranean area, located in Cyprus, Slovenia and Tunisia. The four river basins cover different environmental and socio-economic settings within the Mediterranean area.
Anabel Sanchez a.sanchez @ creaf.uab.cat / tel.: +34 93 581 46 75
Photo credits: Prospex