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Twinning European and third countries river basins for development of integrated water resources management methods

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More water for a better life

The twinning of river basins and EU expertise are helping third world countries manage valuable water resources much more efficiently.

Climate Change and Environment

The European Water Initiative (EUWI) focuses on water resources to protect the environment and improve lives and livelihoods across the globe. Recent efforts to support the EUWI include the EU-funded project 'Twinning European and third countries river basins for development of integrated water resources management methods' (Twinbas). The project aimed to advance harmonised integrated water resource management (IWRM) in line with the EUWI. It also investigated the vulnerability of five catchments (drainage basins) in different parts of the world to eventually produce river basin management plans (RBMPs). Twinbas assisted non-EU countries in managing water resources in different ways. It mapped the past and present status of water basins, monitored them, and involved the public and documented stakeholders. The project conducted hydrological modelling and studied water abstraction as well as pollution pressure and its impact. Furthermore, water bodies were classified, economic analyses conducted and vulnerability assessed. Twinning catchments together was one activity that helped both sides learn from each other. The project team also found that industrial, agricultural and even domestic pollution were major threats to catchments, underlining how human activity affected each case and how stakeholders could help. Through improved hydrological modelling, sedimentation modelling and novel software, the team built the basis for an upgraded monitoring system and proposed a cost-effective strategy for water protection. The project also anticipated climatic and man-made impacts on systems in addition to economic assessments, which could eventually help formulate official RBMPs. In all, Twinbas provided valuable information and outlined better techniques to improve management of water resources. Last but not least, the twinning activity helped create much needed exchanges in information and know-how for third world countries.

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