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Evidence and Solutions for improving SPONGE Functioning at LandSCAPE Scale in European Catchments for increased Resilience of Communities against Hydrometeorological Extreme Events

Project description

Reviving nature’s sponges for climate resilience

Rising climate challenges have triggered a crisis: the rapid decline in soil, groundwater and surface water’s sponge-like ability to mitigate extreme hydrological events. In this context, the EU-funded SpongeScapes project will consolidate, expand and disseminate scientific knowledge, paving the way for climate-resilient landscapes through innovative sponge strategies and collaborative stakeholder engagement. Specifically, the project will review and demonstrate solutions in 140 existing cases and an in-depth understanding of X individual case studies. These insights will be upscaled through co-designed sponge strategies at the landscape scale, involving various stakeholders. By providing realistic evaluations of strategies, SpongeScapes equips stakeholders with the tools to map opportunities and enhance sponge functioning.


SpongeScapes aims to consolidate, expand and disseminate scientific knowledge to improve the sponge function of soil, groundwater and surface water systems to accelerate the appropriation by all stakeholders. SpongeScapes will contribute to enhancing climate resilience against hydrological extremes at landscape scale: We will review and demonstrate the effectiveness of solutions in 140 existing cases, further detail process understanding in X individual case studies, and upscale this knowledge together with stakeholders by co-designing sponge strategies on landscape scale. We bring individual solutions and strategies for upscaling closer to the market by providing realistic evaluations of their effectiveness under different hydrometeorological extreme events in current conditions and future scenarios. We provide stakeholders with methods to map opportunities and self-assess the potential for increasing sponge functioning of groundwater, soils and surface water systems within the local context, taking climate, geology, topography, soil characteristics and land-use into account. The wide variety of sponge measures and strategies provided by the X case studies enables assessments of their primary functioning, co-benefits and potential trade-offs, and suitable governance and policy environments for implementation. Using validation data from case studies, SpongeScapes improves state-of-the-art, open source (geo-)hydrological modelling tools and enhances the quantification of sponge strategy impact assessments linking detailed process understanding to landscape scale evaluations. In the case studies we will collaborate with a various public and private stakeholders directly impacted by, or involved in, changes relating ot improving sponge functioning at the landscape scale. Stakteholders include local decision-makers and community groups, who are directly impacted by changes related to sponge functioning on landscape scale.



Net EU contribution
€ 765 597,50
2629 HV Delft

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Delft en Westland
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 765 597,50

Participants (8)

Partners (1)