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Traditional water techniques: cultural heritage for a sustainable future

Final Report Summary - SHADUF (Traditional water techniques: Cultural heritage for a sustainable future)

The SHADUF project focused on the rich and diverse water saving-, water irrigation- and wastewater-related heritage in the Mediterranean region, in order to contribute to the development of a bank of information on traditional and indigenous technologies. It also aimed to provide a model of how archaeological data integrated with historical information and to examine how traditional knowledge could create a new sense of awareness of the role of water and wastewater in society and nature. Finally, it integrated long-term understanding of water management with efforts to develop sustainable development strategies.

A database on key water management practices in ancient times was constructed, using archaeological, historical and environmental information and field work findings. Moreover, an inventory of water catchment techniques that still survived in the Mediterranean tradition was carried out. The monumental character and the cultural significance of the considered techniques was evaluated and appropriate restoration and conservation strategies were proposed. In addition, the sustainability of current water management practices was assessed and potential long-term actions were proposed.

The project was structured in 11 distinct, yet interrelated, work packages (WPs) which undertook various activities including fieldwork, evaluation of information, development of databases and formulation of future policy recommendations. Moreover, a knowledge dissemination plan was implemented to maximise the project impact and a technical implementation plan (TIP) was developed, based on participants' recommendations.