CORDIS - EU research results

Innovative decision making for sustainable water management in developing countries

Final Report Summary - DIM-SUM (Innovative decision making for sustainable water management in developing countries)

The DIM-SUM project had the overall goal of developing recommendations on how to improve the implemented decision making methodologies in water management. More specifically, DIM-SUM focussed on the generation, assessment, comparison, selection and application of sound solutions to solve water sector problems. The project was of significant importance since international organisations demand the application of a participatory approach in the water area; nevertheless relevant scientific progress is limited.

Thus, the project aimed to increase the existing capacity for implementation of more integrated assessment options through the application and evaluation of such an approach in selected case studies. The project emphasised on water supply and sanitation and analysed its proposals at river basin scales. Technological, management and policy research components were integrated during the undertaken activities. Moreover, the link between the more generic decision making framework and the specific decision making processes was taken into consideration for the formulation of applicable options.

The project was structured in nine distinct, yet interrelated, work packages which undertook the following activities:
1. baseline study of the selected catchments and review of existing sustainability indicators;
2. analysis of the Decision making process (DMP) and framework (DMF) in the participating countries;
3. exploration of the conditions in the selected case studies using state of the art methods;
4. implementation of social and cultural methods to identify sustainable water management options;
5. analysis of information and communication tools that would support participatory decision making processes;
6. integrated assessment of existing technologies and elaboration of feasibility studies;
7. integrated assessment of technically feasible options and larger scale case studies;
8. research consolidation and provision of recommendations;
9. dissemination of the project results.

Various workshops were organised and publications were prepared to allow for the maximum possible dissemination of the acquired information and finalised options. Even though the development of exploitable products was not among the project objectives, DIM-SUM resulted in useful knowledge that was of significant importance to governments, water sector professionals, decision makers and the general public.