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New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty

Final Report Summary - NEWATER (New approaches to adaptive water management under uncertainty)

The NEWATER project focussed on the requirement of transition from currently prevailing regimes of river catchment water management to more adaptive future strategies, which require the implementation of a highly integrated concept. The proposed methodologies were tailored to the institutional, cultural, environmental and technological settings of river basins and took into account their social and ecological vulnerability and their adaptive capacity. Governance, sectoral integration, scales of analysis, information management, infrastructure, finance and risk mitigation were identified as the principal elements of a successful management system.

Seven river catchments were selected as case study areas to establish the link between practical activities and advances in thematic research and tool development. The project took into consideration the social and ecological vulnerability and the adaptive capacity of the individual basins. An integrated Management and transition framework (MTF) was also developed in order to support the analysis of the role of key elements in the transition process. The goals and needs of stakeholders were carefully considered in collaboration with scientific partners and other experts.

NEWATER was organised in six distinct, yet interrelated Work packages (WPs), which focussed on the following issues:
1. transition to adaptive management in river basins;
2. vulnerability and adaptive management in river basins;
3. case studies' analysis;
4. guidance and tools for practitioners;
5. international expert and thematic platforms;
6. project coordination and management.

All public NEWATER products were easily accessible through the project website that was regularly updated. Moreover, cross-cutting themes were presented in detail in appropriate synthetic documents that were used for the dissemination of the project findings. Finally, numerous young researchers were involved in the undertaken research, which resulted in several PhD theses.