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Inventive forecasting tools for adapting water quality management to a new climate

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - inventWater (Inventive forecasting tools for adapting water quality management to a new climate)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2021-03-01 do 2023-02-28

Long-term climate change, extreme events, and seasonal variations in weather have profound impacts on water quality of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. This implies a pressing need for tools anticipating the impacts of these environmental changes, and enabling effective water management that safeguards the ecosystem goods and services freshwaters provide. The increasing availability of new meteorological data products and advances in modelling tools now means that it is possible for the first time to produce reliable forecasts for lake and river water quality on a regional and global scale, an unexploited potential in the water sector. Water managers will therefore profit from the education of a new generation of interdisciplinary trained professionals able to bridge fields such as data science, climate, hydrology, and freshwater ecology, who at the same time develop the necessary skills to translate knowledge and technical novelties into products useful for managers, policy-makers, and the general public. The primary objective of inventWater is to organize a platform providing cutting-edge cross-disciplinary education of tomorrow's water experts.

The core activity is the training program, focused on the development and real-world application of inventive water quality forecasting tools across a range of time-scales, to support fast and reliable decision making as well as long-term adaptation policies. inventWater will bring water quality forecasting to the forefront of the scientific disciplines supporting water managers and policy-makers to design measures for adaptation to a new climate. The composition of the network and the multidisciplinary of the PhD projects will make tools developed by inventWater fellows applicable to a wide range of pressing water quality issues, from local adaptation to increases of climatic extreme events, to supporting adaptation strategies to climate change and achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
During the reporting period from March 1st, 2021 to February 28th, 2023, the project has been working on developing novel forecasting methodologies and training 15 Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become a new generation of interdisciplinary professionals to develop inventive water quality forecasting tools. The inventWater project has been implementing forecasting methodologies, advancing water quality management, and quantifying the effects of adaptation actions on climate change impacts to inform policymakers and enable effective management of water resources.

The inventWater training program has been focused on transferable skills and modeling, data science, and computational techniques to develop new models and data products for water quality forecasting. The program has trained the 15 ESRs to make these tools accessible for science, authorities, and companies, and to bridge sectors through cross-sectoral model couplings. The research program has been executing all scientific tasks related to each work package in the Grant Agreement during the reporting period, and the ESRs have been trained across all work packages to gain a wide perspective on forecasting techniques and foster interactions between them.

The inventWater Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) are continuously progressing with their respective research programmes, in consultation with their supervisory teams which are drawn from at least two of the inventWater Beneficiaries. The ESRs started at dates between November 2021 and March 2022, and to the end date of the reporting period, there are two scientific articles with inventWater in the acknowledgement and one article under review from ESR6.

All ESR participated in 3 training events accomplished during the reporting period: Welcome Retreat from 17th-21st January 2022, Big data for water quality management from 13-17th June 2022 and Modelling water quality under global change from 10-14th October 2022. Additionally, the ESR has participated in 3 e-learning activities in the format of webinars: Introduction to Machine Learning, Climate Services for Water Quality Indicators and Ecological Forecast Challenge By EFI-NEON, these webinars have been led by key partners in the industry.
The inventWater program is dedicated to developing Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) into recognized researchers with transferable skills that will enhance their employability, problem-solving abilities, and judgment. This will enable them to become global experts in water quality management, publish new science, and expand their vision of future career opportunities. The program is contributing to EU water and environment policies and implementation, addressing water challenges in the international arena, and involving the non-academic sector in doctoral/research training. The program is also supporting integrated policies and actions across multiple sectors and addressing Sustainable Development Goals.

The inventWater program has established an online and social media presence to disseminate research outputs and training products to water management and other relevant sectors. The program has produced five blog posts by the 15 ESRs, and the effectiveness of each channel has been measured by quantifiable targets such as statistics of visits to the website and interactions on social media. The program is also contributing to the European Innovation Partnerships on Water and Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, as well as the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change.

The recruited researchers have moved to the country where their host institutions are located. This has allowed them to experience and learn from a new research environment in a different country. The diverse and multinational cohort of inventWater ESRs, along with the Supervisory Board, will serve as a strong foundation for their future careers. The students' research is currently in the early-to-middle stages, with some of them already close to submitting their first scientific publication.

All of the Beneficiary and Partner Organisations are benefiting from participation in the inventWater ITN. This has forged new research collaborations and strengthened existing ones. The further academic interaction inherent in an ITN will also lead to new links between the relevant universities.
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