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Content archived on 2024-05-15

Guidelines for the organisation, use and validation of information systems for evaluating aquifer resources and needs


Problems to be solved
The project GOUVERNe responds to the requirement for integrated systems of information permitting coherent policy and resource management decisions covering water uses in Europe, in the context of the new Water Directive for watershed-based water management.
Scientific objectives and approach
The project will undertake development and pilot implementation of a user-based and scientifically validated Decision Support System (DSS) for the improved management of underground water resources at the catchments and sub-catchments levels. Decision support is understood as not only the acquisition, scientific validation and organisation of information, but also procedures for effective exploitation of this information by users. The envisaged DSS will combine spatial representation, scenario simulation, multiple criteria evaluation and interactive user-friendly interfaces. It will furnish a validated scientific support for debate and deliberation by decision makers and stakeholders permitting intelligent compromises, identification of novel management options and, to the extent possible, cooperative conflict resolution.
The work programme, spanning 30 months, defines a set of interlocking tasks in the following categories:
(1) Project Coordination;
(2) Methodological specifications for hydro system, economic and spatial Data Analysis and Representation;
(3) Integrative and user-friendly Information Systems Design and Implementation exploiting the state of the art with interactive ICT;
(4) Case Studies of four major underground water resources;
(5) Integration and Validation Modules, including scientific quality assurance and stakeholder tuning;
(6) Documentation, Dissemination and Diffusion.
Together, with four selected case studies, the eight partners in the consortium will create, test and demonstrate:
· the representation of the current state of the hydro system, including a picture of its dynamics in linkages to human economic activities;
· simulation and modelling components permitting the representation of possible futures, that is, scenarios of resource use and management options based on various "what if?" propositions;
· lucid portrayal of systems uncertainties and conflicting options for water resource;
· integrated systems of indicators, tuned for stakeholder preoccupations, that can be exploited as policy/management aids within a user-friendly, interactive multiple-criteria framework. The project consortium includes private and public sector expertise in hydro system analysis, environmental and resource economics, sustainability policy, and applications and commercialisation of information systems and ICT products.
Expected impacts
The project will demonstrate feasibility of new ICT for user-friendly interactive decision support. Initial methodological and design work will define this potential and establish its high policy relevance. Results from the four case studies will show how ICT can revolutionise both research and policy evaluation and communication processes. Two innovative SMEs in partnership with scientific and public administration partners will spearhead dissemination of information about the DSS prototypes and associated ICT products for business and public policy uses across Europe.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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Total cost
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Participants (8)