Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

There's no beauty without fresh water

Bringing a lifeline of water to the inner parts of non-EU Mediterranean countries may spell the difference between misery and economic prosperity.
There's no beauty without fresh water
The Mediterranean region might have beautiful seashores, but inland there are many challenges and even disputes regarding the availability of fresh water. The EU-funded project 'Optimisation for sustainable water management' (OPTIMA) tested and proposed a new solution for integrated water resource management to address these challenges.

In line with EU directives and environmental sustainability, the project sought to help tackle the economic and socio-political issues with respect to freshwater availability, particularly regarding policymaking and decision-making processes. OPTIMA also conducted a comprehensive economic assessment that could ultimately bring stakeholders together and increase collaboration.

Equally important, OPTIMA employed mathematical programming and multi-criteria optimisation to create an interactive web-based approach that would help stakeholders manage freshwater resources. It incorporated all the environmental and social dimensions in question, included stakeholders in decision making, outlined the necessary criteria and identified barriers to managing freshwater resources effectively.

This process also involved benchmarking and in-depth analysis of numerous case studies around the Mediterranean. One of the key end results was a database of water technologies and related costs which has the potential to support local and national governments in actively introducing new solutions.

All the project's data, findings, best practices and development regarding the freshwater sector were disseminated to as many implicated stakeholders as possible. This helped sow the seeds for change, potentially bringing more economic prospects and increased stability to drier Mediterranean regions, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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