Protecting and restoring raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

PROWATER

You are here

Protecting and restoring raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale

Priority Axis

Adaptation to Climate Change

Specific objective

Adaptation to Climate Change

Lead partner

Vlaamse Overheid, Departement Omgeving

Start Date

01/09/2018

End Date

28/02/2023

Project budget

5 526 620

ERDF amount

3 315 972

ERDF rate

60%

    About

    Common challenge

    Build resilience against droughts (and water scarcity) by enhancing infiltration and water retention capacity of landscapes in regions of strategic importance for drinking water production. Climate projections for the 2 seas area, point towards dryer and warmer summers with more extreme and concentrated precipitation events (summer storms). This could result in a higher demand for water production (on hot, dry days, water consumption can triple). Increased water abstractions volumes during summer will have high impacts at an already critical moment for water dependent ecosystems. This will aggravate the conflict between water provisioning and biodiversity conservation. Restoring and developing blue-green structures in landscapes improves the hydrological resilience to droughts and floods, provides substantial climate mitigation benefits and benefits biodiversity.

    Main Achievements

    Climate projections for the 2 Seas area point towards drier and warmer summers with more extreme and concentrated precipitation events in the form of summer storms. This could result in a higher demand for water production in the future. However, our natural capital – the stock of natural assets that we rely on – is under threat from climate change. It is key to the provision of clean and plentiful water. In order to ensure the raw water resources that we need, we have to restore our ecosystems to become more resilient to climate change and adapt.

    On 5 March 2019, we launched the Interreg PROWATER project in Canterbury, UK. The cross-border project PROWATER stands for 'protecting and restoring raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale’, and contributes to climate change adaptation by restoring the water storage of the landscape through "ecosystem-based adaptation measures". Examples are forest conversion, natural water retention or restoration of soil compaction. 

    The implementation and demonstration of good practices for restoration of hydrological resilience to droughts is advancing well. The first tendered works started in October 2019 at investment site “De Scheppelijke Nete”. A description of all the investment sites can be found on the PROWATER website, which was launched this year as well. 

    Another key objective of the PROWATER project is to pave the way to development of a collective approach (Payment for Adaptation Measures) and common toolbox (spatial prioritisation, assessment of co-benefits). This will pave the way towards an operational long-term rewarding/funding scheme for the spatial implementation of EbA measures that increase the hydrological resilience to droughts. 

    We follow a methodic procedure. The first step is to make a SWOT analysis of such a PEbA rewarding/funding scheme. Therefore, a series of workshops have been organized in Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 to make an inventory of potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In these workshops we discussed the need and desirability of PES-schemes from different perspectives.

    To really succeed, we need to continuously raise awareness on water scarcity and establish partnerships for implementing EbA measures. Further implementation the delivered communication strategy & communication plan (considering the target groups identified) in 2020 will significantly advance the progress towards PROWATER’s objectives described above.

    Partnership

    Partners

    Universiteit Antwerpen – Onderzoeksgroep Ecosysteembeheer (UA)

    Provincie Antwerpen

    Pidpa

    Westcountry Rivers Trust

    Kent County Council

    South East Water

    Waterschap Brabantse Delta

    Natuurpunt

    South East Rivers Trust

    Outputs

    Theme
    Type
    Target
    URL / Download
    31/12/2019

    Communication strategy on water scarcity and ecosystem based adaptation

    Theme: Climate change - Water management
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities