Protecting and restoring raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale
Priority AxisAdaptation to Climate Change
Adaptation to Climate Change
Lead partnerVlaamse Overheid, Departement Omgeving
Project budget5 526 624 €
ERDF amount3 315 974 €
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.
The overall objective is to build resilience against droughts (and extreme precipitation events) through Ecosystem based Adaptation measures. Therefore it is our key objective to develop and implement a PES-model (Payment for Ecosystem Services) that facilitates the actual implementation of Ecosystem Based Adaptation measures. Independent organisations that work on landscape rehabilitation can thus play a role as ‘ethical brokers’ in providing services (by selecting/funding/implementing measures) to society. By identifying, quantifying and demonstrating the additional benefits (ecosystem services) of the ecosystem-based adaptation measures, it becomes possible to recognize the full spectrum of the benefits (Ecosystem Services) that are associated with Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) measures and provide additional leverage for implementation.
- WP1: POLICY ANALYSIS will deliver an output that provides guidance on how to develop a rewarding scheme for EbA measures that promote infiltration and restoration. How to identify buyers, brokers and sellers and set up partnerships, including recommendations on ethical, political, juridical and organisational challenges.
- WP2: TOOLBOX development will deliver 1) a tool for spatial prioritization and evaluation of EbA measures and 2) a tool to quantify the co-benefits of EbA measures
- WP3: VISION BUILDING will develop a long-term assessment and vision on water demand and supply challenges in the 2 Seas Region (WP3), making use of participatory approaches (workshops & meetings with buyers and brokers).
- WP4 IMPLEMENTATION will showcase the effective implementation (investments) of EbA measures in the field (good practices). For each site, we will quantify the impacts and produce information panes for visitors to the sites.
Cross border approach
Climate change will affect the 2 Seas region similarly, but the impact of drought and water scarcity is often neglected. The cross-border project is needed to fill the information gap to policy and the general public, about the need for long-term drought risk strategies to address water scarcity and drought risk. This project can achieve the necessary momentum for the concept of ecosystem based water scarcity and drought mitigation strategies. There is a high complementarity of expertise. A spatially explicit ES-assessment tool is available from the ECOPLAN project (BE), whilst the UK partners have vast experience in setting up and managing PES-schemes with the Upstream Water Thinking project, the NL partners with implementation and demonstration. For each region at least a water production company, authority and a research institute is included as partner or observer. Such partnerships are a strong signal towards policy and may create a momentum in the water sector to take action.
No specific objectives or outputs have been delivered at this stage of the project.
But there has been a tremendous interest in the project due to the recent drought. The project is very relevant and timely. This implies that there have been significant efforts related to outreach and communication. The high regional and international attention for the project stimulates the project team to deliver on the raised expectations.
Workpackage 1 has been very active. We organised regional workshops to inform the many interested stakeholders about the project. In addition we already organised the first workshops that provide input to the foreseen SWOT analysis of the PES concept. This SWOT analysis will be one of the first substatial outputs of the projects and will be communicated widely.
Work package 2-3 are in preparation
Work package 4: The project partners that needed to start, have started their first activities according to plan or are even ahead of schedule.
Work package 5: A project manager has been put into place. The first financial claim has been made. The project group and steering committee have come together. The risk management plan and financial plan have been delivered.
Work package 6 is also going according to plan. The LP (communications manager) set up a communications working group and assigned the spokespersons per region. A communication plan has been set up to monitor and asses the progress of the campaigns. The project website and corporate style are in development. All partners were involved in the assesment and approval of the communication means.