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Open Access BEWATER – Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change – FP7 project

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Sustainable water management under climate change is an urgent challenge for the Euro-Mediterranean region. Future climate change projections estimate an increase in water scarcity and droughts in the region, causing substantial socioeconomic losses and environmental impacts.

In this context, efforts are needed to strengthen public participation and embed a sense of responsibility within the society concerning water management and adaptation towards these threats. The combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of the civil society and stakeholders are key to ensuring successful adaptation strategies and their implementation, leading to increased resilience of the social-ecological system of a river basin.

BEWATER addresses the above challenges by promoting dialogue and collaboration between science and society. The project aims at launching a transition from a technologically-focused river basin management approach to a stakeholder driven planning and management process that allows a pro active response to emerging climatic changes and related pressures. Based on a bottom-up approach, the multidirectional and multi-sectoral knowledge transfer throughout the project will raise awareness, feed ownership and ultimately lead to effective adaptation policies.

BEWATER proposes, with tests in case study river basins across the Mediterranean, a process of building resilience based on the engagement of a wide group of stakeholders, with the goal of achieving a sustainable and adaptive management at river basin scale. It is an iterative process of mutual learning between society and science, which identifies water management options and works out adaptation plans. It leads to innovation as a result of effective integration of local experience and research.
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Keywords: ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT; BOTTOM-UP APPROACH; CLIMATE ADAPTATION; CLIMATE CHANGE; GLOBAL CHANGE; MEDITERRANEAN; PUBLIC PARTICIPATION; RESILIENCE; RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT; SCIENCE AND SOCIETY; WATER MANAGEMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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