Sustainable water storage and distribution in the Mediterranean (OurMED)
|EU-funded project under PRIMA Program Section 1 (Call 2022)
|36 months, starting from June 1, 2023
|Dr. Seifeddine Jomaa, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
|Germany (Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH (RSS)), Spain (Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and Idrica (IDRICA)), France (Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (SEMIDE) and La Tour du Valat (TdV)), Greece (Technical University of Crete (TUC)), Italy (Università di Parma (UNIPR), University of Sassari (UNISS), and University of Naples Federico II (UNINA)), Jordan (Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN)), Morocco (Living Planet Morocco (LPM)), Portugal (AgroInsider (AGRI)), Tunisia (Higher School of Engineering of Medjez El Bab (ESIM)) and Turkey (Boğaziçi University (BU)).
OurMED project was built on the multidisciplinary skills of 15 consortium Partners from ten countries representing both shores of the Mediterranean, targeting equitable multi-sectoral and integrative management that addresses all water bodies’ capabilities and needs towards sustainability. Sustainable water management solutions will be co-designed together with multiple stakeholders and demonstrated in a complementary array of river basin demo sites, representing different water management problems in the Mediterranean region. OurMED calls for a transition from a mono-sectoral water management approach based on trade-offs to multi-objective actions that, simultaneously, ensure access to freshwater in sufficient quantity and quality for diverse sectors and maintain ecological functions.
The Mediterranean Region is unique in its human society, natural environment and biodiversity, and climate variability. However, it is experiencing rapid population growth, water scarcity, and increasing anthropogenic and climate changes. This results in intensified water demand through increased irrigation and water consumption, severely threatening the socio-economic stability and ecosystem integrity. In alignment with the challenge and scope of PRIMA call Topic 1.1.1, OurMED project was designed to emphasize the urgent need for more comprehensive management of water storage and distribution in the Mediterranean region. OurMED is a new vision of fair, balanced and co-designed water management in the Mediterranean region, including stakeholder perception and benefiting from technologically-advanced monitoring techniques, models prediction and optimization, and digitalization capabilities. OurMED intends to develop integrated and holistic water management at various scales, ensuring multi-sectorial requirements and avoiding trade-offs. OurMED also aims to reinforce short-term (winter/summer) water storage and distribution forecasting and long-term water management. To this end, tailored and sustainable nature-based solutions will be developed and implemented in eight local and one regional demo sites. The demo sites were carefully selected, representing different climate conditions (arid to temperate climate), water and ecological challenges (water inefficiencies, soil erosion and sedimentation, water quality deterioration, and groundwater depletion), and different natural and artificial water bodies (lake, reservoirs, rivers, groundwater, and wetlands). OurMED aims to co-design and demonstrate water management pathways by creating new long-lasting spaces for social learning among multi-sectorial and interdependent stakeholders, societal actors and scientific researchers. OurMED aims to reinforce scientific-based and equitable water management, especially under increasingly pressing future anthropogenic and climate conditions, learning from the impacts of historical extreme events experienced by the demo sites during the last decades. OurMED envisages moving from the traditional mono-sectoral water management relying on a general threshold value and fixed-time horizon to more scientifically-based, cross-sectorial and case-specific “Precise Management”, recognizing the specificity of each demo site. To ensure upscaling and replicability of tailored solutions, the entire Mediterranean basin is considered a separate demo site, focusing on essential water-ecosystem variables, systematic monitoring and data sharing, and policy examination towards multi-sectorial and sustainable water management and efficient governance at the regional scale. The long-term objective of the OurMED project is to establish guidelines and develop demonstrable showcases towards optimum and equitable water storage and distribution in the Mediterranean region.
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