NeWater - New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty
The central aim of the NeWater project was a transition from currently prevailing regimes of river basin water management into more adaptive regimes in the future. This transition calls for a highly integrated water resources management concept.
NeWater identified key typical elements of the current water management system and focused its research on processes of transition of these elements to adaptive IWRM. Each key element was studied following novel approaches. Key IWRM areas where NeWater was expected to deliver breakthrough results included:
- Governance in water management (methods to arrive at polycentric, horizontal broad stakeholderparticipation in IWRM)
- Sectoral integration (integration of IWRM and spatial planning; integration with climate changeadaptation strategies, cross-sectoral optimization and cost-benefit analysis)
- Scales of analysis in IWRM (methods to resolve resource use conflicts; transboundary issues)
- Information management (multi stakeholder dialogue, multi-agent systems modelling; role ofgames in decision making; novel monitoring systems for decision systems in water management)
- Infrastructure (innovative methods for river basin buffering capacity; role of storage in adaptation toclimate variability and climate extremes)
- Finances and risk mitigation strategies in water management (new instruments, role of public-private arrangements in risk-sharing)
- Stakeholder participation; promoting new ways of bridging between science, policy and implementation.
The development of concepts and tools that guide an integrated analysis and support a stepwise process of change in water management was the corner-stone of research activities in the project.