Do you know a company, project, plant, technology, deal or initiative that deserves the “Global Water Awards”? The nomination for the Awards 2019 is now open and you can vote here until 31 January. Nominations can be made under 13 different categories, such as Smart Water Company of the Year, Municipal Desalination Plant of the Year or Water Leaders Award. The winners will be announced at the Global Water Summit on April 9th 2019 in London. Further information on the process can be found here.
The 10th International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management, organised by the Wessex Institute (UK) and the University of Alicante (Spain) opened its call for papers. The conference will present recent technological and scientific developments, associated with the management of surface and sub-surface water resources. Papers presented will be published by WIT Press in a Volume of WIT Transactions or at an Issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.
During its workshop on 11th December in Osnabrück, the group continued to investigate the two topics identified at the first meeting: conflicting targets and synergies between different SDGs; and indicators, data and models. The participants also discussed how best to transfer knowledge from the GRoW projects to the political process.
The workshop began with two keynote presentations. One focused on identifying methodological approaches for assessing conflicting targets and synergies within the SDGs. The other assessed interlinkages between alternative policy options from the project TRUST. The workshop then moved on to the working group session.
The working group for indicators, data and models focused on the importance of SDG implementation and decision-making on the ground, and on improvements in representing existing governance systems. It also looked at addressing cross-sectoral problems as a way of achieving the SDGs more efficiently. The group rapidly agreed to prepare a policy brief on how to complement and possibly improve the current SDG monitoring process. Besides the key messages, empirical examples from the GRoW projects will be a major component of the paper.
Following a fruitful discussion, the working group on conflicting targets and synergies between different SDGs decided to develop a new assessment method for evaluating projects and different policy plans and their effects on SDG interactions, with a special focus on SDG 6. The method aims to improve the way the advantages and disadvantages of interventions are presented, and to develop concrete proposals for decision-making.
The next workshop on the cross-cutting topic is planned for spring 2019.
The presentations and workshop minutes are available here.
The UNFCCC 24th Conference of the Parties and 14th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol was held in Katowice, Poland, from 2nd to 4th December. Besides discussions of emissions trading, climate security, climate change financing and local climate protection, there was also an emphasis on water-related topics as being integral to achieving most other SDGs and the ambitious climate change targets.
Between the 3rd and 14th of December the 24th Climate Change Conference (COP24) will be held in Katowice, Poland. Delegates from 197 countries will come together to discuss and jointly work on progres in the battle against climate change. GRoW will be represented by Dr Lorenz and Prof Kunstmann from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology who will present their GRoW-project “SaWaM” in the side event “Climate proofing strategies”. The session serves as a platform for demonstrating different strategies and possibilities of climate proofing in the water, energy and food nexus at different time and spatial scales; a number of experts will furthermore give an overview of ongoing research and current initiatives in the field of improving precipitation as well as seasonal prediction forecasts. The session will take place in the EU Pavillon, Room Brussels on the 3rd of December from 12:30-14:00.
Please find further information on the program here.
From 29th October to 2nd November the 7th African water week was held in Libreville, Gabon, South Africa. 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community and civil society discussed different approaches to achieve Water Security and Safely Managed Sanitation for Africa.
On 22 October, the working group on the cross-cutting topic “Incentive mechanisms in the context of governance” met in Frankfurt to continue its work on key issues identified at its first meeting earlier this year.
At that meeting, which took place in March 2018, the group identified three sub-themes for its future work: a mechanism for turning research into practice, agricultural irrigation, and measuring governance. The second workshop aimed to examine these topics in more depth in order to share knowledge, achieve a common understanding of associated concepts, and pinpoint opportunities for harnessing synergies across the projects.
The workshop began with three keynote presentations. One examined how to bridge the water governance gap between the macro and the micro level, another examined the institutional framework of irrigation systems, and the third looked at indicators and measurements for assessing water governance structures.
After these presentations, the project representatives shared insights into their work on legal frameworks in the context of irrigated agriculture. There was broad consensus on the relevance of analysing legal mechanisms and frameworks in order to assess the potential value of the projects’ technical outputs.
The participants continued their exchange within two parallel working groups. One examined irrigated agriculture, and the other was about measuring governance and turning governance research into practice. Focusing on social innovation, digitalization and legal frameworks, the irrigated agriculture group was primarily interested in analysing legal frameworks, particularly with regard to deficits of implementation and respective solutions, and considered a joint publication on this issue. The second working group discussed the links to governance that exist in the GRoW projects. It identified potential principles of good governance (separation of powers, enforcement, and appropriate monitoring methods) and talked about the outcome of the session: a collection of aspects of good governance from the projects and a potential position paper with condensed information on water governance.
The next workshop on the cross-cutting topic will be organized in spring 2019.
The presentations and workshop minutes are available here.
Die Arbeit der GRoW-Community zu den Querschnittsthemen geht in die zweite Runde. Mit einem lebendigen und erfolgreichen Workshop am 27. September setzte das GRoW-Querschnittsthema Wasserfußabdruck seine Arbeit zu wichtigen Themen fort, die bei der ersten Sitzung im März dieses Jahres identifiziert wurden.
Ziel des zweiten Treffens war es, die beim ersten Workshop-Meeting identifizierten Fragen weiter zu untersuchen und mögliche Synergien der gemeinsamen Arbeit zwischen GRoW-Projekten zu identifizieren.
Anhand von drei Input-Präsentationen diskutierten die Mitglieder der Gruppe Möglichkeiten und Grenzen für die Verwendung von Wasserfußabdruck-Methoden anhand von drei Fragen:
- Wie kann der Wasserfußabdruck mit wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Auswirkungen (z. B. Gesundheit der Verbraucher, Kosten für Verbraucher / Gesellschaft) verknüpft werden?
- Wie kann Handel den Wasserstress in bestimmten Regionen beeinflussen oder umgekehrt? Was sind die Verbindungen zu Minderungsstrategien?
- Wie kann Wasserqualität / Wasserverschmutzung im Wasserfußabdruck berücksichtigt werden?
Ein breiter Konsens unter den TeilnehmerInnen bestand darüber, wie wichtig es ist, den WF über seine volumetrischen Umweltauswirkungen hinaus zu betrachten. Gleichzeitig wurde deutlich, wie vielseitig die Ansätze für den Einsatz des WF in den verschiedenen Projekten sind und dass es keine "one size fits all" -Lösung gibt. Um ihre Ergebnisse zu sammeln und zu verbreiten, beschlossen die TeilnehmerInnen, ein Positionspapier zu entwickeln. Ziel dieses Positionspapiers wäre es, den quantitativen Ansatz des WF kritisch zu diskutieren, zu beleuchten, welche Faktoren in die WF einbezogen werden sollten und wie dies möglich ist sowie die Potenziale und Grenzen der WF auf der Basis wissenschaftlicher Diskussion aus Sicht von GRoW zu analysieren.
Das nächste Workshop-Treffen zum Querschnittsthema wird im Frühjahr 2019 stattfinden.
Präsentationen und Workshop-Protokolle finden Sie hier.
Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest producer of cotton, and a major exporter of textiles to Germany. The industry consumes and pollutes an immense amount of water. Within InoCottonGROW, 14 German partners from research and industry are working with 13 Pakistani partners to make water consumption more efficient and productive along the entire cotton-textile value chain. The goal is to optimise the water footprint as a steering instrument to help Pakistani decision-makers manage scarce water resources, and to give German consumers criteria for making informed purchasing decisions.
In collaboration with Pakistani partners, the project is initially analysing current water consumption and pollution in the Punjab province. The work will combine satellite remote sensing, hydrological and hydraulic modelling, surveys of cotton farmers, audits of textile companies, and measurements of irrigation channels and groundwater. Demonstration projects will show possible solutions for reducing the cotton textile industry’s water footprint.
The demonstration project on textile wastewater treatment has made significant progress in recent months. Of roughly 220 textile businesses in the Faisalabad textile region, only around ten have treatment plants and several of those are not in use because of high energy costs. Yet with global brands under increasing public pressure to keep a closer eye on the environmental impacts of their producers, more and more Pakistani textile companies are being forced to invest in wastewater treatment. Cost pressure, improper planning and operation, and insufficient monitoring also lead to unsatisfactory treatment results. InoCottonGROW therefore wants to present an economic addition to the exclusively aerobic processes currently in use – by investigating the feasibility of anaerobically treating selected streams of easily degradable starchy wastewater from desizing.
After facing numerous logistical challenges in Pakistan, the FiW researchers commissioned the pilot plant, which was shipped as a container, in July 2018 at the Kohinoor Mills Ltd. textile factory in the district of Kasur, south of Lahore. The plant was planned and built in collaboration with the company A3 Water Solutions GmbH and the University of Stuttgart. After just a few weeks, the plant was producing biogas from the heavily organically contaminated wastewater. A high point was when the researchers used the biogas to boil a pot of tea in front of the factory employees. This was proof that wastewater can produce energy. The researchers then optimized the process to assess the economic viability of a large-scale plant under local conditions. Thanks to the close collaboration with the National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad, a local doctoral student will continue to operate the plant. In addition, initial offers have been made for providing textile companies with expert advice on wastewater. With the help of a documentary film about the project and the development of a water footprint label, InoCottonGROW is working to raise awareness among local decision-makers and German consumers.
The upcoming midterm conference 6 to 10 November 2018 at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad) will present interim results from all the work packages. These will also be discussed extensively in workshops and training sessions with Pakistani partners.
One of the greatest challenges for reservoir management in many regions of the world is a lack of the input and validation data needed for today’s highly complex models. The MuDak-WRM project aims to develop a globally applicable hydrological model for predicting mid- to long-term changes in the water quality of reservoirs. It will do this by simplifying the complexity of the underlying scientific approaches and therefore the required data. It is establishing key parameters to describe the characteristics of basins and bodies of water, and developing methods for minimum on-site monitoring.
In its first year, MuDak-WRM focused on collecting the necessary local data and developing the hydrological model. It set up the gauging stations in Brazil and conducted the first measurements in Brazil (at the Passaúna reservoir) and Germany (at the Great Dhünntal reservoir). It has also integrated the first results of the various measurements into a real-time data network called Sensorweb.
MuDak-WRM has been benefitting from great local support in Brazil. Right from the beginning, the project attracted wide-ranging interest in the Brazilian community. The kick-off event was very well-attended and interest in the project from local PhD students was exceptionally high. This led to the intensification of a joint graduate project between universities in Germany and Brazil, and the project now has ten Brazilian PhD students on board. MuDak-WRM also signed a memorandum of understanding with its local partner SANEPAR, the dam operator of Passaúna reservoir, at the start of the project. This cooperation resulted in a highlight for MuDak-WRM: SANEPAR provided a fully equipped research ship tailored to performing the measurements in the Passaúna basin. To prepare the ship for its mission, a number of challenges had to be overcome, including providing sufficient space for the measurements on board while taking account of the shallow draft in several parts of the lake, protecting the crew from the elements, and installing a power supply for laptops. Another highlight for MuDak-WRM is that the international environmental protection organization The Nature Conservancy is interested in the project. An MoU will soon be signed.
However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The team encountered some delays in the transport of lithium-ion batteries, and were confronted with vandalism and theft. Buoys for the sediment traps were stolen, though the sediment traps themselves were found with the help of divers. In addition, setting up the drones used for data acquisition involves a number of technical challenges. Despite these issues, though, nothing has so far caused any major delays to the project’s progress.
MuDak-WRM is currently planning and working on the land use survey and on integrating local, drone and satellite data. It is also implementing the hydrological and MoRE models in both reservoirs and is planning a general meeting with its German and Brazilian partners in Brazil in February 2019.