A short summary of GRoW’s first year paints a positive picture. The research projects have started well and are also attracting a great deal of international attention. They have begun developing partnerships and networks with public and private international stakeholders, and are finding support among global environmental organisations. This keen interest shows that GRoW is doing relevant, topical work – primarily because it is successfully developing local and regional, globally transferrable solutions for protecting water resources.
Here are a few highlights:
In Iran, the SaWaM project is receiving support from one of the country’s biggest players in the water and hydropower industries – the Khuzestan Water Authority, which manages over a third of Iran’s water reserves. As well as helping to make the kick-off event in Iran a great success (over 100 people attended), it also took the time to visit key Iranian reservoirs with project participants and to outline local water management solutions. Similarly, iWaGSS has attracted a great deal of interest from the South African water authority, which is helping the project to install measurement stations and providing its own stations.
Meanwhile, go-CAM is collaborating closely on research with the University of Rhode Island, since sustainably managing coastal aquifers is also raising important research questions across the Atlantic. WANDEL has set up a new partnership with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA). The corporation recognized WANDEL as playing a significant, relevant role in the context of the growing tension between energy production and sustainable water management in Brazil.
The MuDak-WRM project has entered into a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, an international environmental protection organization, also based in Brazil. The partners have already signed a memorandum of understanding. In addition, MuDak-WRM is benefiting from the full support of SANEPAR, a major Brazilian water technology firm. Among other things, it has provided a research ship specifically tailored to the needs of the project. InoCottonGrow has also attracted interest from international environmental organisations and is currently working on a memorandum of understanding with the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan).
A wide variety of workshops, capacity-building schemes, measurement campaigns, and event visits are planned for 2018. These will provide major support to all the GRoW projects, help them make progress, and strengthen their international impact.