In March this year, the High-Level Panel on Water published its final report, Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action. The report stresses the need for action to avoid greater water shortage and defines three priorities for action: improving the understanding and valuation of water, leading integrated agendas to ensure access to water, and international cooperation.
The threat of “Day zero”, when taps in the city would run dry in the Western Cape of South Africa, clearly shows the necessity for sustaibable water management.. Even though “day zero” was averted just in time the region remains in a critical situation.
During this time of major drought, the project team of GlobeDrought acquired data from satellites and field sources which showed the severity of water shortage in this region caused by three years of an ongoing drought. At the time of research, natural water resources were left at its minimum. Water sources of major importance in the Western Cape region, such as the Theewaterskloof Dam, contained only 10.9% of its maximum capacity. The South African Government reacted with water restrictions. Just before “Day Zero” had reached, rain solved the problem for the time being. However long-term solutions need to be developed and put into practice.
The Team of GlobeDrought aims to develop a global web-based information system to forecast critical water stress situations at early stages by combining different data sources for water balance into one coherent system.
Within the GroW Initiative further projects - iWaGSS, go-Cam, STEER and WELLE- contribute to developing strategies and tool for sustainable integrated water resource management and adaptation in South Africa. To find out more, visit the Project sites.
To read more about thethe findings of GlobeDrought, please read the small a status quo report, which shortly summarizes their findings of drought conditions in the West Cape.
Between 18 and 23 March, water experts from government, science, industry, consultancies and NGOs met at the World Water Forum 2018 in Brazil to discuss potential solutions for key water-related challenges at the global level. Three of the four GRoW projects working in South America were present and jointly featured at the side event “Water scarcity in semi-arid environments of our Earth: Main challenges and recent developments for risk mitigation”, which was organised by the Water Science Alliance. The event focused on practical examples from South America, such as seasonal prediction of water resources, estimation of sediment loads into reservoirs, water quality problems, and efficient irrigation and water use. SaWaM presented an operational hydrometeorological forecasting system for dryland conditions in north-eastern Brazil. WANDEL gave a presentation on the improved water footprint of sugarcane-related energy production, and Trust introduced modular concepts for sustainable water supply and water reuse. SaWaM had the honour of being invited to present its work in the Brazilian pavilion with the Brazilian water authority.
Further information can be found in the programme.
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.
FONA über die Auftaktkonferenz: "Mit einer Konferenz ist am 12. und 13. September in Karlsruhe die neue Fördermaßnahme „Globale Ressource Wasser" (GRoW) des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) an den Start gegangen. Mehr als 150 Expertinnen und Experten trafen sich im Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM), um die Verbundprojekte der Maßnahme vorzustellen sowie gemeinsame Herausforderungen und Synergiepotenziale zu identifizieren. Mit GRoW möchte das BMBF einen Beitrag zur Umsetzung des in der Agenda 2030 der Vereinten Nationen formulierten Entwicklungsziels „Sauberes Wasser und Sanitäreinrichtungen" leisten. An der Auftaktveranstaltung nahmen Vertreterinnen und Vertreter aus mehr als 90 beteiligten Institutionen aus Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft und Praxis teil."
Lesen Sie den vollständigen Bericht hier.