MedWater

MedWater: Sustainable management of politically and economically highly relevant water resources in hydraulically, climatically and ecologically highly dynamic carbonate groundwater aquifers of the Mediterranean

Summary

MedWater’s core objective is the optimal management of scarce groundwater resources in vulnerable hard-rock aquifers subject to the Mediterranean climate. The project will develop management tools for improving efficiency in water use and preserving existing water resources and ecosystem services. MedWater’s main product will be a globally applicable, web-based “real-time data-based decision-support system” (DSS) that provides suggestions for water management. The project’s regional focus is the Mediterranean, and it will conduct case studies in Israel, Palestine, France and Italy. Forecasting models and scenario analyses will be key components of the work. A globally parametrised soil and water assessment tool (SWAT model) will be used to determine water footprints for the import and export of food products, and to show the interaction with global water resources and ecosystem services.
Priorities
  • Characterize the (resource-consumer) system and produce forecasting models for the hydrologically and hydrogeologically linked processes
  • Define the major external influencing factors and formulate scenarios (trends, nature conservation, economy) that consider the variability of the influencing factors
  • Produce forecasts for the resource-consumer system for defined scenarios, and evaluate the results from the perspectives of sustainability, the environment, the economy, and society
  • Establish indicators and target variables
  • Achieve a multicriteria optimisation of water management in respect of the target variables
  • Produce Pareto-optimal solutions and development scenarios
  • Develop concepts for transferring local results to a transregional and possibly global level

Relevance

Current management strategies in semiarid regions primarily aim to further increase resource provision. However, universal and equitable access to clean water and drinking water is the chief aim of Sustainable Development Goal 6. With this in mind, MedWater aims to help improve the management of existing water resources with a new approach that, as well as taking account of human consumption, also pays particular attention to the needs of ecosystems.

More information about the joint research project is available here.