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.
World Water Day, which took place on 22 March, saw the launch of the International Decade for Action: "Water for Sustainable Development". The decade will help to improve cooperation and capacity development in the field of water management by encouraging the sharing of good practices and providing a platform for advocacy, networking and partnership-building in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
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.
On 20 February 2018, UNESCO and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission co-hosted an information session entitled “Science for Water: Effective Solutions for Achieving SDG 6 and Water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda” at the UN Headquarters in New York.
In view of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and sanitation and in the context of the upcoming “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), the session was a platform to discuss the importance of addressing water-management issues, and to inform member states about the collective contributions of UNESCO and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to the implementation of SDG-6 and other water-related targets.
During the session the need to close the gap between science and policy to achieve water related goals was emphazised. Furthermore a series of science based tools that could be used to guide policy and decision-making on water were presented.
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.
For the sixth year running, the annual Global Risks report has rated water crises as being among the top five global risks in terms of impact. The 2018 report covers more risks than ever, but pays particular attention to four key areas: environmental degradation, cybersecurity breaches, economic strains and geopolitical tensions.
In its inaugural publication, the Science Platform Sustainability 2030 has called for a significant increase in efforts to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Germany. The platform seeks to generate added value for science as well as for political and societal practice and to make a significant contribution to achieving the sustainable development goals.
In 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 global goals for sustainable development to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030. The Water JPI action IC4WATER focuses in particular on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) related to water challenges for implementing the Water JPI Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA 2.0). It will be implemented through a Joint Call on “Water resource management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”. Its aim is to encourage transnational collaborative projects on research and innovation to support the implementation of water policies. This call will cover two topics:
Multiple pressure effects on ecosystems and ecosystem services as well as effective mitigation – adaptation tools and assessments for implementing the water related targets of the UN SDGs.
Developing accessible solutions for clean water management to address UN SDG6 targets and associated SDGs.
The Water JPI 2017 Joint Call is funded by 12 Funding Partner Organisations from 12 countries, for a global estimated budget of 8.55 M€. This Call is for collaborative transnational research proposals. Consortia should include a minimum of 3 partners from 3 different participating countries. Each research Partner in a project must comply with the eligibility criteria and rules of its funding organisation.
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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