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NeWater : New Approaches to Adaptive Water Management under Uncertainty


Objectives of the project:

Objective 1. To develop a conceptual framework for research and adaptive management of river basins that integrates natural science, engineering and social science concepts and methodologies.
Objective 2. To apply the NeWater knowledge and tools in transboundary river basins, with special emphasis on EU Water Framework Directive and Water Initiative implementation areas.
Objective 3.To develop protocols and tools for stakeholder engagement and analysis in participatory research and management of IWRM.
Objective 4. To analyse the role of key factors including governance, participation and spatial planning for the transition to adaptive management of river basins.
Objective 5. To develop approaches that integrate poverty alleviation, gender awareness and health planning in the adaptive management of river basins.
Objective 6. To develop a range of tools to assess and manage the transition to adaptive management tailored to the institutional, cultural, environmental, technological settings of river basins.
Objective 7. To compile a baseline of present vulnerability and adaptive capacity of river basins that integrates exposure to present socio-institutional, economic and environmental stresses and shocks.
Objective 8. To assess current practice in IWRM and draw lessons for the transfer of new scientific methodologies for IWRM practitioners.
Objective 9. To analyse and classify major sources of uncertainty in IWRM and their implications for management.
Objective 10. To develop a sound scientific foundation for managing uncertainties, interactions across scales, integration across sectors and exposure to future stresses for climate resources, conflicts between water quantity, water quality and ecosystem services.
Objective 11. To develop a range of tools to assess vulnerability and adaptive capacity that supports transitions to effective adaptive management of river basins.
Objective 12. To explore the influence of system structure and external shocks, stresses, and trends on adaptive capacity, resilience, and vulnerability.
Objective 13. To analyse scenarios of future vulnerability and adaptive capacity of river basins in order to provide end points of transitions to adaptive management strategy.
Objective 14. To deliver a comprehensive methodology and protocol for its use that demonstrates best practice in using innovative tools for adaptive management drawn from the NeWater case studies.
Objective 15. To develop an innovative toolkit and guidance for practitioners in applying methods for the adaptive water management of river basins.
Objective 16. To share experience and innovations in dialogues, publications and action, to further the European Research Area and to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and EU Water Initiative.
Objective 17. To initiate an world-wide research to application platform for effective scientific and cross-policy cooperation in dealing with the high complexity and limited predictability of integrated water resources management on a river basin scale that contributes to constructive dialogues with the Global Water Partnership (GWP), World Water Council (WWC), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other efforts.

NeWater has several types of products and public deliverables

Project information

University of Osnabrück (DE) Britta Kastens Ilke Borowski

* Alterra - Wageningen University and Research Centre, NL * Cemagref, FR * Geological Service of Denmark & Greenland, DK * HR Wallingford, UK * International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, AT * Stockholm Environmental Institute - Oxford Office Limited, UK * Taskent Agricultural Mechanisation and Irrigation Institute, UZ * USF Kassel, DE * Catholic University Leuven, Research group Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology, BE * University of Cranfield, UK * Ecologic Institute for International & European Environmental Policy, DE * Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, IT * International Center for Integrative Studies, University Maastricht, NL * Institute of Hydrodynamics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, CZ * Institute of Natural Resources, ZA * Water Research Institute of National Research Council, IT * Environmental Technologies Centre, PT * International Union for the Conservation of Nature, INT1 * Manchester Metropolitan University, UK * Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, DE * National Scientific Centre for Medical and Biotechnical Research, UA * Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, DE * RBA, Technical University Delft, NL * Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat - Rijkswaterstaat Waterdienst (Center for Water Management), NL * SEECON, DE * T.G. Masaryk Water Research Insitute, CZ * University of Madrid, ES * Institute of Environmental Research, DE * Umeå University, SE * University of Exeter, UK * Technical University of Madrid, ES * University of Twente, NL * Vrije University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies, NL * Wageningen University, NL * Centre for Development Research, DE * Geological Survey of Spain2, ES * Oxford University, UK

Source of funding
FP 6

Reference information



Adaptive capacity Adaptive management Adaptation measures/responses Knowledge exchange Risk assessment and uncertainties Stakeholder involvement Social issues



Climate impacts

Water Scarcity, Flooding, Droughts


Adaptation Plans and Strategies


Water management

Geographic characterization


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