The NeWater project had the following specific objectives:
NeWater was an ambitious integrated project that necessarily began with a new understanding among its diverse partners, to be achieved through:
- 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.
The founding principle of NeWater was the co-development and co-application of innovative methods in purposely selected river basins, a goal which was achieved through following two objectives:
- 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.
The core aim of NeWater was to understand and promote transitions to enhanced adaptive strategies for integrated water resource management. This was expressed in specific objectives:
- 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.
Assessing adaptive management and progress towards it implementation entailed understanding current vulnerability and adaptive capacity:
- 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.
The baseline understanding must be based in robust science:
- 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
The wealth of experience gained in the NeWater research and applications supports a broader and more knowledgeable community of researchers, practitioners and policy makers. These objectives encompass our synthesis and major deliverables:
- 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.