Projections of future climate change point to increasing water scarcity and drought in the Mediterranean region. This will cause serious socio-economic loss and have significant environmental impact. In this context, efforts are needed to strengthen public participation and embed a sense of responsibility within society concerning water management and adaptation towards these threats. The combination of improved awareness, mutual learning processes and shared responsibility of civil society and stakeholders are the key to ensuring successful adaptation strategies and their implementation, leading to increased resilience of the social-ecological system of a river basin.

BEWATER  promoted dialogue and collaboration between science and society in sustainable water management in the Mediterranean. Project partners organised participatory processes involving scientists and other stakeholders in four pilot river basins throughout the Mediterranean (Catalonia, Cyprus, Slovenia and Tunisia).  Each identified and shared the challenges of climate change in their particular region and the various water management options available, designing joint plans for adaptation to climate change in their regions. BEWATER helped to find sustainable and inclusive solutions to key challenges facing European society, to incorporate Science in Society issues into research and innovation systems and to improve transnational cooperation.

Objectives of the BEWATER project were to:

  1. launch an innovative process of societal transition towards a more sustainable, resilient and adaptive river basin management.
  2. develop an innovative, stakeholder-driven method. 
  3. promote the transfer of BEWATER results into policy.
  4. promote mutual and multi-directional learning among the project partners, entities and actors within and between the river basins and with the broader society.
  5. raise awareness and promote a bottom-up approach within the scientific community for planning and implementation processes.
  6. enhance social participation and build societal resilience.
  7. explore and assess opportunities for Research & Innovation (R&I) collaboration between organisations, universities, SMEs and civil society actors to boost innovation in the water sector.

EFIMED was Work Package leader for Communications and Dissemination and participated in the technical work packages which worked closely with stakeholders in four Mediterranean river basins to develop water management options, adaptation plans and policy recommendations for sustainable water management and climate change adaptation.

The project was lead by the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF), and it had 12 partners:

  • Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales - CREAF, Spain
  • Corporation Blue BV, the Netherlands
  • The Cyprus Institute Ltd – CYI, Cyprus
  • Ecologic Institut gemeinnützige GMBH – Ecologic Institute, Germany
  • Europe for Business Ltd, UK
  • European Forest Institute, EFI
  • Institut National de Resecherches en Genie Rural, Eaux et Forets - INGREF, Tunisia
  • Institut za Vode Republike Slovenije - IZVRS, Slovenia
  • JRC - Joint Research Centre – European Commission
  • Prospex BVBA, Belgium
  • Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development  -  MIO-ECSDE, Greece
  • Anbessa Environmental Consulting di Leone Andrea, Italy

Read more about the project here:

BEWATER project was  funded by the European Commission. 7th Framework programme. Science in Society. Grant agreement Nr. 612385.

Project management
sarah.adams @
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales - CREAF
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