Project name Climate-proof Water Stewardship in Central Europe (working title) - WaterStewards
Objective Objective 3.1
Priority Natural and cultural resources
Aim The project will address the climate-driven water scarcity challenge, which according to a recent World Bank report (entitled: High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy ) might cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration and spark conflicts. According to the report the combined effects of growing populations, rising incomes, and expanding cities will see demand for water rising exponentially, while supply becomes more erratic and uncertain.
However the negative impacts of climate change on water could be neutralized with better policy decisions and improved regional water management and stewardship will pay high economic dividends. Therefore this project will bring together partners from various background but the same interest in improving water management. Our partnership includes SMEs working on water management and supply, regions and municipalities whose economy might be effected with water scarcity and researchers who can deliver evidences for and drive innovation.
Within the framework of the project the consortium will develop integrated environmental management strategies in the participating regions (5 regions expressed interest in participating the project). The integrated strategies will strengthen the water stewardship capacities on regional level and improve the preparedness of regions to the increasing environmental / water supply risks linked to the effects of climate change.
The applying consortium recognises ecosystem services as an important factor for decreasing water scarcity and for improving economic opportunities for regions. As ecosystem services is a very complex phenomena, the regions will have their special focus areas linked to their particular local challenges. Such an allocation of special focus will help the project to increase its effect by delivering best practice examples in various fields.
Results a) providing added-value for the decision-making process addressed by the project (on the level of different pilot challenges) in terms of effectiveness, value creation, optimised opportunities and minimised risk;
b) enhancing the potential for market uptake of pilot actions demonstrated by addressing the added value in Central Europe and ensuring the replicability of the methodological frameworks in potential end-user markets;
c) promoting a better informed and connected end-user community via modular platform.
The following activities are planned in the project:
• carry out a needs-assessment in each region to define and prioritise specific local challenges
• map ecosystem services on a regional level
• develop concrete regional strategies with adaptation and mitigation actions
• training and study tour for municipality leaders
• implement a small-scale pilot action in order test the methodology developed in each country
• implement the module platform for informing the end users, sharing the experiences and facilitating replicability of the methodological frameworks
• publish a handbook with a proposed and tested set of adaptation measures for various economic areas such as tourism, agriculture, forestry, etc…
• disseminate the project outcomes on at least 3 levels: 1) regionally to local citizens, 2) nationally to decision makers, 3) internationally / European level to policy makers and regions

Cost The initial estimate of the total project cost is around 2,1 M EUR
Duration 36 months
Partners involved VTK Innosystem Ltd, SME, Hungary
Pannontáj Natur Park, association of 29 municipalities, Hungary
Szechenyi István University, research institute, Hungary
European Wilderness Society, NGO, Austria
Lungau region, municipality, Austria
Vodnizdroja, SME, Czech Republic
Regionálna rozvojová agentúra ISTER, regional development agency (67 municipalities), Slovakia
AGH University of Science and Technology, research institution, Poland
Partners requested Municipality from Poland
Partners from Germany would be welcome
Benefit The project will look for developing responses to the requirements of various EU policies such as the Common Agriculture Policy, Water Framework Directive, Floods Directive, Habitat and Birds Directive. As required by the application manual the Transnational cooperation within the project will allow for improving the capacities of the involved regional actors by supporting the development and implementation of integrated environmental strategies and tools as well as the joint testing of pilot solutions.
Innovation Developing and implementing integrated strategies and tools to sustainably use natural resources for regional development, thus avoiding potential use conflicts (e.g. with tourism, transport, industry, agriculture, energy, etc.)
Harmonising environmental management concepts and tools on the transnational level for risk prevention and management (e.g. flood risk management plans) and to reduce negative climate change impacts on the environment and human life (e.g. adaptation measures)
Follow up of not relevant
Follow up fundings not relevant