Every drop counts in Mediterranean countries
The threat of water shortages is a major concern for many countries in the western Mediterranean region. The availability and quality of water and soil for different uses are important for the economic development and social welfare of the region. The MEDDMAN project, with support from EU funds, took an integrated approach to addressing this threat, developing strategies and tools for better management of water resources and soils in the region.
"Thanks to MEDDMAN, the Interregional River Basin Authority of Basilicata in southern Italy has improved its knowledge in water management policy and analytical methodologies for evaluating water resource availability. This has improved operating methods for water planning as well as management systems in areas often suffering from drought and desertification, thus mitigating water crises and drought risk in the area."
Clementina Cavuoti (public servant – engineer) and Sonia Pagliaro (public servant – geologist), River Basin Authority of Basilicata
The four countries involved, Greece, Italy, France and Spain, are acutely aware of the need to control water consumption and be able to assess the amount and quality of resources available. With this in mind, the project has contributed to integrated management of catchment areas and improved water-demand balance by providing tools for sustainable water use and raising greater awareness among the general public about water scarcity.
Assessing the impact of nature
The underlying aim of the MEDMANN project (Integrated water resources management, development and comparison of common transnational methodologies to combat drought in the western Mediterranean regions) was to ensure continued and improved economic growth in the region. It examined ways of reusing water and promoted co-operation between regions and countries to combat drought, developing an integrated system to evaluate the state of surface water and groundwater resources.
MEDMANN emphasized regional involvement in resource management and conducted environmental impact studies on land degradation. Special attention was paid to the environmental impacts of extreme meteorological and hydrological events which can have a significant impact on local development and the livelihoods of residents.
Many experiences, one goal
Several water management projects were undertaken in pilot areas. MEDDMAN consolidated these efforts, turning them into useful tools for wider use. The methodologies developed underwent a trans-regional consultation process, including hydrological cycle analysis, regional models for drought forecasting, the potential for water reuse, integrated water resource management and drought risk management. The advantage of having many regions take part means that the solutions can be applied to different situations and challenges, offering a valuable tool for authorities elsewhere. The general public also plays a key role in how water is used, notably in their daily consumption habits, and was therefore the target of awareness-raising campaigns in the project.