The WADI project started on the 1st of January 2006
and lasted three years, till the end of 2008
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES of the WADI project were:
1. to encourage the rational and sustainable use of freshwater resources within the Mediterranean coastal areas, experiencing freshwater scarcity, through participatory approaches;
2. to identify conflicts of use among stakeholders arising from improper management of water bodies and related constraints within selected study sites, across the Mediterranean coastal areas, which suffer from water scarcity and associated constraints;
3. to assess and estimate the impact/s of various water uses as well as nearby human activities on coastal water bodies, such as fluvial systems, estuaries, marshlands and lagoons;
4. to produce interdisciplinary scientific inputs for improved participatory water management strategies and related planning regimes for a rational use of water resources, taking into consideration economical, socio-cultural and environmental constraints at the local level, without losing sight of other broader scales (national, regional and international);
5. to develop and propose alternative management strategies and plans for the selected sites as well as general guidelines for appropriate and sustainable management of water resources in Mediterranean coastal areas;
6. to establish a network of scientists, authorities and local communities within the Mediterranean, to enhance local awareness on water quality, use and misuse.
The ACTIVITIES of the WADI project were:
1. Key issues of water demand and sustainability of selected water bodies (study sites) were identified through meetings with different stakeholders. A conceptual framework was developed for the context of each case study;
2. Impacts were assessed, indicators of impacts were identified and their magnitude estimated according to prevailing conditions at each study site. Databases were built and results were integrated in G.I.S., providing suitable interfaces for management purposes. Models were developed to highlight trends of changes, and influential factors estimated;
3. Soft-system analysis was used to identify key issues and constraints for subsequent management of water resources. The results of the analyses conducted in the case studies have helped to develop alternative scenarios;
4. These alternative scenarios have been proposed to the stakeholders for the specific cases analysed, and in a wider context in the Mediterranean;
5. The follow up was made through international meetings held in different countries.
The technical approach was as follows:
PRELIMINARY PHASE: choice of study sites and identification of stakeholders
PHASE 1: qualitative description of study sites
PHASE 2: quantitative description of study sites
PHASE 3: assessment of the impacts on the different compartments
PHASE 4: development of alternative desirable socioeconomic and ecological scenarios
PHASE 5: development of management guidelines of water bodies and dissemination of results
Results and outcomes of the project have been:
The project has contributed to enhance local competence for a sustainable use of water bodies and to reduce existing and potential conflicts for water uses between different stakeholders, with special attention given to the weakest components of the community and to sustainability at the advantage of future generations.
Throughout the project comparisons of various case-studies over the Mediterranean coastal areas were conducted, at both northern and southern sides, in international co-operation and in collaboration with governmental and local stakeholders of different Mediterranean countries.
Data bases on a wide geographical scale (ideally the Mediterranean region, comparing data bases) and time scale (using time series) have been produced to enhance the power of the management plans and to assist stakeholders to apply for financial support at the national and international levels.
The project contributed to identify the various stakeholders in different case studies and their various forms of contribution to water management according to various physical, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. This assisted in profiling different local communities and defining the roles of men and women at different areas and levels in water management and planning.
The specific role of women as end users of water was a main focus and special attention was paid to their involvement in the local dissemination of the project findings and results.
Dissemination material has been produced to convey messages easy to understand about the importance of water resource and its conservation through a correct use.