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Case Studies




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Overview of water-systems-related EU research projects (600 kb)

Selected European Commission research projects under the Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Development (EESD) section of the Fifth Framework Programme:
Key Action 1.1.1 Strategic planning and integrated management methodologies and tools at catchment scale

BMW: Benchmark Models for the Water Framework Directive

2002-01-01 to 2004-12-31

The overall objective of the project is to establish a set of socio-economic, bio-geo-chemical and systems analytical criteria to assess the appropriateness of integrated models for the use in the implementation of the WFD.


FIRMA: Freshwater integrated resource management with agents

2000-03-01 to 2003-02-28

Aims to apply agent based modelling to integrate hydrological, social and economic aspects of water resource management.


HARMONICA: Harmonised modelling tools for integrated basin management

2002-10-01 to 2007-09-30

HarmoniCA will establish a forum for unambiguous communication and discussion concerning the use and development of all tools relevant to the implementation at the WFD.


HARMONIQUA: Harmonising quality assurance in model based catchment and river basin management

2002-01-01 to 2005-12-31

The project aims to develop a European methodology for modelling and simulation in water management, covering both generic and domain specific modelling activities.


HARMONIRIB: Harmonised techniques and representative river basin data for assessment and use of uncertainty information in integrated water management

2002-10-01 to 2006-03-31

HarmoniRiB will develop an uncertainty analysis tool kit comprising methodologies and tools for identifying, assessing and quantifying uncertainty and risk in decision making.


HARMONIT: It frameworks

2002-01-01 to 2005-12-31

The aim of the HarmonI IT project is to develop an 'Open Modelling Interface and Environment (OMI)'. The purpose of this environment is to facilitate the linking of models and so allow catchment process interactions to be represented in the formulation and selection of sustainable policies for catchment management.


Key Action 1.1.2 Socio-economic aspects of sustainable use of water

ADVISOR: Integrated Evaluation for Sustainable River Basin Governance

2001-05-01 to 2004-04-30

Aims to the delivery of a set of guidelines to river basin authorities and related EU agencies for the execution of integrated evaluation of projects.


EUWARENESS: European Water Regimes and the Notion of a Sustainable Status

2000-02-01 to 2002-01-02

Aims to offer a better understanding of the dynamic relationships between various conflicting uses of water resources, the regimes under which these uses of water resources are managed, and factors in the political context generating regime shifts. Through a comparative analysis in six European countries, the project will deliver operative criteria for the formation and revision of institutional water resources regimes on the level of property and use rights combined with specific design elements of the relevant protection and use policies. Thus the conclusions of this study will also be used to formulate suggestions for the operational aspects and political implementation of the principle of sustainability in water resource management in the EU.


HARMONICOP: Harmonising collaborative planning

2002-11-01 to 2005-10-31

The main objective of the HarmoniCOP project is to increase our understanding of participatory river basin management in Europe and support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive on this point.


INTERMEDIARIES: New intermediary services and the transformation of urban water supply and wastewater disposal systems in Europe

2002-11-01 to 2005-10-31

This project provides a thorough assessment of the contribution of "intermediary" services, emerging between the user and provider of water supply and wastewater disposal facilities, to the more rapid implementation of key objectives of EU water policy. The research programme examines whether, in what ways and in what institutional contexts intermediary services could accelerate the application of resource-saving technologies and water management practices. A review of national regulatory regimes, including the uneven emergence of water market liberalisation across Europe, provides the framework for a comprehensive appraisal of the role of intermediary services through detailed case studies in seven urban regions in the EU and 2 Accession States. Intermediaries will be evaluated in terms of their impact on the environment, economic efficiency and the management of water/wastewater infrastructure networks.


AQUALIBRIUM: European Water Management Between Regulation and Competition

2002-01-01 to 2003-01-01

AQUALIBRIUM will improve the state-of-the-art of information availability and discussion process by providing a multi-dimensional "map" of the current debate and the state of affairs in public-private partnership in water management covering all Member States of the European Union by realising two steps. First, AQUALIBRIUM will collect data and information on the current debate and national strategies for public-private partnership in respect to fundamental ideological positions, actor-specific perspectives, the pros and cons in discussion, recently taken initiatives and experiences. Second, it will organise the assessment and evaluation of these national strategies which aims to outline advantages and drawbacks, device best practices and identify topical issues and knowledge deficits.


MEIF: Methode d' evaluation des investissements dans l' eau prospectives sur le financement et le prix de l'eau

2003-01-01 to 2004-06-30

MEIF's first purpose is to improve the knowledge of the methods of evaluation of investments in water and sanitation. It will also allow the definition of principles aiming at making sure of the consistency of the prevision and the relevance of the comparisons made about the investments to make. Afterwards, MEIF should allow a better comprehension of the national strategies concerning the financing of the investments and the links of private financing and Public Private Partnerships. At last, MEIF tries to analyse the links between financing and pricing by studying the final consequences of the different types of financing on the price of water, taking into account the effects of the application of the polluter-payer principle and the full cost recovery.


SLIM: Social learning for the integrated management and sustainable use of water at catchment scale

2001-02-01 to 2004-05-31

The project assembles a multidisciplinary group of researchers of diverse perspectives to work alongside stakeholders. They will study social learning through for a of stakeholders in catchments of different type, scale and socio-economic situation, and develop and test the usefulness of social tools and methods developed from their research and in other spheres, such as soft-systems analysis. The output will be strategic planning methodologies and social tools for the integrated management of water as catchment or river-basin scale and other "bundles" of natural resources.


Key Action 1.1.3 Operational management schemes and decision support systems

GOUVERNe: Guidelines for the organisation, use and validation of information systems for evaluating aquifer resources and needs

2000-03-01 to 2003-03-01

The project GOUVERNe will deveop an implementation for selected case studies in the European Union, a user-based and scientifically validated Decision support system (DSS) for management of underground water resources at the catchment levels. Hydrological, spatial and economic data sets will be integrated within scenario simulation tools under a state-of-the-art information and communications technology (ICT) user interface. The product will allow robust and clear scientific support for deliberation by decision-makers and stakeholders permitting intelligent compromises, identification of novel management options and, to the extent possible, co-operative conflict resolution.


MERIT: Management of the environment and resources using integrated techniques

2001-06-01 to 2004-05-31

MERIT will develop an integrated water resource management methodology considering the environmental, economic, social and political impacts. Towards this purpose, a decision support system based on the Bayesian belief network will be developed. This will lead to guidelines for the construction of a generic tool for the assessment and management of water resources at the river basin scale and guidelines for the way in which stakeholder groups can be selected and involved in the shaping of the management tool.


MULINO: Multi-sectoral, integrated and operational decision support system for sustainable use of water resources at the catchment scale

2001-01-01 to 2003-12-31

The project aims to design, test and implement an operational DSS tool to support decisions based on hydrologic modelling, multi-disciplinary indicators and indices and a multi-criteria evaluation procedure for catchment-based management of water resources. Emphasis is given to assist local water management administrations in their efforts to implement or adapt to European water policy acts and local regulations.


WOISYDES: Water observing and information system for decision support

2002-12-01 to 2004-11-30

The project is aiming to create Water Information Centers in the partner institutions of NAS, promote the use of best practises and technologies in DSS, shorten the links between the research and in-formation centers and the end-users, create capacities and improve the networking at national and international levels in the field.


Key Action 1.3.1. Management of water in the city

AISUWRS: Assessing and Improving Sustainablilty of Urban Water Resources and Systems

2002-11-01 to 2005-10-31

The overall scope is to assess and improve the sustainability of urban water resources and systems with the help of computer tools. The project will analyse a range of existing urban water supply and disposal scenarios by demonstrating how each scenario differs in its handling of contaminants. In addition to 4 case studies, AISUWRS aims to develop a management and DS system that will make use of innovative pipeline and urban water system assessment procedures to deliver detailed guidelines and recommendations for the safeguarding and protection of urban water resources.


DAYWATER: Adaptive Decision Support System for Stormwater Pollution Control

2002-12-01 to 2005-11-30

The projects aims at developing an adaptative decision support (ADSS) for use by stakeholders involved in urban water management. The ADSS is a combination of simulation models, assessment tools, databases, guidance documents, road maps, etc.. presented and operating together on a web site or CD-ROM. Starting from an analysis of end-user's experience on decision making in stormwater source control, the research will focus on the functional behaviour of structural and non structural best management practices (BMPs). Models will be developped for simulating pollution fluxes and assessing their possible control and fate within BMPs, and for assessing risks and impacts related to urban stormwater. The project is carried out by a multi-disciplinary research team and includes 14 end-users corresponding to European cities presenting various climates and organisation, where ADSS will be developed and tested.


Key Action 4.1 Sustainable city planning and rational resource management

CAST: Process and software tools for analysis and simulation of development of cities into the future (City Analysis Simulation Tool)

2002-10-01 to 2005-09-30

The project will apply the Science of Complexity as the basis for analysis of cities, and will develop a process and software tools for analysis and simulation cities as complex systems - a City Analysis Simulation Tool (CAST), in close collaboration with municipalities and other potential beneficiaries.


DEMOS: Democratic Participation in Urban Governance

2002-02-01 to 2004-06-30

The DEMOS project will address the need for innovation and sustainability in urban governance in a European society suffering increasingly from democratic deficit, citizen dissatisfaction and policy fragmentation. Project partners form 3 interlinked spheres of action research: city test sites, research & evaluation framework, advisory &dissemination forum. Core partner cities will implement & test innovatory mechanisms for participatory local governance, using an Innovation Development Fund. Research partners will continuously assess & feed back on the partner cities' organisational processes and outcomes & provide them with training.


DISCUS: Developing Institutional and Social Capacity for Urban Sustainability

2001-12-01 to 2004-11-30

Aims to examine the factors and conditions that permit good governance for urban sust. development in Europ. towns and cities, with an emphasis on identifying and understanding the relationship between institutional development/capacity-building in local government, and social capital formation/capacity-building in civil society. This will be achieved through a 36 month programme, to include a review of capacity-building, and a detailed methodological framework, providing the structure for in-depth evaluation of 50 case study local authorities. Outcomes include the production of policy guidance for organising and delivering local sustainability, an Evaluation Report, and the development of future Award Guidelines for best practice.


ECOPADEV: Developing new decision-making tools to promote the sustainable development in european cities based on eco-industrial park strategy

2002-01-01 to 2004-06-30

The ECOPADEV project is focused in developing decision-making tools for local authorities to improve town planning and local living conditions.


IANUS: Indicators system to assess new urban services. Improving decision making through evaluation

2000-02-01 to 2003-01-01

The IANUS project provides urban managers with a tool to assess the overall satisfaction of public facilities in economic, functional, social and environmental terms. That tool helps to plan correction actions on current facilities, and to get a more accurate definition of new ones.


LASALA-ONLINE: Local agenda 21 self-assessment for local authorities on-line

2003-02-01 to 2004-04-30

Aims to maximise benefits and add value to the LASALA research project. The target is to improve urban governance and decision-making by setting up a fully automatised self-evaluation tool for European local authorities engaged in LA21 processes, and to ensure its wide use amongst participants of the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign. This will be achieved by enhancing the self-assessment module and by developing computer software to move from manual to automatic encoding of data and elaboration of benchmarking reports. The resulting online facility will allow local authorities to self-assess their LA21 activities and to benchmark their individual responses against the LASALA database. The database will be automatically updated with each new reply and this will allow identification of general trends and changing dynamics of the European wide local sustainability scenario.


PETUS: Practical evaluation tools for urban sustainability

2002-12-01 to 2005-11-30

PETUS will develop and test practical evaluation tools that will enable public and private sector organisations to develop and manage urban infrastructure projects to promote sustainable development. The tools will include decision-making and public participation processes.

PLUS: Participation, leadership, and urban sustainability

2002-02-01 to 2004-07-31

Aims to accumulate and disseminate practical knowledge about the complementarity of political leadership and citizen involvement in cities, which are leaders in promoting sustainable development. By researching alternative approaches to urban leadership and community involvement in local decision-making in nine countries the project will identify aspects of good practice.


TOOLSUST: The involvement of stakeholders to develop and implement tools for sustainable households in the city of tomorrow

2000-12-01 to 2003-11-30

This project will build upon the empirical results and the theoretical innovations made in the sustainable cities network process, and in the consumer oriented projects of the Environment and Climate Programme. The possibility for changes in lifestyles are, however, the main objective of our project. We will expand the analysis beyond individual attitudes and the behaviour of household by including stakeholders such as: consumer organisations, environmental organisations, retailers, the local political authorities and local governments. In a multidisciplinary approach - including both natural and social science, the main innovative aspect of our project is the development of tools for a sustainable development of consumption and the involvement of stakeholders in this process: identifying goals, develop and test various tools for sustainable consumption and the implementation of these tools in everyday life.


UGIS: Urban development programme, urban governance, social inclusion and urban sustainability

2000-04-01 to 2003-03-31

The project undertakes a multilevel research in 32 neighbourhoods in 9 countries, on what the effects of urban development programmes are on social inclusion and urban sustainability.


URBEST: Urban best practices

2002-04-01 to 2004-03-31

URBEST is a communication project on urban best practices aiming at involving relevant stakeholders in a wide debate on socio-economic and technological innovation in urban areas. It brings together content providers (experts in urban issues, development agencies, networks of cities) and communication experts (TV producers and TV Channels). URBEST will organise a cycle of 6 months TV programmes to be broadcast on a network of European TV Channels.


Key Action 1.6.1. Water resources use and management

AQUADAPT: Strategic tools to support adaptive, integrated water resource management under changing utilisation conditions at catchment scale : A co-evolutionary approach

2002-02-01 to 2005-07-31

The AQUADAPT project will generate knowledge and tools to support strategic water resource planning in semi-arid contexts with an emphasis on the co-ordination of planning with other aspects of environmental, land use, and socio-economic development. The project is characterised by a co-evolutionary perspective, the application of a cross-disciplinary enquiry framework, and emphasis on practical outputs, informed by end-users. Research will characterise co-evolutionary trajectories and identify robust configurations of technologies, policies and distribution arrangements. Actions focus on an analysis of the spatial and temporal relationships between climate change, land use, governance arrangements, human behaviour, water quality/quantity, and environmental integrity. Output supports decision-making and stakeholder participation in water resource planning and management.


Other EESD

EUROMARKET: Water liberalisation scenarios : an empirical analysis of the evolution of european water supply and sanitation sectors

2003-01-01 to 2005-12-31

This research project aims at analysing the consequences of the liberalisation of the water supply and sanitation sectors in economic, ecological, social and institutional terms. This is done by means of exploring different liberalisation scenarios, which, in turn, result from three separate analyses, namely: (1) an analysis of the evolving water market in both distribution and sewerage, (2) an analysis of the evolution of the different enterprises ' strategies, and (3) an analysis of existing legislation and regulations at the EU country level (including Switzerland) and their likely evolutions in light of the EU's water Framework Directive and its implementation.



  European Commission: FP5, non-EESD

GOVERN PARTICIPATORY: Achieving sustainable and innovative policies through participatory governance in multi-level context

2000-02-01 to 2002-01-31

In the search for participatory governance (PG) the theoretical starting point of this analysis an evaluation of the recent scholar debates on the challenges to governance. Empirical research will focus on specific policy areas in the field of environmental protection and takes account of different territorial levels (EU, national regional and local).

RIVER DIALOGUE: Empowerment and awareness building in river basin management through focus groups and citizens juries

2003-01-01 to 2004-12-31

The project is aimed at bridging the gap between the scientists, decision makers involved in managing European waters, and the public in understanding the challenges of water use and protection. The project will include organization of focus groups in three European river basins - in the Motala Stroem in Sweden, the Emajogi River in Estonia, IJsselmeer basin in Netherlands. Citizens' juries will be organized to test and develop the approach, and to practically increase public participation. Guidelines and policy recommendations for using focus groups and citizen juries in preparation and implementation of river basin management plans will be prepared. Guidelines will be published as training kit, on an interactive website for the distance learning and on CD.


PRINWASS: Barriers to and conditions for the involvement of private capital and enterprise in water supply and sanitation in Latin America and Africa: seeking economic, social, and environmental sustainability

2001-11-01 to 2004-04-30

This research aims to identify the socio-economic and policy conditions, and implementation measures, that will favour progress in sustainable development in water and sanitation management (WSM) systems. It addresses the environmental aspects of WSM, and also the need for achieving greater equity and democratic accountability. The project examines the impact of the increased but uneven recent expansion of private capital investment in the WSM sector of developing countries.


WAGE: Making Water Governance Effective

2003-02-01 to 2004-01-31

The overall objective is to improve understanding of the challenges that many Africa countries will face in implementing effective water governance at a local- level. Specifically, the objectives of the measure are: - to identify issues and constraints associated with local-level water governance regimes in three African countries - to identify good practice to help alleviate water governance constraints at a local level - to assist in setting priorities for potential support measures to improve local level water governance.

WAM-ME: Water Resources Management under Drought Conditions: Criteria and Tools for Conjunctive Use of Conventional and Marginal Waters in Mediterranean Regions

2000-04-01 to 2003-03-31

Aims at improving water resources management and environmental control in drought-rpone Mediterranean regions. The criteria for an efficient use of marginal water resources, including the reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation and the withdrawal of deep groundwater will be defined. Modelling tools and a Decision Support System (DSS) for the conjunctive use of conventional and marginal waters will be developed.

VIRTU@LIS: Social Learning on Environmental issues with the Interactive Information and Communication Technologies

2001-09-01 to 2004-02-29

Good communications between public authorities, private sector firms and citizens can enhance understanding and trust, which are essential ingredients for mobilising citizens' efforts in situations of emergency (e.g. contamination crises) and wider environmental governance. ViRTU@LiS aims to create learning tools for improving citizens' awareness of environmental management and risks. The project will develop computer-based learning tools, exploiting state-of-the-art ICT that organise current scientific knowledge about selected environmental domains for non-scientific audiences.


ANFAS: Data Fusion for Flood Analysis and Decision Support

2000-01-01 to 2002-12-31

ANFAS project aims at developing a Support Decision System for flood prevention and protection, integrating the most advanced techniques of data processing and management. Tools based on Computer Vision and Scientific Computing will enable to create a model of the scene and to perform flood simulation. Close involvement of end-users and industrial partners may lead to the realisation of an Integrated Information System close to a prototype. Pilot applications will be carried out on the Vah river in Slovaka, the Loire in France, the Poyang lake and the Three Gorges reservoir in China.


AGORA 2000: Innovative IST Platforms and Services to Support a Democratic Regional/Urban Planning Process

2000-09-01 to 2003-02-28

The aim of the AGORA 2000 project is to develop innovative multimedia and integrated platforms and services designed to bridge the gap between citizens and regional/urban decision makers by creating an improved and easy-to-use on-line information access system, which will allow the participation to the regional/urban planning process. Indeed, democratic decision-making requires easy interaction between private citizens, elected representatives and those who are charged with advising, and implementing decisions. It is therefore vital that any planning process should leave space for discussion between the planners and both local authorities and the public. The project involves regional and urban decision makers from the following areas/ countries: Tuscany and Valle Maira (I), Aquitaine (F), Anatoli (EL), Valencia (E).


EDEN: Electronic Democracy European Network

2001-02-01 to 2003-07-31

The goal of EDEN is to allow a true bi-directional communication between citizens and Public Administration's staff. The project will achieve this goal by defining a multimedia platform for democratic consultation. The software platform will integrate tools based on new emerging technologies (NLP and Mobile Communication Protocols) in order to improve the accessibility and user-friendliness; it will be designed according to user requirements emerging from current problems and experiences in civic consultation; the pilot sites will develop applications in the domain of Urban Planning, based on the common platform, to perform real test and collect results.


MEDMONT: Tools for evaluating investment in the Mediterranean mountain areas - an integrated framework for sustainable development

2001-01-01 to 2003-12-31

At the current state of art, no integrated framework for evaluating multiple impacts of investment projects in the context of sustainable development for the mountain Mediterranean areas is available. This research will produce such a methodological framework to support ex ante and ex post investment evaluation and monitoring decisions.

ANSEA: Toward an analytical strategic environmental assessment methodology

2000-03-01 to 2002-02-28

The working hypothesis which this project will try to demonstrate, is that it is feasible and logically sound to focus the environmental assessment of Policy, Plans and Programmes (PPP) on the assessment of the policy formulation process in which the PPP is developed. If one supposes that this policy formulation procedure can be performed in a correct or incorrect way given the state of knowledge and a given amount of resources, the environmental dimension of this procedure consists in the environmental implications which will derive from the possibility that the policy decision-making process followed is actually flawed. The decision-making can be biased, i.e. deviate from a rationally founded decision making processes. In this case, it can lead to what we call "an environmental bias". The main project objective is to validate and further develop the working hypothesis of the ANSEA methodology and to design practical assessment tools for ANSEA in the form of guidelines.


SUSTOOLS: Tools for sustainability: development and application of an integrated framework

2003-03-01 to 2004-08-31

Aims to develop integrated approach to assess, in a consistent and comprehensive manner, the numerous complex tradeoffs involved in environmental policies. This approach will use elements of life cycle analysis, sustainability indicators, imp act pathway analysis, risk analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and multi-criteria analysis (MCA).