The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe
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WATER CoRe: Water scarcity and droughts; coordinated actions in European regions

Implementation period:
2010–2012

Partners:
14 partners in seven European regions: Hessen (Germany), Aragon (Spain), Emilia-Romagna (Italy), Lower-Tisza (Hungary), Covasna (Romania), North-Brabant (Netherlands) and Herault (France)

Budget:
EUR 2,500,000

Principal donor:
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

WATER CoRe: Water scarcity and droughts; coordinated actions in European regions

“Although the European regions present different economic, cultural and historical facets, the countries are interconnected and today, more than ever, are facing common challenges. Water management in general, and in particular water scarcity and drought, are among the most essential issues as they are transnational by nature. This requires an adequate approach and interregional cooperation between politicians, policy makers and technical experts in order to increase water use efficiency and water savings.”
Radoje Lausevic, Deputy Executive Director, Environmental Policy Directorate, REC

Background
WATER CoRe was born as a result of the increasing threat of problems arising from water scarcity and drought across Europe. Due to climate change, sustainable water management is more important than ever. The WATER CoRe project focused on the exchange of experiences related to the identification of problems and the development of best practices for drought management.

Objectives and aims
By identifying and collecting best practices related to water scarcity and drought, the project aimed to help responsible authorities and institutions — in the target regions and beyond — to improve their prevention strategies. The project provided an exchange platform at regional and local level, making existing policies and practical experiences on the management of water scarcity and drought available to authorities and key stakeholders in order to build their capacities for developing and implementing action plans.

REC as regional WATER CoRe focal point
The primary aim of the REC as regional focal point was to inform key target groups in Central and South Eastern Europe and Turkey about the project and its results and outputs (learning materials and guidelines), and to generate dialogue with relevant officials and with other related projects.

Key outputs

WATER CoRe Handbook
The good practices exchanged within WATER CoRe were collected in a handbook that represents the project’s “knowledge core”. The good practices are organised in thematic sections covering all the main WATER CoRe topics. Project partners were involved in identifying and collecting regional experiences.

WATER CoRe Guide
The guide links the issues facing European regions to the “solutions” presented in the WATER CoRe Handbook. The guide simplifies the information for inexperienced users.

WATER CoRe E-learning Module
TheAll the good practices and lessons learned were compiled in seven e-learning modules on water scarcity and drought. The modules are designed for policy makers at regional and local level, as well as for NGOs, companies, universities and training centres with a focus on environment.

WATER CoRe Survey
In line with the WATER CoRe aims of sharing experiences and providing an information platform on water scarcity and drought in Europe, the project partners carried out a complementary survey that provides an overview of:

  • EU policy and strategy on water scarcity and drought;
  • networks and projects dealing with these issues; and
  • technical and scientific data.

Impacts
All participating regions learned how to interpret European drought phenomena. They were given an overview of the available solutions for common problems and had an opportunity to share their experiences and expertise, thus improving their ability to manage water scarcity and drought.

Benefits for other European regions
The participating regions were not the only project beneficiaries: the outputs developed during the project have been made available to all European regions.

Political involvement and commitment
Ministers from the regions signed a memorandum of understanding that included action plans and policy recommendations for tackling water scarcity and drought.

Multiplier effect
Following the conclusion of the WATER CoRe project, the REC has committed to continue providing information about water scarcity and drought to interested public authorities and stakeholders in Central and Eastern Europe through its role as WATER CoRe focal point.

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