Improving Drought Governance in European Regions - DROP Field Research
Between September and November 2013, researchers from Ecologic Institute were part of a team that visited five areas of Northwestern Europe to assess regional drought governance frameworks in the field. The team, in which Ecologic Institute was joined by four other research institutes, used a Governance Assessment Tool specifically developed for researching drought in its stakeholder interviews. This tool is available for download.
Whereas drought is as yet a rare phenomenon in northern Europe, climate change projections suggest increasing impacts with important consequences for agriculture, drinking water provision, and the environment. In addition to practical measures, addressing governance and implementation is considered key to adapting successfully and minimizing future negative consequences.
The Interreg project DROP takes a holistic approach to combating droughts, on the one hand implementing practical measures that improve drought resilience in six regions, and on the other hand working on enhancing drought governance regimes in these regions.
Specifically adapted Governance Assessment Tool
Ecologic Institute's Rodrigo Vidaurre, Jenny Tröltzsch, and Ulf Stein participated in the regional field visits of DROP's Governance Team. This team, composed of five research institutes, applies in its interviews with stakeholders a Governance Assessment Tool [pdf, 1MB, English] specifically adapted to drought purposes. The issues and governance contexts studied differ strongly between the visited regions.
Interactions between multi-purpose dam and water levels - Brittany
In Brittany in northwestern France, the analysis addressed the interactions between the multi-purpose Arzal dam, used for both drinking water provision and flood protection, and the water levels in the Vilaine river basin, which contains sensitive wetlands.
Impacts of drought on agriculture - Flanders
In a field visit to Flanders, interviews with stakeholders addressed the drought governance context for the whole Belgian region, with a special focus on impacts of drought on agriculture.
Balance between drainage and drought - Somerset
Somerset County Council hosted the visit to the Somerset region in southwest UK, where the analysis centred on water levels in the moors and the delicate balance between draining for flood protection and conserving moisture for preventing drought impacts.
Interaction between nature conservation and water management - Twente
In the visit to the Twente region of the Netherlands, the interaction between nature conservation measures and general water management was in the focus, whereas in the visit to the neighbouring Zwolle area, the analysis centred on the design and implementation process of a specific irrigation policy.
Interconnected management of drinking water reservoirs - Eifel-Rur
In the month of December, Governance Team members will visit the 6th study region, the Eifel-Rur area in Western Germany, and analyse the interconnected management of the region's drinking water reservoirs.
Results: diagnostic reports, roadmaps, and practical measures
In the first half of 2014, the Governance Team will return to the 6 study areas to fine-tune the analysis of the governance contexts. As a result of these visits, diagnostic reports will be produced for each of the 6 areas, as well as roadmaps for addressing the governance hindrances and bottlenecks. The project's practice partners, on the other hand, are implementing concrete measures for drought protection, ranging from building new water infrastructure to complex simulation models. A summary presentation of these pilot measures is available for download.