Complex use conflicts such as those arising around the management of water resources require the coordination and cooperation of public authorities and stakeholders across very different thematic areas and geographic scales. The goal of STEER is to explore innovative mechanisms of coordination and cooperation on a river-basin level for the governance of water resources. The project is structured around a diagnostic approach, which supports the analysis of typical conflict situations between stakeholders (and/or public authorities) and allows for the identification of possible approaches to solving these by means of cooperation and/or coordination.
Research within the STEER project focuses on how local governance characteristics and management-systems influence possible solutions and explores the social and ecological conditions that determine the transferability and applicability of these solutions. Subsequently, the innovative approaches to coordination and cooperation in water management are identified, developed and presented in a toolbox directed to regional, national and international actors in the field of sustainable water resources management.
STEER focuses on five core case study areas located in four countries and on three continents (i.e. Germany, South Africa, Mongolia, and Spain), but the diagnostic approach and its results will be validated by extending them to up to 15 additional case study areas.
Within STEER, Ecologic Institute is responsible for the toolbox and for the participative assessment of coordination gaps and possible solutions within the core case study areas, which is carried out through qualitative analysis of interviews and workshops by each of the partners responsible for the respective case studies. Ecologic Institute is also in charge of the Emscher river basin case study and supports the case study on the Guadalquivir river basin as a tandem partner.
STEER is coordinated by the University of Osnabrück and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the Global Resource Water (GRoW) funding measure, which is part of the "Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)".