On 22 November 2012, Ecologic Institute organized a side-event entitled ‘European Innovation for Sustainable Water Management: Users meet Researchers’ at the IWRM Karlsruhe 2012. The event presented five European research projects and their innovative outputs, covering the topics of sustainable urban water management and the adaptation of freshwater ecosystem management to climate change. Ulf Stein and Johanna von Toggenburg organized the side-event as part of WaterDiss2.0, a project within the 7th European Union-funded Framework Programme, which supports research projects in the water sector along with the transfer of their results to intended users, thereby linking science, policy, and practice.
Ralph Philip from ICLEI presented the SWITCH Training Kit, which was developed as part of the SWITCH project on Managing Water for the City of the Future. This Kit involves training modules on water supply, storm-water and wastewater targeted at local governments and water utilities. The tool responds to the need for an integrated design, planning and management to achieve a truly sustainable urban water system. SWITCH exhibited a poster during the poster session of the IWRM.
David Schwesig from IWW introduced an innovative tool, which will be available to the public on January 2013: the trust self-assessment tool for sustainability of urban water cycle services. The tool offers water service providers the possibility to self-assess if they are ready for the 2040 sustainability challenge through a 3 level traffic light system. The assessment system points to strengths and weaknesses and directs users to possible solutions.
A Latin-American perspective to urban water management was given by Tiemen Nanninga from LeAF. He spoke about taking a participatory and integrated approach to the selection of resource efficient environmental management technologies in rapidly developing urban areas. This decision support tool used in the VIVACE project supports policy makers and organisations in implementing more resource efficient technologies while ensuring societal support.
Under the topic of adapting freshwater ecosystem management to climate change, Martin Kernan from the University College London presented two FP projects. An innovative output is the modelbased tool-kit to advise managers about cost-effective management strategies for freshwater ecosystems, which was produced in the REFRESH project, aiming at developing adaptive strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change on freshwater ecosystems. REFRESH presented a poster at the poster session of the IWRM.
In addition, Martin Kernan also gave a quick overview of the Climate-and-freshwater.info website, which was developed within the EURO-LIMPACS project. This project preceded the REFRESH project by evaluating the impacts of global change on European freshwater ecosystems.
Following the presentations, a lively discussion took place, which identified the critical barriers for knowledge transfer and made suggestions how to overcome them by providing examples based on the project coordinators experiences.
The event, led by Ulf Stein and Johanna von Toggenburg is part of the WaterDiss2.0, a project within the 7th European funded Framework Programme, which supports research projects in the water sector with the transfer of their results to intended users, linking science, policy and practice.