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Water

Water

Governing water resources in a sustainable way is key to healthy ecosystems and equitable and sustainable societies. At Ecologic Institute, an interdisciplinary team analyzes water-related challenges and develops cross-cutting approaches to protect water ecosystems and ensure sustainable water use, in Europe and beyond.

The water team at Ecologic Institute has profound experience in research and policy advice to enhance management and governance on a wide range of water-related issues. This includes evaluating and developing strategies to cope with the effects of climate change on water resources and water-related extreme events. Another field of expertise is assessing aquatic biodiversity and the impact of pollutants on water bodies. Furthermore, our team conducts economic policy assessments, analyzes markets, and evaluates the potential of digitalization for sustainable water management. The water team is also experienced in developing strategies for stakeholder involvement and effective communication to tackle water-related challenges.

Ecologic Institute is represented in national and European fora, where it engages in deep debate and knowledge exchange on topics such as coasts and marine waters.

Ecologic Institute's Water Team has profound experience in research and policy advice on the following water-related topics:

European Water Governance and Management

The Water Team advises and researches on issues of  water management and governance at the national and European level. This includes support for the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Water and Adaptation

Team members develop adaptive management and governance strategies to tackle issues related to flood, drought, and water scarcity. This includes designing nature-based solutions as well as participatory approaches to these challenges.

Aquatic Biodiversity

Team members conduct studies to evaluate the state of freshwater ecosystems and develop approaches to assess measures to enhance their quality.

Aquatic Pollutants

Team members evaluate the influence of pollutants (such as pharmaceuticals, emerging pollutants and micro-plastics) on water bodies and develop innovative management tools.

Water Economics

Team members conduct evaluations of economic policy instruments for water management and apply methodologies for the economic analysis of water use in Europe. In addition, team members perform impact assessments to reach Good Ecological Status of European water bodies according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Innovation and Digitalization

Team members analyze markets and evaluate the potential of digitalization and innovation to solve complex water management challenges.

Communication and Participation

The Water Team is advancing effective communication of water issues between citizens, science and policy using crosscutting formats and approaches. In addition, the team members have experience in involving stakeholders in co-designing solutions for water-related challenges.

Bioeconomy

Digitalization

International Development

Nature-based Solutions and Green Infrastructure

Resource Conservation + Circular Economy

Water

Gerardo Anzaldúa
Senior Fellow

Water

International Development

Digitalization

Governance

Benedict Bueb
Coordinator Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Researcher

Water

Adaptation

Evaluation

Digitalization

Education

Plastics

Indicators

Governance

Dr. Ulf Stein
Coordinator Water Studies
Senior Fellow

Water

Adaptation

Evaluation

Economics

Bioeconomy

Indicators

Health

Governance

Jenny Tröltzsch
Coordinator Adaptation
Senior Fellow
Selected Projects for Water
 
|©EvgenyKuklev|iStockphoto.com
Ecologic Institute is member of the European Topic Centre on Inland, Coastal and Marine waters (ETC-ICM) which works with the European Environment Agency (EEA) under a Framework Partnership Agreement for the period from 2019 to 2021. The ETC-ICM aims to provide... Read more
 

© Ecologic Institute

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... Read more
 
| ©JFL Photography|Fotolia.com
European cities face major challenges to achieve the desired level of sustainability in the management of urban water systems. Digital technologies such as mobile devices, sensor network, real-time monitoring, machine learning, and modeling tools have the potential to... Read more

Digital Water City – Leading urban water management to its digital future (DWC)

Duration
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Funding
 
| ©dred_2010|Fotolia.com
Ecologic Institute prepares a study for the German Environment Agency by the beginning of 2020, identifying legal norms beyond water law that can contribute more strongly to effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The study is funded under the... Read more
 

Ecologic Institut

With the aim of achieving "good ecological status" in all water bodies by 2015, the Water Framework Directive requires Member States to put more emphasis on hydromorphological issues and watercourse connectivity for the conservation and restoration of fish populations.... Read more
 
Zwischenfrüchte wie Raps verrringern die Auswaschung von Nitrat ins Grundwasser.
About a quarter of German groundwater exceeds the nitrate limit of the European Union for drinking water. A substantial reduction of inputs can only be achieved through measures in agriculture. The study examines existing drinking water cooperations between farmers and... Read more
 

© FIThydro

Hydropower plants can offer a reliable and clean source of energy. However, these installations can often pose difficult challenges for the surrounding environment, particularly the fish species living in the rivers. FIThydro (Fishfriendly Innovative Technologies for... Read more

Fish Friendly Innovative Technologies for Hydropower (FIThydro)

Duration
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Funding
 
| Fotolia © Phillip Minnis
Ecologic Institute, as part of a pan-European consortium led by WRc, is supporting the European Commission in a framework contract on the evaluation, review and development of EU water policy. With activities to be supported under this framework contract, the Commission... Read more

Framework Contract on Evaluation, Review and Development of EU Water Policy

Duration
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Funding
 
| Fotolia © SusaZoom
As part of a consortium led by WRc, Ecologic Institute provides technical assistance to the European Commission on the assessment of the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive’s plans and implementation in the 28 EU Member States. The work includes: ... Read more
 
© Fotolia: magann
Urban water use is a major pressure impacting the ecological status of European rivers. The DESSIN project promotes more sustainable, adaptive, and cost-effective urban water management through the testing and promotion of innovations. The project aims to demonstrate... Read more

Demonstrate Ecosystem Services Enabling Innovation in the Water Sector (DESSIN)

Duration
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Funding
 
Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies (AQUACROSS) aims to support EU efforts to protect aquatic biodiversity and ensure the provision of aquatic ecosystem services. Funded by Europe's Horizon 2020... Read more
 
| Fotolia © c_irochka
Countries such as Bangladesh face fundamental threats on their water resources from climate change. Significant demand exists for knowledge how to enhance institutional capacity and effectiveness of water management policies. This project objective is to investigate how... Read more
 
| © Fotolia_Phillip Minnis _S
The Water Framework Directive (WFD) required Member States to report their River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) by March 2010. In November 2012, the European Commission published a report which included among other things a review of progress in the implementation of... Read more

Framework Contract to Support the Development and Implementation of EU Freshwater Policies

Duration
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Funding
 
| © David Hands
Water scarcity and droughts are on the increase and expected to aggravate further due to climate change. Early actions are required to adapt to these changes. The transnational project 'Benefit of governance in DROught adaPtation (DROP)' aims to enhance the preparedness... Read more

Benefit of Governance in Drought Adaption (DROP)

Duration
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Funding
 
Sustainable water management under climate change is an urgent challenge for the Euro-Mediterranean region. The BeWater FP7 project supports a transition to stakeholder-driven river basin water management planning in this region by working together with local partners... Read more

Making Society an Active Participant in Water Adaptation to Global Change (BeWater)

Duration
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Funding
 
Fotolia©drizzd
Water touches virtually all societal and environmental domains. The knowledge domain is largely multidisciplinary. New water information and knowledge can thus lead to more efficient use of environmental services and better handling of environmental problems, including... Read more

Sharing Water-related Information to Tackle CHanges in the Hydrosphere – for Operational Needs (SWITCH-ON)

Duration
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Funding
 
Europe is characterized by a dense network of rivers that provide essential ecosystem services. Over time, use of rivers by humans has led to severe degradation of water quality and ecosystem functions. REFORM will improve existing tools and develop new ones to increase... Read more

Restoring River for Effective Catchment Management (REFORM)

Duration
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Funding
 
Freshwater biodiversity patterns and the processes that maintain them at European and global scale are poorly understood for most freshwater organisms. The BioFresh FP7 project built a public biodiversity information platform to bring together the vast amount of... Read more

Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Status, Trends, Pressures, and Conservation Priorities (BioFresh)

Duration
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Funding
 
The EPI-Water project aims to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of Economic Policy Instruments in achieving water policy goals and to identify the preconditions under which they complement or perform better than alternative (e.g., regulatory or voluntary)... Read more

Evaluating Economic Policy Instruments for Sustainable Water Management in Europe (EPI-Water)

Duration
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Funding
All projects on Water
Selected Publications for Water

European Water Policy

 
This FAQ note presents the links between the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Nitrates Directive. The FAQ note specifies the legislations’ objectives, highlight the interactions between both areas of legislation, and points to the opportunities for greater... Read more

European Commission (ed.) 2019: FAQ note on the links between the Nature Directives and the Nitrates Directive.

 
The CIS Guidance Document No. 37 proposes a common practical framework for defining the good ecological potential which is the environmental objective of heavily modified water bodies designated under the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The Guidance aims to assist the... Read more

CIS working group ECOSTAT 2020: Guidance No 37 – Steps for defining and assessing ecological potential for improving comparability of Heavily Modified Water Bodies.

 
©MichaelJay|iStockphoto.com
The fifth Water Framework Directive Implementation Report of the Commission reveals significant improvements in knowledge and reporting on the Water Framework Directive compared to the previous cycle. More Member States reported in a timely manner with more... Read more

European Commission (ed.) 2019: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and the Floods Directive (2007/60/EC). Second River Basin Management Plans. First Flood Risk Management Plans. Brussels

Water Governance and Management

 
Despite numerous efforts to promote and implement more integrated approaches, coordination problems persist and impede sustainable water governance and management. This paper introduces a framework for guiding a transdisciplinary diagnostic approach (i.e. a context... Read more

Pahl-Wostl, C., Knieper, C., Lukat, E., Meergans, F., Schoderer, M., Schütze, N., Schweigatz, D., Dombrowsky, I., Lenschow, A., Stein, U., Thiel, A., Tröltzsch, J. and Vidaurre, R. 2020: Enhancing the capacity of water governance to deal with complex management challenges: A framework of analysis. Environmental Science & Policy, 107, pp.23-35.

 
This information platform provides information for potential actors of renaturation projects. The aim of river restoration is to return rivers and streams to their natural state and to improve their ecological status. Natural and semi-natural rivers and streams have... Read more

German Environment Agency (ed.) 2019: Renaturierung von Fließgewässern. Internetportal compiled by Kemper M., Lamberty G., Wagner F. and Zumbroich T. on behalf of the German Environment Agency, Dessau-Roßlau. URL: www.uba.de/renaturierung

 
Die Struktur des DESSIN-ESS-Evaluierungsrahmens (basierend auf Müller und Burkhard, 2012; Van Oudenhoven et al., 2012; Haines-Young und Potschin, 2010 & Haines-Young und Potschin, 2011)
Ecologic Institute contributed to a practical guide for local-level evaluations of changes in ecosystem services. The approach helps to associate such changes to specific water management measures and enables both monetization and qualitative appraisal of impacts.... Read more

Anzaldua, Gerardo et. al. (2018). Getting into the water with the Ecosystem Services Approach: The DESSIN ESS evaluation framework. Ecosystem Services.

 
Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) is a network designed and planned to deliver awide range of ecosystem services and to protect biodiversity. Existing GBI designs lacked a systematic method to allocate restoration zones. This study proposes a novel approach for... Read more

Barbosa, Ana et. al. 2018: Cost-effective restoration and conservation planning in Green and Blue Infrastructure designs. A case study on the Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean: Andalusia (Spain) – Morocco. In: Science of the Total Environment, 652 (2019), 1463–1473.

Water and Adaptation

 
The book "Facing hydrometeorological extremes: a governance issue" collects field investigation from several EU research projects on hydrometeorological extreme events and the successful examples of multilevel governance in response to them. Scientists from... Read more

Stein, Ulf and Ruta Landgrebe 2019: European Actors and Institutions Involved in Water Scarcity and Drought Policy. In: La Jeunesse, Isabelle and Corinne Larrue (eds.): Facing Hydrometeorological Extreme Events: A Governance Issue. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey. 157-170pp.

 
Water security is at the heart of healthy and prosperous societies. European countries' prosperity depends on their ability to maintain the gains they have achieved in water security and address new and rising challenges. Nature Based Solutions can be deployed to... Read more

Trémolet S. et al. (2019). Investing in Nature for Europe Water Security. The Nature Conservancy, Ecologic Institute and ICLEI. London, United Kingdom.

Aquatic Biodiversity

 
Over the past three years, the AQUACROSS Assessment Framework was developed, tested, and applied in eight case studies across Europe to solve local biodiversity challenges. Finally, results from each Case Study were published in a 30-page case study report and 3-page... Read more

Piet, Gerjan et al. 2018: Case Study 1 Report: Trade-Offs in Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management in the North Sea Aimed at Achieving Biodiversity Strategy Targets. WUR: Wageningen.

 
As part of the Horizon 2020 project AQUACROSS, Ecologic Institute and consortium members have published an article in the peer-reviewed journal Ambio examining the potential of Ecosystem-Based Management as an integrative policy concept for improving the integration of... Read more

Rouillard, J., Lago, M., Abhold, K. et al. 2018: Protecting aquatic biodiversity in Europe: How much do EU environmental policies support ecosystem-based management? Ambio (47)1. doi:10.1007/s13280-017-0928-4

Aquatic Pollutants

 
The pollution caused by plastics in the environment is constantly growing and is receiving increasing public attention. The research focus "Plastics in the Environment" funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is designed to address the... Read more

Ecologic Institute (ed.) 2019: BMBF-Forschungsschwerpunkt Plastik in der Umwelt – Quellen • Senken • Lösungsansätze. Statuskonferenz, 09./10. April 2019, Kalkscheune, Berlin. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

 
UBA TEXTE 115/2018
This final report contains the interim results of a project on communication strategies for reducing agriculture-related entry of veterinary pharmaceuticals into the environment. It describes: the results of a literature study on the state of research on... Read more

Kemper, Melanie et. al. 2018: Kommunikationsstrategien zur Verminderung von Tierarzneimitteleinträgen aus der Landwirtschaft in die Umwelt. Abschlussbericht. Umweltbundesamt: Dessau-Roßlau.

 
The DEMEAU project (Demonstration of promising technologies to address emerging contaminants in water and wastewater) followed a solutions-oriented approach using applied research and demonstration sites, and explored four promising technologies for emerging... Read more

Ulf Stein et. al (2018): Challenges and technological approaches for tackling emerging contaminants in drinking and wastewater. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2452190

Water Economics

 
Despite the legislation in place and the growing awareness of the need for full cost recovery and incentive pricing in the European water sector, Member States have not yet achieved the objective of integrating these key principles into their water policy. Through a... Read more
Gorm Dige, Gloria De Paoli, Pierre Strosser, Gerardo Anzaldua, Andrew Ayres, Marlene Lange, Manuel Lago, Frans Oosterhuis, Mojca Hrabar, Stale Navrud 2013: Assessment of cost recovery through water pricing. ISBN: 978-92-9213-409-9, ISSN: 1725-2237.
 
Lago, M., Mysiak, J., Gómez, C.M., Delacámara, G., Maziotis, A. (Eds.) 2015: Use of Economic Instruments in Water Policy. Insights from International Experience. Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing. ... Read more

Lago, M., Mysiak, J., Gómez, C.M., Delacámara, G., Maziotis, A. (Eds.) 2015: Use of Economic Instruments in Water Policy. Insights from International Experience. Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing.

All publications on Water
Selected Events for Water

Water Governance and Management

 
| © Josselin Rouillard
Climate change is expected to exert significant impacts on water cycles worldwide, raising the vulnerability of multiple communities and the potential for conflicts between water users. Approaches such as Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) aim to strengthen... Read more

Workshop:Integrated Water Resource Management: Comparative Learning on Governance and Public Participation

Date
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Location
Dhaka and Khulna, Bangladesh

Water and Adaptation

 
Pedieos Workshop
Climate change and other pressures are impacting the environment and water resources in the Mediterranean, requiring plans for how to adapt the management of affected river basins and their water resources to changing future conditions. To address this challenge, a... Read more

Workshop:Engaging Citizens in Adaptive River Basin Management in the Mediterranean

Date
Location
Rmel (Tunisia), Tordera (Spain), Pedieos (Cyprus) and Vipava (Slovenia) river basins
 

Poster Session

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(c) Ecologic Institut

The 7th workshop of the forum "Fish Protection and Downstream Migration" was dedicated to the topic of improving the implementation of measures at the end of the second cycle of the forum. The workshop took place in Dresden in April 2018. Important to this workshop was... Read more

Workshop:7th Workshop on Fish Protection and Downstream Migration

Date
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Location
Dresden, Germany

Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity

 
AQUACROSS Final Conference - © www.michaelchia.eu
On 10 and 11 October 2018, the AQUACROSS Final Conference on "Ecosystem-Based Management for the Protection of Aquatic Biodiversity – Practice and Lessons Learnt" took place in Brussels. AQUACROSS project team members presented different tools and results on aquatic... Read more

Water Economics

 
Mikael Skou Andersen, Lukasz Latala, Manuel Lago und R. Andreas Kraemer
The first conference of the EPI-Water Project, entitled "Understanding the Application of Economic Policy Instruments in Water Management", was organized and hosted by Ecologic Institute on 26 and 27 January 2012 in Berlin. EPI-Water is funded by DG Research &... Read more

Conference:First EPI-Water Conference in Berlin

Date
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Location
Berlin, Germany
All events on Water