WATER AND SOIL TIMES - Issue 4, January 2004
A newsletter from the "Water Cycle and Soil Related Aspects" unit in the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research.
INCO CALLS PUBLISHED
On 17 December 2003 the Commission published new calls for proposals under the INCO programme. Some of these calls relate to water and environmental assessments
and may be of interest to you. Full details are available on CORDIS.
Call FP6-2003-INCO-MPC-2 includes topics such as a) Improving the water consumption by users and uses, b) Advanced water treatment, re-use and energy implications,
c) Environmental risks. The deadline for submission of proposals is 14 September 2004.
Call FP6-2003-INCO-Russia + NIS-1 is amongst other things concerned with management of environmental risks associated with man-made changes, industrial,
agricultural and military wastes (excluding nuclear wastes and radiation), including risks to soil, water, air and the food chain and possible remediation.
In this case, the deadline for submission of proposals is 27 April 2004.
EU WATER INITIATIVE - RESEARCH COMPONENT
As explained in previous issues of the newsletter, the Research Component of the EU Water Initiative is co-ordinated by DG Research. Following discussions
on the design of future activities throughout 2003, this year the EU Water Initiative enters into its implementation phase. In coordination with other working
groups, the Research Component is going to concentrate in the first quarter of the year on the finalisation of its initial Work Programme.
During the UN organised Panafrican Water Implementation Conference (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 8th - 13th 2003) parallel sessions took place between
the African Ministers Committee on Water (AMCOW) represented by its Technical Advisory Committee (AMCOW-TAC), the European Commission and EU Member States
representatives. These discussions constituted a follow-up of previous meetings in Stockholm (International Water Week, August, 2003) and Brussels (EU
Water Initiative Multistakeholder Forum, November, 2003). In the Addis Ababa event an agreement was reached on the Africa - EU Strategic Partnership on Water
Affairs and Sanitation (following a relevant MoU signed during the Johannesburg Summit) including also an Outline Strategy and a preliminary Work Programme
for the period 2004-2005. Research and scientific co-operation is among the seven proposed programmatic objectives (Improving the use of existing and new
scientific knowledge to achieve water-related Millennium Development Goals), and specific discussions took place between DG Research and AMCOW research
focal points, with a view to develop commonly agreed actions to be discussed with all involved parties.
In addition a number of EU Member States participating in the relevant Research Component Working Group chaired by DG Research have launched a circle of discussions
on the promotion of co-ordination platforms of funded activities in international water research and scientific co-operation.
For more information and for downloading relevant documents from the Addis Ababa Conference.
For additional information go to the DG Research EU Water Initiative Research Component website
and the DG Environment website
As a result of the first call for proposals for "Global Change and Ecosystems", two new research projects are now starting, while another three are still under
negotiation. The new projects are:
EURO-LIMPACS, "Integrated project to evaluate the impacts of global change on European freshwater ecosystems", an integrated project addressing
the priority area 3.II.2.1.a starts on 1st February 2004 for a period of 5 years. It comprises the collaboration of 37 institutions from 11 EU Member States,
3 EFTA Countries, 2 Eastern European Accession Countries and 2 Third Countries (Russia and Canada). The following provides a short overview of the aims of EURO-LIMPACS:
Freshwater ecosystems, already under stress from land-use change and pollution, now face additional pressures from climate change, directly and through
interaction with other drivers of change. EURO-LIMPACS is concerned with the science required to understand and manage the ecological consequences of these
interactions. It is relevant to the Water Framework Directive and other European and wider international directives and protocols and supports the EU's Charter
on Sustainable Development. The project brings together a consortium of leading scientists aiming to integrate river, lake and wetland ecosystem science
at the catchment scale. It focuses on the key drivers of aquatic ecosystem change (land-use, nutrients, acid deposition and toxic substances) and examines
their interactions with global, especially climate, change using time-series analysis, space-for-time substitution, palaeolimnology, experiments
and process modelling. It considers these interactions at three critical time-scales: (i) hours/days, concerned with changes in the magnitude and frequency
of extreme events; (ii) seasons, concerned with changes in ecosystem function and life-cycle strategies of freshwater biota; and (iii) years/decades, concerned
with ecological response to environmental pressure, including stress reduction and ecosystem recovery. A central activity is the development of an innovative
toolkit for integrated catchment analysis and modelling to simulate hydrological, hydrochemical and ecological processes at the catchment scale for use
in assessing the potential impact of global change under different climate and socio-economic scenarios. A unified system of ecological indicators for monitoring
freshwater ecosystem health, and new methods for defining reference conditions and restoration strategies will also be developed. These will take into account
the probable impacts of future climate change and the need for a holistic approach to restoration based on habitat connectivity. The project will also develop
other practical tools for management based on a decision support system. This will fully involve users and stakeholders and will be demonstrated at study catchments.
A comprehensive training programme is fully integrated, and all products and information generated during the project will be fully and freely disseminated.
For further information please contact the co-ordinator, mailto:Dr">href="mailto:email@example.com">Dr. Simon Patrick, University Colleage London
RIVERTWIN, "A regional model for integrated water management in twinned river basins", is a STREP in the sub-priority 220.127.116.11.II.3.1.a (Twinning
of European/third countries river basins). This 3 years project is one of four projects which have been earmarked for funding in this sub-priority.
RIVERTWIN aims at adjusting, testing and implementing an integrated regional model for the strategic planning of water resources management in twinned
river basins under contrasting ecological, social and economic conditions. The regional model will take into account the impacts of demographic trends,
economic and technological development, the effects of global climate and land use changes on the availability and quality of water bodies in humid temperate,
sub-humid tropical as well as semiarid regions.
The existing integration framework will be first tested in a European river basin with high data availability and data density. The transferability of the
model to other regions with different economic levels, ecological standards and with low da