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Be aware of the latest news, events and ongoing projects.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

SAVE THE DATE: 18th May, general meeting

Wateregio will celebrate its general meeting next 18th May in the afternoon in Brussels.

Please, save it in your agendas.


1. Open calls and project opportunities: Ecoinnovation, LIFE+, ENPI.
2. Project forum corner: Bring your project ideas!
3. Positions and policy papers: Open working groups, work of the European Commission.

The event will be followed by a Wateregio closed door meeting.

More information to follow via e-mail.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Project idea for ENPI call - "Water communities"

Title of proposed project:

Water Communities -
Empowerment of water communities in the Mediterranean

ENPI. Deadline May 2009 (pending publication).


The goal of Water Communities is to empower the local organizations of water users in different fields in order to promote public participation and democratic water management, thus improving the performance of water management and the protection of the environment.

The creation of communities of irrigators and territorial boards of water users is a pre-requisite to define proper water prices, implementation of infrastructures, training of the operators (farmers, irrigators, technicians) and responsible local water management. At the same time, these structures enhance the civil society and the local democracies. These communities are particularly important in areas where water is scarce, and especially if important wetlands or natural sites are involved. Finally, the performance of water management and better irrigations are a motor for local economic development.

These actions require the involvement of National, Regional and Local Authorities in order to facilitate and develop a proper legislative framework. There are also traditional structures such as Water consuetudinary tribunals and others, existing in Arabic countries and in Spain. These structures could be promoted and protected via this project.

The project would include:
  • Analysis of needs: legislative framework, state of local technologies of water management, need of infrastructures, economic development.

  • Definition of “hot spots” or areas of urgent action (wetlands, protected areas, water bodies in risk of overexploitation, soils in risk of salinization, etc).

  • Creation and empowerment of local structures of participation.

  • Benchmark study and exchange of best practices.

  • Support to next steps of improvement of water management: Use of treated urban waste water in Spain, drip irrigation and irrigation planning in other partner countries, urban water management plans and other actions to be decided by the partners.

  • Creation of a transnational advisory and monitoring committee, whose mission will be providing with legal, technical and scientific advice and follow-up of the actions undertaken.

  • Gender approach: Promotion of the participation of women in all the actions.

  • Dissemination activities and awareness actions.

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment of the actions.

Rice crops in l'Albufera, Valencia. (c) http://www.eco-rice.net/

Partner consortium (so far):

Federación de Comunidades de Regantes de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Society for the Protection of the Nature in Lebanon.

Further partners being sought
Members of Wateregio network.

Budget foreseen: 2.000.000 €. Co-funded by ERDF in EU Member States, and by ENPI in Mediterranean partner countries.

Foreseen project duration: 18 months

Contact Valencian Region:
Mr Alfonso Alcolea – aalcolea@delcomval.be
Mr José Pascual –
Lebanon :
Ms Tala Al-Khatib –
Ms Dalia Al-Jawhary – dalia.jawhary@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

AER Summer School 2009 on Water

The Summer School of the AER will take place next 24-28 august 2009 in Valencia, Spain, organised jointly by the AER and the Fundación Comunidad Valenciana - Región Europea.

By bringing together decision makers, officials and young people, the Summer School intends to provide the tools to be able to cope with the challenges of water management.

The members of Wateregio are invited to participate actively via:

  • Proposition of speakers and activities.

  • Participation of politicians and young people.

  • Dissemination of projects in the School plaza (exhibition area).

The Summer School is oriented to regional decision-makers, elected politicians and experts from the different regional and local administrations who are interested in developing solutions for the water issues. Simultaneously, the Youth Summer School will bring young people from all Europe to work together in this issue, to promote sharing of experiences, expressing their opinion and better awareness to act as “water ambassadors” when back in their home regions.

The contents of the Summer School are grouped in four pools:

Pool 1. Water management: Regions need to provide innovative strategies to ensure safe water and sanitation for all. The workshops in this pool will tackle the problems faced by policy makers when they define plans and implement infrastructures.

Pool 2. Water and climate change. The availability of water will change and be affected by the climate. Draughts and floods will be more severe and recurrent. This will affect not only the economy and human life, but also the ecosystems and the biodiversity. The participants will work on research, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, preserving the natural environment.

Pool 3. Governance and communication. The social involvement is essential to manage water in a sustainable way. The participants will work on legislative and political measures, public participation, education and training, aiming to develop a new water culture in Europe.

Horizontal workshops: The horizontal workshops will invite the participants to propose their ideas in joint projects dealing with water, global issues and co-operation, and instruments to be developed by the AER in order to promote better water management all over Europe, such as a water award and a European Regional Charter for Water.

The Summer School will gather experts from all over Europe in each of the topics, organising roundtables and dynamic workshops. The program includes also daily activities, and study visits, discovering the Valencian experience in water management

If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact jpascual@delcomval.be with your name, region and country and e-mail adress.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tragedy in Abruzzo

The network Wateregio express its sorrow for the victims of the terrible earthquakes happened yesterday and today in Italy.

The Mediterranean is an area of high sysmic risk, as the History records in every country. That is why we should strenghthen our commitment to co-operate in the field of risk prevention, considering floods but also applying similar methodologies to sysmic events.

This could result in better protection for our citizens: basic research, improvement of civil protection and rapid response mechanisms, awareness of residents and authorities, and more quality of buildings can be lines of future joint projects, that would add European value to the actions currently undertaken by our National, Regional and Local Authorities.

From this modest website we express our solidarity with the Region of Abruzzo and with its citizens.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Summary of the EU conference on Water, 2-3 April 2009

Notes from the EU conference on Water, held last 2nd and 3rd April:
  • The conference has done a review about the public participation in the draft River Basin Management Plans requested by the Water Framework Directive. Publication of the document COM (2009) 156 final, Report on art. 18.3 of the WFD on programmes of monitoring of water status.
  • Some questions: How to promote more and better participation? How to integrate the input of the public participation into the RBMP? Effective participation or participation pro forma?
  • Publication of the Communication COM (2009)147/4 White paper on adaptation to climate change.
  • The White paper on adaptation to climate change comes with the document SEC (2009) 386 Policy Paper on Water, Coasts and Marine issues.

Peter Gammeltoft (Head of Unit of Water, DG Environment, 2nd right) in the crossfire debate organised by Friends of Europe the 2nd April in the evening. Significant phrase: 'Prevention and combat of climate change has to do with energy and emissions; adaptation to climate change will have to do with water'.

More information:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

European Conference on Water

Commissioner Dimas during his intervention.
Radio café says that he will be Commissioner again, but not for environment.

Organised by the European Commission, the conference can be followed online via the link:

The documentation will be published in the website:

Members of WR currently attending: Region of Murcia, Emilia Romagna and Valencian Region.