With agreement of their respective Ministers three of the leading regions in Europe in the field of sustainable water management, Aragon, Emilia-Romagna and Hessen initiated in 2007 in Bologna an interregional cooperation on the issue water scarcity and droughts resulting in WATER CoRe. This initiative has been consolidated in a continuous standing platform of ministers, that will meet once a year, follow the project and decide concretely on regional implementation of results.
Water CoRe intends to provide an exchange platform for water scarcity and drought issues on regional and local level for all European regions. It will function as a kind of market place for participating regions where good practice examples can be ‘bought or sold’ from one region in order to adapt these to the local/regional situation in another region. Special attention will be given to regions in central and eastern Europe by establishing a focal point on water scarcity and droughts in Hungary.
Policies and practical experiences related to management of water scarcity and droughts do already exist in Europe. Water CoRe will compile this knowledge and make it accessible for all regional and local actors in the EU in order to create their own tailor made approaches.
Topics covered in thematic working groups concern water demand-side management, handling drought periods, climate change effects and public awareness and participation. Each working group will follow the following project phases: collecting existing experiences, exchange experiences and match partners for transfer, transfer of best practices via e-learning and training sessions, evaluate 'lessons learnt' and formulate policy recommendations.
Planned meetings and activities are an interregional kick-off event followed by opening sessions in each partner region, study visits, thematic workshops, bi-lateral contacts between 'buying-selling' partners, interregional mid-term event, >
> technical training sessions in each region, interregional evaluation and exchange meeting, interregional final event followed by closing sessions in each region.
Expected outputs are a digital exchange platform, good practice handbook, survey to specify 'buying/ selling' opportunities within the partnership, regional action plans to transfer experiences between regions, e-learning programme with thematic modules and policy recommendations.
Water CoRe leads to improved water scarcity and drought management policies and instruments in partner regions. Regional politicians of the partner regions underlined their commitment to this project in a Memorandum of Understanding. Via the project homepage the results are accessible to everybody. The good practice handbook and the e-learning course will also be spread via networks like ENCORE. The overall objective is to create tools for responsible authorities in order to improve water management in all regions of Europe.
The objective of the WATER CoRe project is to create a collection of regional best practices to help the regions and local institutions from all over Europe, improving their prevention strategies for environmental problems. The aim of our project is to strengthen the interregional cooperation between politicians, policy-makers and technical experts, providing a permanent and accessible platform to identify common strategies to cope with water scarcity, drought and climate change which will affect the European Union on ecological, on economic as well as a on social issues. These impacts will affect the citizens of the European Union in particular on local and regional level. In the first year of the project, the project phases 'exchanging experiences and matching partners for transfer of good practices' as well as the preparation and carry out survey to specify 'buying-selling' opportunities did successfully start. WATER CoRe did function as a market place for the participating
regions where all kinds of topic related good practice examples could be ‘bought or sold’ from partners, in order to adapt these to the local/regional situation in the other regions. All 14 partners contribute their specific experiences to the project. In addition, all gathered results were published in our "Good Practices Handbook" and will be further implemented in an "E-learning", which will be a standalone product, available on the website, free from registration, not just in English but also translated in the project partners respective languages. In summer 2011, the mid-term conference in the LP region Hesse (Germany) did offer a platform for both, technical and political meetings. During the “Platform of Ministers”, the Regional Ministers for the Environment and other high-level representatives of the seven partner regions signed the “Resolution of Ministers”. It was the third policy document signed, with the aim of strengthening regional cooperation in the EU on issues
related to water scarcity and droughts and to reinforce the aims of the EU strategies, policies and legislation in the tackled thematic fields. Also the “Focal point for Central and Eastern Europe”, which aims to share the results of WATER CoRe with the representatives of authorities and key stakeholders from other regions of Europe including EU and SEE countries did officially launch here.
Generaly, we allways try to combine our regular project meetings, e.g. in Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) and Covasna (Rumania), with dissemination options for media, training sessions to gather evaluation results for the "E-learning" tool, study visits for the project partners and "Presidium" meetings to decide on the next steps and agree on formal procedures, to make best use of the time and the assembles knowledge.
In the first six month of 2012, many important project outputs, like the "Survey on Water Scarcity and Droughts in Europe", the "WATER CoRe Guide" or a thematic Sub-report on the
exchange of best practices have been finalized/updated and are available on our website. Furthermore, we actively presented our project results in EU fora, international fairs and conferences like the “World Water Forum” (WWF) in Marseille, the “Water and Climate Change WG” in Geneva or the “Green Week” in Brussels.
The end of the project comes closer and most of the targeted project results and products have been finalized and are ready to download on the project website www.watercore.eu. Now, our main focus is on the preparation of the final event and the implementation of all relevant project outputs in the "E-learning", which will enable decision makers on regional and local level to select specific information out of the huge amount of information gathered so far. The technical structure is in the process of implementation and the fully running version will be available -latest- until the final conference of the project on the 29. /30. Nov. 2012 in Bologna (Italy).