Nature-based solutions address water challenges in Central Europe

On the occasion of the World Water Day 2018 and its topic ‘Nature for Water’, we present the FramWat project. It brings an innovative approach to the implementation of the nature-based small water retention measures in the river basin management plans.

The FramWat (Framework for improving water balance and nutrient mitigation by applying small water retention measures) project started in July 2017 and is supported by Interreg Central Europe. The duration of the project is July 2017-June 2020. It brings together nine Project Partners – WasserCluster Lunz, Croatian Waters, Regional Environmental Center, Middle Tisza District Water Directorate, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Slovak Water Management Enterprise, GWP Central and Eastern Europe, University of Ljubljana and Limnos from six countries – Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The project is led by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. GWP Central and Eastern Europe is in charge of the work package on policy integration and economic instruments.

In addition, there are 6 Associated Partners – ICPDR, Sava Commission, Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, Slovenian Water Agency and Regional Water Board Warsaw.

Water management and nature protection often do not cooperate efficiently, as they work under different departments within national administrations. FramWat aims to develop a new set of tools for choosing the best location to improve water quality and better balance its quantity. It will provide GIS-based tools and guidelines for the water authorities and decision-makers to critically approach and assess the effectiveness of nature-based small water retention measures in the river basin management context.

Apart from that, the project is aiming at changing the attitude towards floods, droughts and pollution mitigation by implementing decision support system in river basin planning process. In the form of the GIS-based software, proposed solutions will help water managers to implement innovative measures apart from “business as usual” approach.

FramWat will increase the skills and capacities of water authorities and related stakeholders for sustainable use of landscape, and for better and climate-proof water resources management. This will happen when nature-based small water retention measures are used in a systematic way addressing the complex challenges in the river basin on the landscape scale.

FramWat is a follow-up of the small water demonstration project that was implemented in the frame of the Integrated Drought Management Programme in Central and Eastern Europe in 2013-2015.