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Project Novel Integrated Water Management Systems for Southern Europe

The NOVIWAM project (Novel Integrated Water Management Systems for Southern Europe), is a project funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

Most countries in European Union are suffering severe water scarcity caused by a negative balance between water resources and water demands. A sustainable management of hydrological resources results totally necessary, as it is established by the European Water Framework Directive (60/2000/EC), which makes compulsory for every water management authority in EU to prepare a river basin management plan by the end of this year 2009.

In order to fulfill these obligations and considering the complexity of water bodies control and the undefined future scenario provided by climate change, there is an imperative demand of the use of integrated management tools and methods, such as computerized models. Thus, integrated Water Resources Management must be faced from a multi-sectorial point of view, involving scientific research, social and economic aspects and administrative proceedings.

The NOVIWAM project will tackle these challenges by synthesizing the different perspectives of research institutions, authorities and entrepreneurs, introducing them into promotion of interregional co-operation. Based on several top level research results in water management and leaded by a consolidated cluster managed by a regional authority with exclusive competences on a major European river, the project will establish an European network to strengthen synergies between regional, national and EU initiatives addressing the Integrated Management RTD and innovation challenges.

NOVIWAM aims to establish long-lasting links between clusters throughout the regions, and allow the triple-helix components to benefit from the scale economies deriving from this multilevel and interregional co-operation. Mentoring activities are strongly considered, as specific needs of clusters from a candidate country (Albania) and insularity problems (Cyprus), have been included. NOVIWAM will produce a Joint Action Plan (JAP) at European level with specific measures and calendar beyond the end of the project.

Project number 245460
Geographical coverage Albania, Cyprus, France, Portugal, Spain,
Budget (in €) 3020000
Programme EU-INCO-MED FP7 “Regions of Knowledge”
Web site

The NOVIWAM project aims to promote multilevel and interregional co-operation in the field of water management tools and methods. By learning from the experiences of others and pooling the related knowhow and technology, the partners want to increase their capacity to solve in the most eco-efficient and sustainable manner the compelling water management problems faced in the Euro-Mediterranean climate regions. At the same time, the project would contribute to the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive: a good ecological and chemical status of all waters and water management at catchment or river basin scale. The final goal of this initiative would be to exploit the actions associated with the project to potentiate the internationalization of the activities of the participants.

To help achieve these objectives, the NOVIWAM project will develop a Joint Action Plan (JAP) for the participating regional clusters designed by establishing a communication process between the clusters and studying the specific needs, weaknesses and capacities (SWOT Analysis) of each one and in general, taking into account the specific characteristics of all of the agents involved: researchers, companies and regional authorities. Additionally, the NOVIWAM project will establish a programme for the implementation of the JAP, trying to involve other regions into it, and the dissemination of the conclusions of the work at a regional and international level.

The NOVIWAM project would also establish a long-lasting relationship between the participating clusters, promoting mentoring and mutual learning activities as well as further co-operation activities beyond this project.

One of the goals of the project is to identify what can be done in order to improve the management of water resources, particularly in relation to the use of Decision Support Systems (DSS) at the catchment level. The project comprises partners from 5 countries (Albania, Cyprus, France, Portugal and Spain) and is aimed to expand beyond the borders of the project participant countries to neighboring countries facing similar challenges. 


The work in the NOVIWAM project will be divided into six work packages; four CO-ORDINATION work packages; one OTHER (dissemination) work package, and one MANAGEMENT work package each comprising several subtasks, in order to achieve the envisaged goal of the project with optimal efficiency.

WP1 - “Characterization of Regional Clusters and Research Agendas”. 
This WP consists in a series of activities aimed at analyzing a series of relevant issues such as the existing regional RTD policies, plans, activities and regional RTD actors. This WP is to have a detailed characterization of each partner regional cluster in order to establish a common work base and to know different needs and competencies of partner regions. Both regional and transnational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis will be carried out and the results will be included in a report that will serve as a basis for the design of the JAP and subsequent activities within the project.

WP2 - “Definition of a Joint Action Plan”. 
Based upon the results obtained in WP1, a Joint Action Plan (JAP) will be defined. This JAP will address aspect such as the identification of possible co-operation research areas and their characterization and a series of clustering strategies to be promoted and implemented throughout the participating regions.

WP3 - “Mentoring regions, mutual learning” 

will be a horizontal WP, as mentoring, mutual learning and good practice exchange activities will be carried out throughout the project. WP3 will give support to tasks included in other work packages such as the definition of the JAP or in promoting its implementation.

WP4 - “Measures towards the implementation of the joint action plan.” 
This WP includes measures that will facilitate the execution and implementation of the JAP. The scope of the project does not cover the implementation of the JAP but the activities contained in this WP will facilitate this implementation both by improving the capacities of the actors involved as well as gaining the support of the relevant authorities and decision makers. These objectives go one step further in the sense that they allow for the possible improvement of the JAP and the inclusion of further regions into its activities.

WP5 - “Dissemination and communication activities.” 
This WP will include the preparation of a dissemination plan for the activities carried out within the NOVIWAM project and the results obtained from it. This plan will include the setting up of a website to serve both to publish information and as a means of intercommunicating and knowledge exchange between members. The documents produced in the project will be translated into the languages of all member regions. The plan will also contemplate the publication of a number of scientific papers, participations at international conferences and event and publication, press releases and presentations of the project, its objectives or results in other media such as regional TV stations or radio.

WP6 - “Project management.” 
This WP will ensure the success of the project through co-ordinating the activities and to maintain an efficient and pro-active relation with the partners and the EC services. In particular, this work-package intends to achieve deliverables of the highest quality, and to do so within the limits established by the Schedule and Budget with a flexible and operative management structure that facilitates the effective co-ordination of all partners.

Period [01/02/2010 - 31/01/2013]