About the project
Climate projections for the 2 Seas area, point towards drier and warmer summers with more extreme and concentrated precipitation events in the form of summer storms. This could result in a higher demand for water production.
The cross-border project PROWATER stands for 'protecting and restoring raw water sources through actions at the landscape scale', and contributes to climate change adaptation by restoring the water storage of the landscape via 'ecosystem-based adaptation measures'. Examples of this are forest conversion, natural water retention or restoration of soil compaction.
These interventions increase resilience against droughts and floods and benefit water quality and biodiversity. During the next years project partners in Flanders, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom will carry out various exemplary projects on site and will showcase them to the public.
The benefits of the measures will be identified so that a 'Payment for Ecosystem Services' model can be developed. This model will investigate how organizations that take measures to combat water scarcity can receive compensation. In return, they provide services to society by improving the quality of the living environment.
Finally, the project wants to close the information gap with policy and the water user, by developing a vision to tackle water scarcity and drought risks in the long term.
A cross-border cooperation
From November 2017 up to August 2022, 10 partners from Flanders, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom work together on PROWATER. The project has a budget of more than 5.5 million euros.
There is a high complementarity of expertise. A spatially explicit Ecosystem Services-assessment tool is available from the ECOPLAN project (BE), whilst the UK partners have vast experience in setting up and managing PES-schemes with the Upstream Water Thinking project, the NL partners with implementation and demonstration.
In each country, water production companies, governments and research institutes as well as land managers are involved in order to achieve a supported vision.
The project receives 3.315.974 € through the Interreg 2 Seas Fund (ERDF) to work on climate adaptation and to increase resilience against droughts and extreme precipitation based on ecosystem services. Interreg 2 seas is a European territorial cooperation program for the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders).
The project is divided into several work packages (WP)
WP1: POLICY ANALYSIS will deliver an output that provides guidance on how to develop a rewarding scheme for EbA measures that promote infiltration and restoration. How to identify buyers, brokers and sellers and set up partnerships, including recommendations on ethical, political, juridical and organisational challenges.
WP2: TOOLBOX development will deliver 1) a tool for spatial prioritization and evaluation of EbA measures and 2) a tool to quantify the co-benefits of EbA measures
WP3: VISION BUILDING will develop a long-term assessment and vision on water demand and supply challenges in the 2 Seas Region (WP3), making use of participatory approaches (workshops & meetings with buyers and brokers).
WP4 IMPLEMENTATION will showcase the effective implementation (investments) of EbA measures in the field (good practices). For each site, we will quantify the impacts and produce information panes for visitors to the sites.
WP5 PROJECT MANAGEMENT
WP 6 COMMUNICATION