NeWater - New Approaches to Integrated Adaptive Water Management

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 13th Jan 2020

For more than four years, NeWater studied and fostered Adaptive Integrated Water Resources Management (AWM) as a concept guiding theory and practice. Taking up the interdisciplinary challenge of managing river basins as social-ecological systems, NeWater reflected the diversity of perspectives and potential through 37 project partners from Europe, Africa and Central-Asia. 

Results of the project

The complexity of current water resource management poses many challenges. Water managers need to solve a range of interrelated water dilemmas, such as balancing water quantity and quality, flooding, drought, maintaining biodiversity and ecological functions and services, in a context where human beliefs, actions and values play a central role. Furthermore, the growing uncertainties of global climate change and the long term implications of management actions make the problems even more difficult. NeWater addressed some of the present and future challenges of water management. The project recognized the value of highly integrated solutions and advocated integrated water resource management (IWRM) concepts. NeWater was based on the hypothesis that IWRM cannot be realized unless current water management regimes undergo a transition towards more adaptive water management.

Vulnerability related outputs

Some research has focussed on vulnerability to shocks and stresses (or slow and rapid onset events) and the iterative development of model applications with case study teams.

  • NeWater Working Paper 2: Ionescu, C., R.J.T. Klein, J. Hinkel, K.S. Kavi Kumar and R.Klein, 2005: Towards a Formal Framework of Vulnerability to Climate Change. NeWater Working Paper 2 and FAVAIA Working Paper 1, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, ii+20 pp.
  • Choose your own story: describing multiple pathways for analysing dynamic vulnerability and adaptive capacity in coupled socio-ecological systems
  • Rapid vulnerability assessment protocol

Poverty and Gender

  • Specification of mechanisms and tools for multi-stakeholder dialogue processes on poverty and gender in river basin planning - Nilufar Matin

Further resources

Lesotho in the Orange Basin

Guadiana Basin

    Tisza Basin

    • Training on the KnETs methodology in flood-prone areas in the Carpathian Mountains