Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Integration with moderation

22.03.2013
New direction for water management

In Switzerland, various local, cantonal and federal authorities are responsible for water management. This leads to inefficiencies and extra costs. A project of the National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management" (NRP 61) now shows that sustainability and efficiency can be improved if the various water management sectors are integrated with moderation.

In our daily lives, we rely on water in many ways. The challenges which have to be met by politics and society are similarly varied: authorities on all levels are involved in managing the various water sectors, which include drinking water supply, wastewater management, flood prevention measures and the protection of aquatic life. Administrative obstacles and conflicting views often lead to friction and hamper an efficient management of water.

Model in the canton of Neuchâtel
The European Water Framework Directive demands a stronger integration of the whole water management domain. Could this be the answer? A project of the National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management" (NRP 61) explored to what extent this approach might work in Switzerland. "In a first step, we gained a good understanding of how the various sectors collaborate by analysing literature and conducting interviews with experts as well as holding workshops with people involved in water management," says project leader Bernhard Truffer, head of the division for Environmental Social Sciences at the Eawag. "In a second step, we elaborated a proposal showing what the transition towards a more integrated water management might look like."

The advantages of an integrated approach to water management are exemplified in the project "MultiRuz" in the Val-de-Ruz between Neuchâtel and La-Chaux-de-Fonds. A few years ago, the communities in the valley suffered from lack of water and poor water quality. The responsibilities relating to water were distributed across 22 bodies. In early 2011, a large proportion of the tasks was transferred to a new authority - a pioneering step for Switzerland. This solved the problems related to water quality and led to savings of around CHF 3 million per year.

Centralised solution not feasible
On the basis of six case studies, the researchers concluded that the current fragmented system is no longer suitable. But they are aware that a centralised solution, as was introduced in France, is not compatible with the federal structures of Switzerland. Instead, they recommend a balanced solution that reflects the existing political and social structures. "A balanced approach prevents unnecessary bureaucratic structures," Truffer states. "Every catchment area requires a different solution."

The catchment area of Lake Greifen (where the canton of Zurich is implementing a number of measures to achieve a more sustainable management of water) requires different measures from the Val-de-Ruz or the Valais (where the third Rhone correction is due in the next few years). "Integration is not an end in itself," says Truffer. "The aim is to achieve the targets defined for a catchment area as efficiently and inexpensively as possible." It is therefore important to balance the advantages and possible savings with the growing coordination effort of the integration.

Higher acceptance
The researchers propose a staggered approach: in the first instance, the federal authorities elaborate a national water strategy which combines existing strategies and define in which cases integrated water management needs to be introduced. The cantons then decide which catchment areas might benefit from improved integration. On this basis, they implement - supported by the federal authorities - the necessary measures in collaboration with the involved actors. This Swiss model is more efficient than a fully centralised solution and it enjoys a higher degree of acceptance among the people involved.

In the context of the "International Year of Water Cooperation", the researchers are presenting their results at the conference "Water overcomes boundaries - examples and opportunities in Switzerland", which takes place in Berne on 22 March 2013.

On this subject
Synthesis report of the project the project “Towards integrative water governance” (in German): Scheuchzer Patrick, Walter Felix, Truffer Bernhard, Balsiger Jörg, Chaix Olivier, Kempter Tim, Klinke Andreas, Menzel Susanne, Wehse Heiko, Zysset Andreas:
Auf dem Weg zu einer integrierten Wasserwirtschaft. Synthese zum Projekt IWAGO – Integrated Water Governance with Adaptive Capacity in Switzerland (2012)
http://www.nfp61.ch/SiteCollectionDocuments/news/news_mm_130320_nfp61_iwago
_synthesebericht.pdf
Video clip of the project “Towards integrative water governance”:
http://www.nfp61.ch/E/projects/videoclips/Pages/default.aspx?NEWSID=1859&WEBID=F6B532FB-64ED-466F-8816-193D4DE8DC94

Tools for practice, elaborated by the project “Towards integrative water governance”, can be found on the website of "Wasser-Agenda 21": http://www.wa21.ch/index.php?page=469

Conference "Water overcomes boundaries - examples and opportunities in Switzerland": http://www.wa21.ch/index.php?page=481

National Research Programme "Sustainable Water Management" (NRP 61)
The National Research Programme “Sustainable Water Management” (NRP 61) develops scientific principles and methods for the sustainable management of water resources, which are under increasing pressure. NRP 61 explores the effects of climate and social changes on these resources and identifies the risks and future conflicts associated with their use. NRP 61 operates with CHF 12 million for a research duration of four years. Website of NRP 61 "Sustainable Water Management": www.nrp61.ch
Contact
Prof. Bernhard Truffer
Umweltsozialwissenschaften
Eawag
CH-8600 Dübendorf
Phone.: +41 58 765 56 70
E-mail: bernhard.truffer@eawag.ch

Communication division | idw
Further information:
http://www.snsf.ch
http://www.wa21.ch/index.php?page=469

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht New mathematical model can help save endangered species
14.01.2019 | University of Southern Denmark

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

Im Focus: Mission completed – EU partners successfully test new technologies for space robots in Morocco

Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.

Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...

Im Focus: Programming light on a chip

Research opens doors in photonic quantum information processing, optical signal processing and microwave photonics

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can...

Im Focus: Physicists uncover new competing state of matter in superconducting material

A team of experimentalists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and theoreticians at University of Alabama Birmingham discovered a remarkably long-lived new state of matter in an iron pnictide superconductor, which reveals a laser-induced formation of collective behaviors that compete with superconductivity.

"Superconductivity is a strange state of matter, in which the pairing of electrons makes them move faster," said Jigang Wang, Ames Laboratory physicist and...

Im Focus: Tumors backfire on chemotherapy

Some patients with breast cancer receive chemotherapy before the tumor is removed with surgery. This approach, called 'neoadjuvant' therapy, helps to reduce the size of the tumor to facilitate breast-conserving surgery, and can even eradicate the tumor, leaving few or no cancerous cells for the surgeon to remove. In those cases, the patients are very likely to remain cancer-free for life after surgery.

But not all tumors shrink under chemotherapy. If the tumor resists neoadjuvant therapy, there can be a higher risk of developing metastatic disease, meaning...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Doing More with Less: Stem Cells Regulate Their Fate by Altering Their Stiffness

14.01.2019 | Life Sciences

11<sup>th</sup> International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

Arbitrary quantum channel simulation for a superconducting qubit

14.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>