Science for Policy Making
A very interesting special session proposed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Works focuses on “Science for Policy Making: how to bridge the worlds of science and policy making”. The Central question in this workshop is: how to organize/institutionalize the best availability, usability and use of knowledge in the process of preparing policy options and the process of implementing policy measures?
Water, peace and security
Another eye-catching session, coordinated by IHE-Delft, deals with Water, peace and security: assessing risks and exploring mitigation options. This session will first explore the relationship between water security and human and political security. The organizers will present what is known about multiple water and conflict pathways and illustrate some of these pathways through case studies from Africa and the Middle East. Next organizers will present the first iteration of a global water and conflict early warning system and a framework for intervention analysis on water and conflict issues in a specific hotspot context, using a case from Mali. A serious game is used to demonstrate how these models can inform and facilitate dialogue and decision making for action, in the form of adaptation and mitigation.
Integration of knowledge for Water Quality
A session coordinated by the Watercycle Research Institute KWR focuses on Mobilizing and integrating knowledge for water quality. Knowledge on water quality is present at several institutes in the Netherlands, but it is insufficiently integrated and accessible. Therefore, the Dutch research institutes Deltares, KWR, WUR-WER, RIVM (aligned with PBL, STOWA, WVL) decided to strengthen their collaboration, for chemically clean and ecologically healthy water. This collaboration has been ratified in the Knowledge Impulse for Water Quality (KIWQ). The institutes work closely with regional and national authorities, private companies, stakeholders and citizens. On the international level, EU funding stimulates knowledge exchange and research collaboration, for example by Horizon 2020 projects and EIP focus groups. However given geographical and socio-economic factors, countries and regions within countries deal with different governance, environmental issues and research questions. For these reasons, tailored research to understand the stressors and initiate effective en feasible measures, a common knowledge base, capacity building and knowledge integration on national and regional levels seems crucial for improving water quality. This session will focus in particular on the way knowledge integration is organized in this programme and how to integrate knowledge across different organizations, regions and sectors that it generates optimal impact?
Closing water and nutrient cycles in the agro-food sector
Another session will present the progress of the Horizon 2020 project Run4Life (Recovery and Utilization of Nutrients 4 Low Impact FErtiliser), a consortium of 15 European partners. Run4Life proposes decentralised nutrient recovery from domestic wastewater at the source, for application in agriculture. This radical change opens a new paradigm in society. The world food supply is entirely dependent on the use of fertilisers. However, current fertiliser production practices are not sustainable. Domestic wastewater is an important carrier of resources, which are hardly recovered in the current centralised wastewater management systems. Run4Life demonstrates an alternative strategy for improving nutrient recovery, based on a decentralised treatment of segregated domestic wastewater streams and organic kitchen waste at 4 sites in Europe. Different innovative technologies are combined to achieve this goal. In collaboration with key end-users included in the consortium and other stakeholders, the resulting products will be characterised and the possibilities for their agricultural application will be determined.
Climate adaptation hotspot South Asia
South Asia is one of the world’s climate adaptation hotspots, where climate change-induced shifts in the timing and pattern of rainfall and of glacier and snow runoff, are already having an impact on water resources, including water availability and energy security across the region. As most of South Asia is dependent on monsoon rain for agriculture, any changes in the monsoon cycle are going to have implications for food and nutritional security in the region. With this session, the organisers aim to present the state of the art on climate change and climate adaptation through stories and science presentations and, by exchanging the latest knowledge about climate change adaptation in this globally important climate change hot spot. There is a lot of novel research that can be shared, and dialogue that needs to take place on the future contribution of science to adaptation.