TALANOA-WATER - Talanoa Water Dialogue for Transformational Adaptation to Water Scarcity Under Climate Change

About Us

The objective of TALANOA-WATER is to inform and catalyze the adoption of robust transformational adaptation strategies to water scarcity under climate change that contribute to the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) targets of social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. To this end, TALANOA-WATER will develop a groundbreaking ecosystem of innovation that combines an inclusive and transparent stakeholder engagement method, the Talanoa Dialogue, with an actionable modeling framework inspired in interdisciplinary socio-hydrology science, so to design, realize and demonstrate performance of transformational adaptation strategies at various scales (from plot to basin, from user to economic sector). Specifically, TALANOA-WATER will explore transformational adaptation strategies that combine complementary and mutually reinforcing (1) nature-based solutions (e.g. natural water retention), (2) technological innovation and climate services (e.g. non-traditional water sources, irrigation services advising the timing and intensity of irrigation and optimal protection of crops against extreme climate events), (3) risk management and financing instruments (e.g. payment for ecosystem services, insurance) and (4) economic and behavioral incentives (e.g. water charges, water markets). The flexibility and replicability of TALANOA-WATER ecosystem of innovation is an asset that facilitates its wide application across different areas, and will be illustrated in six water scarce pilot water laboratories in the Mediterranean Basin: the lower Nile River Basin (RB) in Egypt, the Po RB in Italy, the Hérault Department in France, the Upper Litani Catchment in Lebanon, the Cega Catchment in Spain and the Jeffara Catchment in Tunisia.

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Period of Implementations

Jun 1, 2021 - May 31, 2025

Total Budget

EUR 2.639.725,00

OUR IMPACT

Goals

The objective of TALANOA-WATER is to inform and catalyze the adoption of robust transformational adaptation strategies to water scarcity under climate change that contribute to the IWRM objectives of social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Objectives

The objective of TALANOA-WATER is to inform and catalyze the adoption of robust transformational adaptation strategies to water scarcity under climate change that contribute to the IWRM objectives of social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. This overarching goal will build upon four specific objectives (SO): ● SO-01: Design, realize and demonstrate institutional and technical feasibility and performance of a transition towards sustainable and inclusive growth in different natural and cultural environments in 6 pilot water laboratories; ● SO-02: Design, test and inform the adoption of robust transformational adaptation strategies to water scarcity under climate change, harnessing technological innovation (including non-conventional water sources), nature-based solutions, risk management instruments and behavioral incentives (10+ strategies designed and 1 adopted per water laboratory); ● SO-03: Design multi-sector and multi-stakeholder partnerships and novel financial mechanisms to secure sustainable investment into, and cost recovery of, transformational adaptation strategies (sustainable adoption of TALANOA-WATER ecosystem of innovation in 3+ water laboratories); ● SO-04: Synthesize and upscale the results obtained in the targeted pilot water laboratories to inform supra-national (e.g. EU) and national strategies for water resources management, climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and ecosystem protection in the Mediterranean area (mainstream TALANOA-WATER results and insights in 4+ national and 1 supranational/EU climate adaptation strategy/plan).

Impact Pathway

Water is notoriously known as both an economic and social good; essential for life, economic development, social cohesion, and the environment. The multitude of the at least to some extent incompatible uses of water and their impacts on natural water bodies makes policy choices both value-laden and intractable. Uncertainty, information asymmetries, pre-existing water permits or entitlements adhering to different legal doctrines, and hostile reception of water policy reform may antagonize introduction of transformational adaptation strategies, reinforcing path dependent trajectories characterized by lock-in of stakeholders’ technological and management responses (e.g. dam construction) to water scarcity under climate change. TALANOA-WATER fields a groundbreaking ecosystem of innovation that combines an inclusive and transparent stakeholder engagement method, the Talanoa Dialogue, with an actionable modeling framework inspired in interdisciplinary socio-hydrology science, to share views, develop collective knowledge, build trust, achieve consensus and unblock transformational responses to water scarcity under climate change in six large-scale pilot water laboratories in the Mediterranean basin. In TALANOA-WATER ecosystem of innovation, stakeholders are an integral part of the research, contributing alongside scientists through the co-design, co-development, co-evaluation, co-identification and co-implementation phases to generate a personalized experience to a level that is best suited for their tasks (e.g. decision-making). This co-opting users’ competence denotes efforts through which stakeholders: 1) are turned into co-creators and not only ‘customers’ of research outputs; 2) assume roles in shaping expectation and acceptance of scenarios and strategies; and 3) help to extract value of the modeling framework and ecosystem of innovation, and actively contribute to the deployment of agreed transformational adaptation strategies. Fluent science-policy interaction and collaboration within the ecosystem of innovation thus becomes the hub for value creation and value extraction through the design, realization and demonstration of complementary and mutually reinforcing technologies and management options in comprehensive transformational adaptation strategies. Although some of the technologies and management options that will be explored are already available in the market, their uptake is limited (e.g. studies at plot scale, as in forested infiltration areas for aquifer recharge in Italy). TALANOA-WATER will drive their large-scale adoption and create new avenues for innovation potential through transformational strategies with synergistic components whose total value is larger than the sum of parts. For example, we will combine the development of non-conventional treated wastewater and saline water with innovative water charging systems that induce substitution of overexploited surface and groundwater conventional resources; or combine commercial drought insurance with nature-based solutions for aquifer recharge, so to complement the insurance value of groundwater with formal insurance and thus reduce pressures on overallocated aquifers, while enhancing aquifer recharge through nature-based solutions. We will build on recent advancements in information and communication technologies such as remote sensing, smart gauge sensors, cloud computing and data analytics to support more accurate water accounting and data collection that improves system knowledge. Socio-hydrology science and simulations will exploit increased real-time digital data accuracy enabled by remote sensing and other information and communication technologies, and translate raw water data into relevant and actionable knowledge to better inform private and public choices. Deployment of transformational adaptation strategies such as smart (e.g. mobile-based) irrigation services across the pilot water laboratories will demonstrate the added value of remote sensing, sensors and other information and communication technologies, combined with the ecosystem of innovation and transformational adaptation strategies, in turning accurate and reliable real-time digital data in increased real-time accuracy of knowledge and improved IWRM.

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