Across NW Europe, unsustainable urban and rural development and land management practices have degraded ecosystems and the natural water management processes, causing flooding, pollution and exacerbating the effects of drought.
There is currently a market failure: The existing systems for environmental management are failing to address the threats posed by climate change. The solutions are known in theory: increase infiltration; store more water; slow down water flow by using natural barriers and restoring water courses to a more natural form; apply flexible, adaptive management. We have well developed policy frameworks for water and drought management, but still have problems with implementing practical solutions:
- How can we integrate water management with spatial development, to make space for flood and drought measures?
- How can we work with natural processes to restore catchments to deliver high social value:( to reduce flood risk, improve water quality, provide greater amenity and ensure biodiversity gains.
- People are disengaged from water and fear it, and so do not take or support the types of action that are proposed by water managers.
The Proposed Solution
Co-Adapt will develop, test and roll-out approaches to co-creation of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) and Natural Process Solutions (NPS) thereby improving the adaptive capacity of the 2Seas region to the water-related effects of climate change.
Co-creation refers to the active participation of end-users in various stages of a process: as initiator; co-designer; complementor. The use of co-creation in adaptive water management is infrequent and ad-hoc and is not fully incorporated into mainstream practice.
Co-Adapt will result in increased capacity to adapt to climate change and a region that is more flood and drought resilient. It will directly decrease the risks of flood and drought to 30,000ha through co-created Nature Based Solutions, leading to €5.4M of savings from reduced damages, and €5.8M of savings compared to using traditional hard engineering. It will involve 3000 stakeholders in co-creation leading to changed public attitudes to water and greater understanding of the risks posed by climate change, with 80% of participants feeling involved and supporting Nature Based Solutions measures.
Project Objectives and Expected Results
To develop, test and disseminate approaches to the co-creation of nature based and natural process solutions to improve adaptive capacity of the 2Seas region to the water related effects of climate change.
The project will develop more open and transparent governance for adaptive water management by embedding co-creation in policy frameworks, especially spatial and water management strategies – leading to greater awareness and stakeholder-led action to improve climate resilience.
- Develop, test and disseminate approaches to the co-creation of nature based and natural process solutions to improve adaptive capacity of the 2Seas region to the water related effects of climate change.
- Increase the active engagement of citizens in the design and planning of adaptive water management solutions (co-creation).
- Testing Co-creation approaches. Partners will test their designed co-creation approaches in real situations to gain insights into what works and what does not, and how to design and manage a good co-creation process. Each case is unique, being adapted to its context, and in this way we test a diversity of situations (8 cases) which gives results that are more widely transferable.
- Develop and test a model framework for spatial strategies for climate adaptation using climate change scenarios and incorporating adaptive pathways
- Develop a guide to the Co-Adapt framework, with guidance & tools for co-creation, adaptive pathways and NB&NPS, including e-Learning resources
- Create a dynamic online platform for knowledge sharing through practice-based e-Learning
- Develop and test co-created adaptive water management solutions (nature based and natural process solutions) in 8 catchments
- Quantify the impact of these water management solutions
Project Main Results
- Directly decrease risk of flood & drought to 30,000ha through co-created Nature Based Solutions, leading to €5.4M of savings from reduced damages, and €5.8M of savings compared to using traditional hard engineering
- Provide 12,370 properties with enhanced flood protection
- Involve 3000 stakeholders in co-creation leading to changed public attitudes to water & climate risks, 80% of participants feeling involved and supporting NBS measures
- Co-Adapt approach used by 50 organisations.