Water Theme 4: Understanding, Managing and

conserving our Water Resources

This thematic area will contribute to better use and protection of water resources, by gaining a better understanding of the potential impacts of human activities, such as abstractions, discharges and land-use on groundwater, rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters; of the views of local communities and the ways of encouraging behavioural change; and of the means of minimizing these impacts.

Particular attention will be given to pressures on water arising from agricultural activities. Regulatory measures are essential tools to ensure compliance with environmental standards of water quality and quantity.

Understanding the mechanisms leading to improved water management will lead to better policy design, implementation and adaptation.

This thematic area will:

  • Further an integrated approach to water management by improving our understanding of the impact of pressures on water quality and quantity, looking at adaptive water management approaches, as well as socio-economic issues.
  • Promote the concept of water foot printing while increasing water resource efficiency and reducing water pollution.
  • Strengthen socio-economic approaches to conserve our water resources, covering governance issues such as public participation and decision support systems (DSS) as critical tools to integrate scientific knowledge into decision-making, and facilitating buy-in/ policy acceptance from the public.
  • Deal with socio-economic considerations and practical measures for mitigating the impacts of pressures.

Other Water Research Themes