FramWat project to counter flood, drought, and mitigate pollution

A framework to facilitate unfavorable conditions in the river basin by applying small water retention measures.

The FramWat project aims to establish a common regional framework for flood, drought, and pollution mitigation by increasing the buffer capacity of the landscape with the use of Natural (Small) Water Retention Measures (N(S)WRM) approach in a systematic way. Project partners are developing methods which translate existing knowledge about N(S)WRM into river basin management practice.

There are three main aspects this project is focused on: identification of potential locations, effectiveness of the N(S)WRM as well as policy integration, and economic instruments.

One of the results is a successful test and presentation of the final version of Valorization Method (VM) and the GIS tools (FroGIS). FroGIS app is now publicly accessible and has been already used to analyze the needs and possibilities of water retention in six pilot catchments. The team behind this project does not rely solely on their own expertise. A decision was made to make FroGIS’s source code available to public via Gitlab in order to ensure further development. This effort is supported by an online course aimed at teaching people how to properly use the tool.

In regards of effectiveness of the system of N(S)WRMs in the whole river basin, the team completed a review of existing effectiveness indicators of N(S)WRM. This led to development of static and dynamic tools, based on a lookup table of effectiveness. They are now able to select a specific mathematical model for each pilot catchment based on the recognition of the catchment characteristics, problems in water management, and planned methods of implementing solutions as well as the availability of data. Furthermore, N(S)WRM enabled the development of the Concept Plans. This means that GIS tools (FroGIS) were used on 6 river basins to provide the information on the best locations and type of measures with cumulative effect. The Decision Support System (DSS) structure was also finalized.

In order for FramWat to be successful, a close cooperation with all stakeholders was ensured since the beginning of the project. Within the first year, key stakeholders attended consultations during which they were presented to the project as well as exchanged ideas and expectations. Second phase revolved around national trainings, where stakeholders were trained to use GIS tool (FroGIS) and tested the approach for the effectiveness methodology. During the third phase, policy level stakeholders discussed the development of the guidelines and action Plans with the primary goal of better addressing the current gaps and problems of integration of N(S)WRM’s in water management plans.

The project is now focusing on the development of the final version of DSS as well as correct calculations of N(S)WRM costs on a river basin scale.  There is also a plan to create a step-by-step manual to assess the effectiveness of the system of measures in the river basin, and guidelines on how to improve water balance and nutrient mitigation by applying N(S)WRM. This all will be applied in the action plans for 6 river basins, piloting this project.

FramWat is supported by INTERREG’s Central Europe Programme. Read more about FramWat here.