VASTRA – Water management research programme

Programme ended in 2005

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WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?

Ground and surface water in a drainage basin represent common resources which many people both want and need to share as drinking water, for irrigation, as an input material in industrial processes and the recipient of discharges from factories and municipalities, for recreation, as fishing waters, as an energy producer or transportation route. Collaboration when planning for better water management and utilisation in the whole area is called for. The new EU Water Framework Directive also places new requirements on how drainage basins are to be managed. However, there are varying and often conflicting interests in a drainage basin along with many different borders between the levels of decision-making in terms of those using the water and between areas of use. Antagonism creates barriers, which prevent a holistic approach and reduce the potential for long-term, sustainable solutions.

HOW CAN THE PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTE TO A SOLUTION?

The aim of VASTRA is to create a basis and new tools for decision-makers regarding both the use of and impact on water resources. The leading principle is that planning and management shall be based on a holistic perspective, where everyone has the whole drainage basin as the point of departure for their decisions and actions and where long-term thinking is the watchword. Models for creating optimum measures are being developed within VASTRA – measures to reduce eutrophication in surface and coastal waters, prevent groundwater contamination and promote biodiversity and diversity in the landscape. Models for monitoring the effects of decisions are also being established. Experiments are being carried out to design new, decentralised management models which take socio-scientific knowledge into consideration.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE RESULTS?

Agriculture. Forestry. Fisheries. Central, regional and local authorities responsible for aquacultural issues and land planning. Interest groups (environment, nature conservation, recreation).