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Early warning system for water scarcity in the Alps

Lago Maggiore

Water management issues and the protection of alpine water resources are addressed by various INTERREG projects in a cross-border approach. © Klaus / PIXELIO

The kick-off for the cross-border project "ALP-WATER-SCARCE: Water Management Strategies against Water Scarcity in the Alps" took place in Annecy/F in mid-October as part of the INTERREG Alpine Space Programme.
The Alps are often referred to as Europe's water reservoir. However, according to Carmen De Jong of the Mountain Institute at the University of Savoy/F there is a noticeable trend towards scarcer water reserves. There are tensions in a number of Alpine regions, especially in regions where different users such as tourism, farming and settlements compete for access to water resources. The objective of ALP-WATER-SCARCE is to create an early warning system for water scarcity in the Alps, based on modelling and long-term monitoring as well as a stakeholder forum. The monitoring is to focus on 28 pilot regions in the project countries. The findings are to lead to improved short- and long-term water management in the Alpine region. The lead partner for the three-year project is the Mountain Institute; the 17 project partners come from Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.
The ALPLAKES project was also conducted as part of the Alpine Space Programme and completed in 2008. ALPLAKES established an international network aimed at promoting sustainable protection for lakes and lakeside areas and also for developing ecotourism. Among other results the project produced a publication entitled "Alpine lakes. A common approach to the characterisation of lakes and their catchment area". This extensive volume summarises the results of ALPLAKES and features 18 lakes in the Alpine region. The English publication is available both in print and as a PDF file.
Information:
ALP-WATER-SCARCE: www.alpwaterscarce.eu (en), www.institut-montagne.org (fr), www.enviscope.com (fr)
ALP LAKES: www.alpinespace.org/alplakes.html (en), Publication: www.irealp.it/346,Projects.html (en)