Project Details

Title: Water scarcity and droughts; coordinated actions in European regions
Priority: 2: Environment and risk prevention
Theme: Water management

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Jul 2013
Website: http://www.watercore.eu


Total budget: €2,547,858.98
ERDF contribution: €1,997,054.43

Lead partner

Ministry of Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Hessen
Mainzer Strasse 80
65189, Wiesbaden

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Barbara Ehrle-Manthey
      Phone: 0049 (0)611 815 1300
      Fax: 0049 611 815 1941

Project summary

With agreement of their respective Ministers three of the leading regions in Europe in the field of sustainable water management, Aragon, Emilia-Romagna and Hessen initiated in 2007 in Bologna an interregional cooperation on the issue water scarcity and droughts resulting in WATER CoRe. This initiative has been consolidated in a continuous standing platform of ministers, that will meet once a year, follow the project and decide concretely on regional implementation of results.


Water CoRe intends to provide an exchange platform for water scarcity and drought issues on regional and local level for all European regions. It will function as a kind of market place for participating regions where good practice examples can be ‘bought or sold’ from one region in order to adapt these to the local/regional situation in another region. Special attention will be given to regions in central and eastern Europe by establishing a focal point on water scarcity and droughts in Hungary.

Policies and practical experiences related to management of water scarcity and droughts do already exist in Europe. Water CoRe will compile this knowledge and make it accessible for all regional and local actors in the EU in order to create their own tailor made approaches.


Topics covered in thematic working groups concern water demand-side management, handling drought periods, climate change effects and public awareness and participation. Each working group will follow the following project phases: collecting existing experiences, exchange experiences and match partners for transfer, transfer of best practices via e-learning and training sessions, evaluate 'lessons learnt' and formulate policy recommendations.


Planned meetings and activities are an interregional kick-off event followed by opening sessions in each partner region, study visits, thematic workshops, bi-lateral contacts between 'buying-selling' partners, interregional mid-term event, >

> technical training sessions in each region, interregional evaluation and exchange meeting, interregional final event followed by closing sessions in each region.


Expected outputs are a digital exchange platform, good practice handbook, survey to specify 'buying/ selling' opportunities within the partnership, regional action plans to transfer experiences between regions, e-learning programme with thematic modules and policy recommendations.


Water CoRe leads to improved water scarcity and drought management policies and instruments in partner regions. Regional politicians of the partner regions underlined their commitment to this project in a Memorandum of Understanding. Via the project homepage the results are accessible to everybody. The good practice handbook and the e-learning course will also be spread via networks like ENCORE. The overall objective is to create tools for responsible authorities in order to improve water management in all regions of Europe.

Project achievements

The objective of WATER CoRe is to create a collection of regional best practices, to help the regions and local institutions from all over Europe, improving their prevention strategies for environmental problems. The aim of our project is to strengthen the interregional cooperation between politicians, policymakers and technical experts, providing a permanent and accessible platform to identify common strategies to cope with water scarcity, drought and climate change, affecting the EU on ecological, economic as well as a on social issues. These impacts will affect the citizens of the EU in particular on local and regional level. In the first year of the project, the project phases 'exchanging experiences and matching partners for transfer of good practices' as well as the preparation and carry out survey to specify 'buying­selling' opportunities did successfully start. WATER CoRe did function as a market place for the participating regions where all kinds of topic related good

practice examples could be bought or sold’ from partners, in order to adapt these to the local/regional situation in the other regions. All 14 partners contribute their specific experiences to the project. In addition, all gathered results were published in our "Good Practices Handbook" and have been implemented in our WATER CoRe "e­learning", a standalone product, available on our website www.watercore.eu. It´s free from registration, and also available in the seven project partner’ s respective languages. Many important project outputs, like the "Survey on Water Scarcity and Droughts in Europe", the "WATER CoRe Guide" or thematic sub­reports (e.g.on the exchange of best practices) have been finalized and are available on the website. In summer 2011, the midterm conference in the LP region Hesse (Germany) did offer a platform for both, technical and political meetings. Also the “Focal point for Central and Eastern Europe”, which aims to share the results of WATER CoRe with the

representatives of authorities and key stakeholders from other regions of Europe, including EU and SEE countries, did officially launch here. Furthermore, we actively presented our project results in EU fora, international fairs and conferences, like the ENCORE Conference in Groningen (Sep.2012) or the IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management Congress) in Karlsruhe (Nov.2012).

As WATER CoRe project came to an end in summer 2013, the closing conference of WATER CoRe was held in Bologna (Italy) at the prestigious Palazzo Re Enzo in November 2012. We discussed and disseminated the achieved results, reflected on the political recommendations& planned our very final project steps. Experts discussed EU policies on water scarcity and droughts & technical representatives gathered to present the activities and achieved outputs within the project. Also part of this meeting was a political platform, which was chaired by the Regional Minister for Environment and Urban Planning, Sabrina Freda.

During that session, the political representatives of the 7 partner regions signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” underlining the positive results of the cooperation, as well as the adoption of the Action Plans together with their political recommendations. Most sessions were open to the public and always cost free.

The project successfully ended in July 2013. All of the targeted products and outputs have been finalized and once more presented to the public within five more regional closing sessions (Hessen, Covasna, Brabant, Herault and Aragon). Regional stakeholders and policy makers as well as the open public could get information on all relevant project outputs, which are gathered in our "e­-learning" implementation. This tool will enable especially decision makers on regional/ local level to select specific information out of the huge amount of information gathered so far in all the 7 project languages. Have a look, get informed and access new horizons on www.watercore.eu.





Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Ministry of Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of Hessen, Wiesbaden GERMANY Darmstadt 0049 (0)611 815 1300
Agency of Environment and Geology of Hessen, Wiesbaden GERMANY Darmstadt 0049 (0) 611 6939 100
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Environment, ZARAGOZA SPAIN Aragón +34 976105840
sescobar@sarga.es, mamunnoz@aragon.es
Water Institute of Aragon, ZARAGOZA SPAIN Aragón +34 976 71 66 55
sescobar@sarga.es, faranda@aragon.es
General Directorate for Environment and for Soil and Coast Protection of Emilia-Romagna, Bologna ITALY Emilia-Romagna 0039 0515276988
Environmental Agency of Emilia-Romagna – Hydro-Meteo-Climate Service, Bologna ITALY Emilia-Romagna +39 0516497511
lbotarelli@arpa.emr.it; bramponi@arpa.emr.it; ccacciamani@arpa.emr.it
Ministry of Rural Development, Hungary, Budapest HUNGARY Kozep-Magyarorszag 00-36-1-79-52-360
Lower Tisza District Water Directorate, Szeged HUNGARY Del-Alfold +36-62-599-599
Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), Hungary, Szentendre HUNGARY Kozep-Magyarorszag +36 26 504 000
Ministry of Environment and Climate Changes, Bucharest ROMANIA Bucuresti - Ilfov 0040 740062795
Environmental Protection Agency Covasna, Romania, Sfintu Gheorghe ROMANIA Centru 004 0267 323 701
Province of North-Brabant, s-Hertogenbosch NETHERLANDS Noord-Brabant 31736812868
General Council of Herault, Montpellier FRANCE Languedoc-Roussillon +33 04 67 67 67 69


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