Drought Experts Underscore Importance of Decentralized Small Water Retention Measures in CEE

gwp-cee8 November 2013: Drought experts, meeting in Warsaw, Poland, from 28-29 October, underscored that decentralized small water retention measures are important sources of water during dry periods in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

The workshop, jointly organized by the University of Life Sciences in Warsaw and Global Water Partnership (GWP) Poland, brought together partners from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia who are involved in a small water retention demonstration project to: improve the water holding potential of landscapes; and increase resilience to climate change impacts. The project's main output will be technical guidelines on how to plan and construct different kinds of small water retention measures (such as small dikes and polders, restoration of wetlands, and changes in forest and agricultural practices) that lower flood risk and store water for dry periods.

During the project preparation phase, experts analyzed programmes and measures in each of the four countries. At the workshop, they discussed how to define measures that collect water on a smaller scale and make it available at later stage for different purposes, especially in the case of drought. Workshop participants also drafted the guideline's main chapters and discussed content. A major part of the guidelines, which will define small retention measures and their purpose, will be a small retention “cookbook,”  focused on planning for policy makers and knowledge exchange through case studies from the region.

At the regional level, an Integrated Drought Management Programme in Central and Eastern Europe (IDMP CEE) aims to test concrete measures for drought management plans. Six demonstration projects are already up and running, and, at the end of 2013, project experts will meet and discuss progress and make recommendations for policy making at all levels. IDMP CEE supports the governments of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine in developing drought management policies and plans. It also builds stakeholder capacity for proactive integrated drought management and tests innovative approaches for future drought management plans. [Workshop Post on GWP CEE Website] [GWP CEE Website]