IAHS2022-419, updated on 07 Jan 2023
IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Inclusive and resilient groundwater assessment towards sustainable development in the Mediterranean region

Seifeddine Jomaa1, Nahed Ben-Salem1, Rafael Chávez1, Robert Reinecke2, Emmanouil Varouchakis3, João Vasco Silva4,5, Chiara Ceseracciu6, Thi Phuoc Lai Nguyen7, Irem Daloglu Cetinkaya8, Ali K. Saysel8, Nadim K. Copty8, Amir Rouhani1, Maroua Oueslati9, Eric Mino9, George P. Karatzas3, Pier Paolo Roggero6, Michael Rode1,2, and J. Jaime Gómez-Hernández10
Seifeddine Jomaa et al.
  • 1Department of Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and Management, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Magdeburg, Germany
  • 2Institute of Environmental Science and Geography, University Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
  • 3School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete (TUC), Greece
  • 4Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 5International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 6Desertification Research Center (NRD - UNISS), University of Sassari, Italy
  • 7Department of Development and Sustainability, Asian Institute of Technology, Klong Luang, Thailand
  • 8Institute of Environmental Sciences, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 9Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector (SEMIDE), France
  • 10Institute of Water and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

The Mediterranean region is experiencing rapid population growth, increasing water demand, and faster climate warming. Groundwater plays a central role in the development of the Mediterranean by ensuring food security, buffering climate changes impacts and maintaining socio-economic stability and ecosystems integrity. However, despite groundwater being recognised as a powerful catalyser against climate- and human-induced effects, its status remains unknown, and its budget is uncertain. Moreover, the lack of appropriate groundwater monitoring programs at a regional scale, data sharing policy, and fragmented water policy and governance have complicated this vital resource's sustainable utilisation and protection.

To this end, an international and multidisciplinary team of scientists with complementary skills have joined efforts through two PRIMA-funded projects (Sustain-COAST and InTheMED) towards better groundwater management and governance in the Mediterranean. In this respect, the Sustain-COAST Living Labs provide the setting to explore innovative governance approaches that could be scaled to increase resilience and adaptation capacity across the Mediterranean. At a regional scale, efforts target detailed water policy examination, pathways exploration towards the reinforcement of in-situ data collection, and groundwater modelling. Examination of water policy of the Mediterranean revealed an unbalanced situation between South Europe, characterised by complete, harmonised and straightforward water policy. Conversely, in North Africa and Middle East, water policy was found complex, not regionalised and fragmented in various initiatives. Results also showed the Mediterranean has become increasingly dependent on cereal importation over local food production, which poses a severe threat to its best diet overall and food security. Results suggested that combining in-situ data and regional groundwater modelling can offer further insights into this data-scarce region. Believing “that no one size fits all”, lessons learned from success stories, and tailored solutions to typical demonstration sites from both shores of the Mediterranean region are of extreme importance.

Acknowledgement: This work was supported by Sustain-COAST and InTheMED projects. Sustain-COAST was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Germany, Grant 01DH19015) under the EU PRIMA 2018 programme. InTheMED is part of the PRIMA 2019 programme supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1923.

How to cite: Jomaa, S., Ben-Salem, N., Chávez, R., Reinecke, R., Varouchakis, E., Vasco Silva, J., Ceseracciu, C., Phuoc Lai Nguyen, T., Daloglu Cetinkaya, I., K. Saysel, A., K. Copty, N., Rouhani, A., Oueslati, M., Mino, E., P. Karatzas, G., Roggero, P. P., Rode, M., and Gómez-Hernández, J. J.: Inclusive and resilient groundwater assessment towards sustainable development in the Mediterranean region, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-419, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-419, 2022.