More than 30 participants from twelve organizations and eleven different countries gathered in Nicosia on 21-23 October, for the second General Meeting of the BEWATER project. The BeWater project "Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change" (www.bewaterproject.eu) aims to promote the dialogue and collaboration between science and society for sustainable water management and adaptation to the impacts of global change. The project is implemented in four Mediterranean river basins (Cyprus, Spain, Slovenia and Tunisia). Pedieos River Basin is the case study for Cyprus. The Cyprus Institute research team (http://www.cyi.ac.cy/) aims to develop water management options and an adaptation plan for the Pedieos River Basin.
Project researchers and stakeholders, including water managers, educators and landscape planners, had the opportunity to discuss different water management options and adaptation actions for the Mediterranean region. Participatory approaches were used to gather stakeholders’ reflections and identify key steps for more sustainable and adaptive river basin management.
A field trip to the Pedieos River Basin allowed participants to become acquainted with the case study in Cyprus. Mr Stephanos Siligaris from the Department of Town Planning and Housing guided participants in the linear park along the Pedieos River. Participants were fascinated by the natural and recreational services of the park. In Lakatamia they even discovered separate paths for cyclists, walkers and dogs. Stefanos explained that the park raises environmental awareness and discourages people to use the riverbed as a garbage dump.
The Pedieos River in the urban areas of Nicosia is dry most of the year. However, during heavy rain events runoff from the surrounding paved areas flows to the river. Mrs Anna Charalambous from Lakatamia Municipality showed to participants the flooding risks because of the low road crossings over the Pedieos River. Participants visited also the qanat system in Ergates community and the Tamassos dam where Adriana Bruggeman explained the past and present functionalities of these waterworks. Finally, participants visited the Machairas forest and Monastery in the upstream area of the river.