Work Package 1 - Innovative Project Management
The overall goal of this WP is to ensure sound management of the project. WP1 will handle administrative and financial aspects of the project, while keeping track of the progress and fulfilment of the objectives and deliverables. It will also ensure fluid communication between all partners. Throughout this WP, it will be ensured that all stakeholders are informed, and their feedback is accounted for. Within the first three months of the project, a Scientific Advisory Board was formed with expert scientists on sustainable water management in the MED. Advisory members will participate in the annual coordination meetings and will provide advice on the activities carried out and those to come. This WP also contains the creation and implementation of the Data Management Plan (DMP).
Work Package 2 - Innovative Monitoring and Data Analysis in the MED
This WP has a threefold objective: the acquisition of historical MED data, the analysis and sharing of collected data and the enrichment of data availability, using the High-Resolution Monitoring Approach (HRMA: allowing near real-time monitoring) in case studies characterized by limited data conditions. All data will be subject to the data management plan of WP1; also, InTheMED will join the current of the industrial internet of things (IIOT) and connect the data collection devices with the major portals sharing groundwater data.
Work Package 3 - Innovative Smart Modelling in the MED
Stakeholders need simplified models, yet accurate enough, to analyse alternative scenarios and make decisions under uncertain future conditions. For this reason, InTheMED will focus on the development of new simplified “smart” models, taking advantage of the expertise of the partners. These new models will be built on the basis of long-time historical data and/or detailed numerical models with the aim to provide specific answers tailored to the stakeholder needs. The smart and calibrated models developed in this way can also be used to analyse the effects of climate change and hypothetical scenarios of socio-economic activities that may induce a change in groundwater exploitation.
Work Package 4 - Innovative Governance and Socio-Economic Assessment in the MED
Groundwater can be conceptualized as components of larger socio-economic systems in which they are embedded in. Resilience assessment and strategic management of coupled aquifer-human systems need a holistic socio-economic systems approach, integrating the environmental, hydrological factors with anthropogenic demands and pressures. InTheMED is going to map the stakeholders and identify the key informants in selected case studies to collaboratively characterize socio-economic systems and existing and anticipated sustainability problems. Moreover, through consecutive Living Labs organized with the key informants, conceptual models of the systemic resource overexploitation and degradation problems will be created. The Living Labs will facilitate a sustainable social learning, as well as conflict mitigation and mediation since they will help development of a shared understanding among the stakeholders. The conceptual models will serve as the basis of dynamic computer simulations for scenario analysis and policy design. The computer simulation models will serve as experimental platforms for policy analysis in the Living Labs. These participatory processes will enhance model ownership, building trust in the model generated messages and creating a bridge between scientific analysis and real-world policy making.
Work Package 5 - Innovative Remediation Strategies in the MED
Sustainable management strategies including the adoption of specific remediation strategies for the selected case studies will be defined based on an active engagement of local stakeholders and civil society. The success of this task will be ensured through the participatory multi-stakeholder platform involving key relevant stakeholders, based on interactive sessions (Living Labs), which will be designed and implemented by the partners in selected case studies. The choice of the remediation strategies will be based on the specific characteristics at each site. They will mainly concern: i) groundwater use (especially for irrigation) and its reduction, ii) reduction of synthetic fertilizers, iii) sea water intrusion and its control with recharge with treated seawater or rainwater flooding, iv) local-decentralized water management for the reduction of industrial pollution, v) the use of the best technologies for wastewater treatment. This WP will specifically benefit from the monitoring of groundwater quality and quantity in WP2.
Work Package 6 - Innovative Decision Support Systems in the MED
A novel decision-making tool will be developed to aid groundwater managers in the sustainable management of groundwater resources. This state-of-the- art Fuzzy WebDSS tool will combine properly the monitoring data (WP2) with the smart numerical modelling results (WP3) to support decision-making for optimal groundwater management. It will be possible to test the DSS under future conditions envisaged in WP4 and for the remediation options studied in WP5. The Fuzzy WebDSS tool will take into account multiple locations for aquifer exploitation (different wells or springs), different water uses, several driving forces, and a number of system variables, both static and dynamic, such as aquifer volume or water demand, and propose optimal management alternatives under what-if scenarios by evaluating multiple criteria. Fuzzy WebDSS maps will be derived for the different scenarios and shared with stakeholders’ networks and the community.
Work Package 7 - Innovative Dissemination and Communication in the MED
The aim of the dissemination strategy is to promote the concepts, methods and results of InTheMED to the widest audience and achieve the largest impact on the different aspects of the project, with special emphasis in explaining the Fuzzy WebDSS and all WPs outputs leading to it. Also, a campaign to promote the sharing of data will be performed targeting all stakeholders. A comprehensive plan for dissemination and schedule of activities to complement the exploitation plan will be developed within the first six months of the project. The dissemination plan will include a strategy to disseminate results targeting site-dependent audiences. Specific examples of intended activities are Living Labs for the community and stakeholders, a web-based communication platform and a strong activity on social media to disseminate results and modelling tools, two scientific conferences (mid-term and final) to share main outcomes of the project with the scientific community and with private and public entities related to groundwater management, open-access publications in relevant high-impact international journals with key relevant works presented in the conferences, major communication with other relevant and complementary PRIMA projects from this and past calls, webinars, and yearly newsletters to relevant members of the community.