The Asian Development Bank, the Netherlands Water Partnership, and the Dutch Government hosted an intensive week-long programme that brought together 48 delegates from 12 project teams across 11 Asian participating countries and water experts from the Netherlands. The Asian and Dutch parties expanded their knowledge and shared experiences regarding Nature-based Solutions for cities, coasts, and river basins through lectures, interactive sessions, and field visits. The participants came from Armenia, Bangladesh, the Cook Islands, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. 

On the day preceding the week, FutureWater participated in the Asian Development Bank’s Business Opportunity Seminar on Water, organized by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in The Hague. Sonu Khanal and Arthur Lutz met with ADB representatives and shared FutureWater’s experiences in working with the Asian Development Bank in the plenary panel discussion. 

During the Asia-Netherlands Water Learning Week, Evelyn Aparicio Medrano and Arthur Lutz joined the programme to learn more about the Asian project teams, and the challenges they face in implementing Nature-based Solutions in their projects. Besides sharing our experience with Nature-based Solutions with the participants, Evelyn Aparicio Medrano presented work done by FutureWater in the Masterclass on financial sustainability of projects with Nature-based Solutions. She presented a How-to Guide to develop watershed investment programs which FutureWater developed jointly with The Nature Conservancy. 

We thank the Netherlands Water Partnership, the Asian Development Bank and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency for organising these fruitful events!

Presentation by Evelyn Aparcio
Social Event

 

To achieve the objectives the project has a technical component and stakeholder engagement component. On the technical side, hydrological models will be updated and validated. Climate change scenarios will be used as inputs for the testing of adaptation strategies within the Limpopo Basin. The adaptation include traditional grey infrastructure and additionally nature based solutions. The benefits analysis of the adaptation measure will cover macro and micro socio-economical benefits.

The results of this study will then be used to inform the development of a first-generation Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) for the Limpopo River Basin (LRB). Through this, the individual basin countries will agree on a set of transboundary development priorities for the basin, which will guide both transboundary and national investments in the future, through a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and National Action Plans (NAPs).

Within the project we cooperate with the hydrologists of ARA-Norte to discuss and establish the baseline for a water system analysis in the Monapo Catchment. Following discussion and mapping sessions, FutureWater is developing a Water Allocation Model in WEAP that includes climate change scenarios and mitigation and adaptation measures to asses the water availability of the catchment. Part of the assignment includes continuous training to local professional, to ensure the application of the developed model in the analysis of the system and elaborating specific proposal for implementation in the region.

The objective is to support the delineation and launching of a a Watershed Investment Program to improve multi-stakeholder collaboration and sustainable funding mechanisms to protect and restore riparian buffer zones and to implement runoff attenuation features to reduce eroded sediments entering the river.

To support the science streams, FutureWater is applying open source tools such as INVEST and RIOS Tool, together with Remote Sensing analysis to elaborate on a NbS opportunity mapping analysis. Besides, we aim to provide quantitative results on NbS benefits to reduce sediment loads entering the river system.

FutureWater recently completed a visit to Mozambique, collaborating with the regional water authorities in both the north (ARA-Norte) and south (ARA-Sul). The visit was part of the Blue Deal Mozambique program aiming to strengthen the cooperation between the Dutch and Mozambican water authorities. Additionally, the mission supported the GLOW Project funded by the Partners for Water Program.

At ARA-Norte FutureWater delivered WEAP training sessions and held technical discussions on the water system of the Monapo River catchment. The training sessions on the WEAP modelling tool were tailor-made for intermediate and advanced WEAP users. Mapping sessions were held to identify key model components and possible scenarios that would aid the water authorities in designing their strategic water allocation plans. Through collaborative efforts a WEAP model for the Monapo River Basin will be developed in the first trimester of 2024. This will guide the water resource managers from ARA-Norte to develop their own WEAP models in the future.

At ARA-Sul, the visit built on existing cooperation with the local water resource managers to improve their strategic water allocation WEAP model for the Umbeluzi River catchment. Advanced training sessions were provided to the experts, as well as beginner training for the recently graduated professionals. A session was held especially dedicated to the analysis of the groundwater balance around the Pequenos Libombos Reservoir. FutureWater presented a tool to model the changes in groundwater storage resulting from climate change and groundwater exploitation. Both the strategic water allocation WEAP model and the groundwater tool are built from a strategic water resource management perspective, aiming to answer what-if questions for the coming 100 years.

Another important element of our visit was highlighting the progress on the GLOW project, discussing the water availability forecasting results, and improving the information that the dashboard is delivering, based on the user needs of ARA-Sul. Within the GLOW, we are providing information based on medium-range weather information and advanced hydrological models.

WEAP training theoretical session
Interactive sessions among participants
WEAP training session

Groundwater availability is critical to the Umbeluzi Catchment. Currently, there is a need for a simple tool that can asses the availability of resources in the ground.

This especially to asses the permits for groundwater extractions. It is expected that a simplified modelling approach can provide a trend analysis sufficient for the water authorities in Mozambique to perform assessments of the sub-surface water availability. Furthermore, the water availability will be assessed for current and future conditions, under different scenarios of climate change and demand increase.

Within the project, FutureWater will develop a groundwater model in WEAP, using the Strategic Model previously build for the Umbeluzi catchment. To this end a detailed data gathering activity will take place proceed by developing the model. We aim to validate and improve the model with measurements available of groundwater levels in the catchment. The model will be validated with the technical team of ARA-Sul. Ultimately, a dedicated training session for ARA-SUl will ensure that model operation is performed by local experts.

In our ongoing commitment to bolster the efforts of ARA-Sul in Mozambique, FutureWater recently conducted an intensive training course focusing on the application of the Strategic Water Allocation Model within the Umbeluzi Catchment area. This significant initiative entailed the utilization of the renowned Water Evaluation and Planning System (WEAP) model, coupled with a comprehensive update of critical information and underlying assumptions.

The primary objective of this training was to empower the dedicated professionals at ARA-Sul with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage and optimize water resources within the region. The strategic allocation of water resources is of paramount importance, especially in areas like the Umbeluzi Catchment, where water plays a pivotal role in sustaining livelihoods, ecosystems, and economic activities.

One key aspect of this training involved fine-tuning the analysis-scenarios to comprehensively assess potential bottlenecks and challenges within the water allocation system. Identifying these bottlenecks is essential for making informed decisions, developing mitigation strategies, and ensuring the sustainable utilization of water resources.

Our collaborative efforts with ARA-Sul extend beyond the training itself. We are committed to providing ongoing support and guidance to ensure the long-term success of this endeavor. Through regular follow-up activities and consultations, the technical professionals at ARA-Sul are now well-equipped to independently maintain their model and conduct the essential analyses required for informed decision-making.

More information on the training here

Training on WEAP. June 2023.

In June, FutureWater visited Mozambique for a training session on the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) model. The training was held at the Mozambique Regional Administration of Waters in the South (ARA-Sul) based in Maputo and was funded by the Blue Deal programme of the Dutch Water Authorities.

The training on the WEAP model comprised of a general introduction, knowledge clips, practical hands-on exercises, and a refresher course on the existing Strategic Water Allocation Model (WAM-S) that FutureWater developed for ARA-Sul in 2014.

In the forthcoming months the WAM-S will be updated to align with the current socio-economic and climatic developments of the region. The updating of the model will be performed in close collaboration with ARA-Sul. The update of the WAM-S model includes the addition of a groundwater component to support decision-making regarding water extraction licensing. We would like to express our gratitude to the Blue Deal programme for enabling the training and model update.

Theoretical session on WEAP modelling
Participants of the training

On May 22-23, FutureWater attended the Preliminary Design Review Meeting (PDR) for the MAGDA project in Bucharest, Romania.

The meeting was hosted by the National Meteorological Administration, and it was a great opportunity for project partners to meet in person and present the latest achievements. The major outputs from the first six project months were the following:

  • Selection of the three major MAGDA demo sites in France, Italy and Romania.
  • Analysis of MAGDA user requirements (surveys for the agricultural and water sectors are still open for participation!)
  • Detailed MAGDA system design: Summary of the technical data requirements of GNSS stations, IoT sensors, Meteodrones, remote sensing, weather forecast and hydrology modelling with SPHY.

The next months will now be used to install the equipment at the demo sites and start with the first modelling and site measurements, as well as the evaluation of historical data for calibration.

FutureWater is leading the irrigation advisory service of MAGDA, making use of hydrological modelling using SPHY (Spatial Processes in Hydrology). The output expected consists of an operational irrigation service to provide advice on when and how much to irrigate at certain moments during the cropping season, using as input data improved weather forecasts.

More information about the project can be found here and visiting the MAGDA Project website.

FutureWater presentation on MAGDA System Architecture
Preliminary Design Review Meeting
MAGDA Partners at MeteoRomania

 

Eswatini’s development is at risk by natural drought hazards. Persistent drought is exacerbating the country’s existing challenges of food security and the ability to attain sustainable development. Therefore, FutureWater, Hydrologic, and Emanti Management joined forces to bring together technologies and complementary expertise to implement the GLOW service which includes: short-term and seasonal forecasts of water availability and demand, an alerting service when forecasted water demand is higher than water availability, and water distribution advisories to reduce impact and maximise water security for all water users.

The GLOW service will be piloted in the Maputo River and Mbuluzi River Basins where three-quarters of the population of Eswatini lives, which includes the Hawane dam that supplies water to Mbabane (Capital City of Eswatini) and which is the major water supply source for Maputo, a Delta city (1 million inhabitants) which suffers from water shortages. The main beneficiaries of this project are the Joint River Basin Authority (JBRAS-PB) and the 5 River Basin authorities, AraSul (Mozambique) and the Department of Water and Sanitation (South Africa).

The innovation of GLOW is bringing together proven and award-winning technologies of advanced earth observation, open data, high-performance computing, data-driven modelling, data science, machine learning, operations research, and stakeholder interaction. These technologies require minimum ground truth information, which makes them very scalable and applicable in poorly monitored environments throughout the world. The coherent combination of the technologies into one decision support service ensures the optimum division of water, basically distributing every drop of water to meet the demands of all interests present in large river catchments.