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Johnston R.,SRI International | Cools J.,University of Geneva | Cools J.,Antea Group | Liersch S.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2013

This special issue of Environmental Science and Policy presents the outcomes of the WETwin project (enhancing the role of wetlands in integrated water resources management for twinned river basins in EU, Africa and South-America in support of EU Water Initiatives), an international research project funded by the FP7 programme of the European Commission. The project aimed to improve wetland management by maximising benefits from wetland use while maintaining ecological health, using case studies from Europe, Africa and South America.In much of the less developed world, data on wetland functions, processes and values are scarce even while wetlands often provide a critical component of livelihoods. Management decisions on balancing competing demands for wetland use must often be made in the absence of comprehensive information. This paper introduces the approach developed and tested under WETwin to evaluate wetland management structures and solutions in data-poor contexts, summarising a conceptual framework which has evolved from seven very diverse case studies. A structured, modular approach was devised which combined multi-criteria analysis, trade-off analysis and vulnerability analysis, drawing on best available information, including quantitative modelling, qualitative "expert opinion", and local stakeholders' knowledge and values. The approach used in WETwin has three important strengths: it involves stakeholders at all stages of the decision process, it combines qualitative and quantitative data (and therefore allows inclusion of poorly known and potentially important system components) and finally, it provides a relatively simple and structured approach to evaluate wetland management interventions and integrate impact, feasibility and institutional assessments, vulnerability analysis and trade-off analysis. The overall conceptual framework developed for WETwin was found to be robust and transferable to different contexts. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Pataki B.,VITUKI Environmental and Water Management Research Institute Non Profit Ltd. | Pataki B.,Debrecen University | Zsuffa I.,VITUKI Environmental and Water Management Research Institute Non Profit Ltd. | Hunyady A.,VITUKI Environmental and Water Management Research Institute Non Profit Ltd.
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2013

Floodplains of regulated rivers are usually exposed to the negative impacts of riverbed incision, floodplain aggradation, and climate change. These drivers have the potential to deteriorate the bio-physical status and ecosystem services of floodplains in the long run. From the point of view of management, it is thus important to predict how far the existing or envisaged management system is able to counteract the negative impacts - in other words: it is important to understand the vulnerability of the floodplain. This study focuses on the Danube riparian Gemenc floodplain in Hungary. Model-based investigations demonstrate that this floodplain is highly vulnerable to the above-mentioned drivers. It is concluded that new management strategies need to be developed and implemented in order to maintain the desired ecosystems and ecosystem services of the Gemenc in the future. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Kovacs J.,Eotvos Lorand University | Markus L.,Eotvos Lorand University | Szalai J.,VITUKI Environmental and Water Management Research Institute Non Profit Ltd. | Kovacs I.S.,Budapest Business School
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2015

The paper assesses the impact on the fluctuation of the shallow-groundwater table of the diversion of the Danube upstream from the Gabčikovo/Bos hydroelectric power plant in a hydraulically connected, geologically identical, and structurally not decomposable geological area in North-West Hungary. On the basis of shallow-groundwater level monitoring data the impact was traced back to the effect of the Danube's changed flow course, and quantized for the whole study area.To this end the influence of the river had to be separated from the effect of precipitation. The means chosen was the application of dynamic factor analysis to the registered hydrograph time series. We conclude that the originally homogeneous and dominant effect of the Danube has split and now consists of a diverted and a returning component (downstream from the power plant), and that this is a likely cause of ram-effect and river bed clogging. Furthermore the effect of precipitation ceased to be suppressed, and came to the fore. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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