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Tel Aviv, Israel

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.55M | Year: 2011

SANITAS will create the next generation of integrated Urban Water System (UWS) management professionals by providing a unique Europewide training platform in the technical and complementary skills they will require. This is needed since in the near future climate change will bring dramatic regional variations in excessive surplus and deficiency in water supply and unpredictable variations in water quality placing unprecedented demands on European UWSs. SANITAS is acutely aware of many unmet needs regarding deficiencies in manpower and application of innovation to the field. The partners have realized the need to draw on their Complementary skills, to innovate at all levels and create a critical mass of excellence that will drive the innovation required to comprehensively address the fundamental rethinking of water use management that climate change demands. They have also realized that the scale of the problems to be faced in future will require new approaches to cooperation between academia, industry and policy makers that transcend traditional barriers to the creation and uptake of innovation and enabling technologies. By drawing on expert participation from academia, industry, water authorities and policy specialists, SANITAS will critically examine and develop the cutting edge skills required to meet the future UWS management challenges that Europe faces. SANITAS introduces novel methodologies that will provide direct training to researchers in Intellectual Asset Management, patent application filing and how to write successful reports for policy makers. Over and above regional impact, SANITAS will serve as a source for regional UWS infrastructure integration and policy formulation worldwide. By doing so, SANITAS will support the responsibility and opportunity Europe has to take the lead in technical innovation and policy formulation that the world needs in facing critical challenges of water quality and supply and energy requirements of wastewater management.

Kark S.,University of Queensland | Kark S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Shanas U.,Haifa University | And 16 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Several projects aimed at identifying priority issues for conservation with high relevance to policy have recently been completed in several countries. Two major types of projects have been undertaken, aimed at identifying (i) policy-relevant questions most imperative to conservation and (ii) horizon scanning topics, defined as emerging issues that are expected to have substantial implications for biodiversity conservation and policy in the future. Here, we provide the first overview of the outcomes of biodiversity and conservation-oriented projects recently completed around the world using this framework. We also include the results of the first questions and horizon scanning project completed for a Mediterranean country. Overall, the outcomes of the different projects undertaken (at the global scale, in the UK, US, Canada, Switzerland and in Israel) were strongly correlated in terms of the proportion of questions and/or horizon scanning topics selected when comparing different topic areas. However, some major differences were found across regions. There was large variation among regions in the percentage of proactive (i.e. action and response oriented) versus descriptive (non-response oriented) priority questions and in the emphasis given to sociopolitical issues. Substantial differences were also found when comparing outcomes of priority questions versus horizon scanning projects undertaken for the same region. For example, issues related to climate change, human demography and marine ecosystems received higher priority as horizon scanning topics, while ecosystem services were more emphasized as current priority questions. We suggest that future initiatives aimed at identifying priority conservation questions and horizon scanning topics should allow simultaneous identification of both current and future priority issues, as presented here for the first time. We propose that further emphasis on social-political issues should be explicitly integrated into future related projects. © 2016 Kark et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Garcia X.,Yarqon River Authority | Garcia X.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Corominas L.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Pargament D.,Yarqon River Authority | Acuna V.,Catalan Institute for Water Research
Environmental Science and Policy | Year: 2016

Decisions on river rehabilitation actions are often based on cost-benefit analyses taking into account the costs and benefits of the considered management actions, but ecosystem services are often not included as benefits, despite recent evidences on the effects of river rehabilitations on ecosystem services. A cost-benefit analysis integrating market and non-market costs and benefits was undertaken in this study to assess the economic feasibility of a river rehabilitation project in a water scarce region, the Yarqon River Rehabilitation project (Israel). In this case, the costs included both the capital costs of implementing rehabilitation measures (including maintenance costs) and the opportunity costs of water allocation (foregone benefits to farmers from water provisioning for agriculture). The benefits of rehabilitation included the net marginal benefits of the cultural ecosystem services at local scale (estimated with a hedonic pricing method), and at regional scale (estimated with a value function transfer), in addition to the habitat service gene-pool protection (estimated with a replacement cost method). Bearing in mind the uncertainties surrounding water resource management decisions, especially in water scarce areas, a sensitivity and risk analysis was conducted using an analysis that included both Monte Carlo simulations and the standardized regression coefficients method. The rehabilitation of the Yarqon River provided positive net present values (approximately $139 million in 30-year period). This was thanks to the provision of cultural ecosystem services and despite the high rehabilitation costs, and that the massive water reallocation involved high foregone benefits to farmers. Therefore, these results highlight that river rehabilitation in water scarce regions can be economically viable due to the social amenity demand for urban rivers. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Garcia X.,Yarqon River Authority | Pargament D.,Yarqon River Authority
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2015

Wastewater reuse has been recognized as an encouraging solution to cope with the problem of water scarcity around the globe. Adopting Integrated Water Resources Management principles will ensure that the implementation of wastewater reuse projects will take into account all the various types of affected stakeholders, accounting in addition for the external costs and benefits derived from the reuse decision. The objective of this paper is to analyze the economic, social and environmental aspects surrounding the concept of wastewater reuse in order to assist policy-makers and managers on the implementation of economic instruments for decision-making. This study proposes a methodological framework for conducting cost-benefit analysis, which is later exemplified by the Yarqon Recycling Project case study in Israel. In this case study application, 3 different scenarios ("pessimistic", "base-case" and "optimistic") with a range of parameters values, were used to estimate the most relevant internal and external costs and benefits. Additionally, the most influential parameters were identified using a sensitivity analysis that included both Monte Carlo simulations and the standardized regression coefficients method. For the "base-case" scenario, the net present value obtained was approximately $4.83 million. Although the feasibility of the project is demonstrated, the sensitivity analysis results were less favorable (likelihood of obtaining a positive result was only 64.28%), being the external recreational costs derived from irrigating with reclaimed wastewater the most influential parameter. The results of this analysis led to the conclusion that including the relevant externalities might have a strong impact on the economic feasibility of the wastewater reuse projects. The proposed methodological framework aims to guide decision-makers in evaluating their success with respect to Integrated Water Resources Management in economic terms. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Garcia X.,Yarqon River Authority | Pargament D.,Yarqon River Authority
International Journal of Water Resources Development | Year: 2015

After the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the increase in urban and agricultural water demand and the increased flow of poorly treated sewage had a severe impact in one of the most ecologically important rivers in Israel, the Yarqon. The attempt to reverse this situation began with the creation of the Yarqon River Authority in 1988. In the last 20 years, the authority has implemented or collaborated in several projects that have significantly contributed to enhancing the provision of ecological services. This article aims to analyze the case of the pollution and subsequent rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystem services in the Israeli water-scarcity context. © 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

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