Our German case study leader, the Technical University of Munich was thrilled to kick off its First stakeholder engagement workshop in Upper Main!

The district government of Upper Franconia and especially the departments linked to the WEFE (Water-Food-Energy-Food-Ecosystems) sector were invited to participate in the workshop, which took place on June 25, 2024 in  the district government building of Upper Franconia.

The district government of Upper Franconia is the central authority between the Bavarian state government (ministries) and the municipalities and is responsible for bundling and coordinating tasks.

The aim of the event was to engage governmental stakeholders in the Upper Main case study and discuss the coordination of the case study from the governmental side. As well as identify priorities and interests of the government.

The discussion was focused on the interests and expectations of each party including the potential and limitations of the modelling as well as addressing open issues related to the lack of data.

 

Discover the main conclusion of the workshop: 

  • Water allocation between sectors and departments is an increassing issue, as no real water allocation / water prioritisation scheme exists.
  • Farmers used to be private / unionised, which makes it difficult to connect the agriculture to the state.
  • Departments tend to only take responsibility for the policies targeting them: interdisciplinary policies are not picked up.
  • Science and research are too idealistic and not sufficiently practical or implementable at the regional level.
  • Regional government should be allowed to make decisions locally, however, due to complexity and ever narrowing scope of the EU / National policies, legislation continuously gets stricter in scope.
  • Currently, Oberfranken only conducts worst-case scenario modelling, you get scored based on your ‘lowest scoring metric’.

Our German case study leader, the Technical University of Munich was thrilled to kick off its First stakeholder engagement workshop in Upper Main! 

All relevant stakeholders, including vulnerable groups and minorities, were invited to take part in the discussions, which took place on April 19, 2024 in the conference room of the AgroBioTech Research Center.

Climate change has a major impact on the quantity and quality of water for agriculture, energy, industry, citizens and ecosystems.

The aim of the expert event was to promote strong, integrated, sustainable and inclusive water management and information exchange among key stakeholders and decision makers. 

The discussion focused on improving governance practices in the face of challenges such as floods, droughts, water insecurity, desertification and biodiversity loss, as well as land fragmentation in the western part of Slovakia.

The workshop specifically addressed:

        • The implementation of SUA Strategic Plan measures in the area of blue infrastructure such as water conservation measures and facilities, rehabilitation of hydromulsification and irrigation infrastructure.
        • The modification of legislation, regulations and policies related to agriculture, energy, municipalities and ecosystems
        • Climate change impacts and measures to combat climate change
        • Opportunities to improve cooperation between decision-makers
        • The sustainability of agriculture and water management in relation to nature conservation and
        • The promotion of natural ecosystems
        • The involvement of stakeholders in discussions and solutions, including vulnerable stakeholders

Recommendations for decision-makers

1. Apply a system of inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral cooperation in the management of water resources. Use the modern WEFE Nexus system and manage water resources in collaboration with technical and non-technical stakeholders.

2. Accelerate and ensure the continuous commissioning of comprehensive land development projects that lead to the settlement of property rights and also allow for the implementation of green and blue infrastructure elements with a positive impact on water retention in the landscape.

3. Restore existing water sources

a. Clean water reservoirs of sediments that reduce their capacity by up to two thirds. This requires changing the Act on land application of sewage sludge and bottom sediments. The current wording of the law only permits the application of bottom sediments with a minimum organic matter content of 18 per cent by dry weight to agricultural or forest land. This is an unrealistically high value, which far exceeds the standard organic matter content. Such a value makes clean-up impossible.

b. Replace pump stations with new ones with substantially lower electricity consumption. In fact, high electricity consumption significantly increases the cost of irrigation.

4. In order to increase water retention in the landscape, tighten the Soil Conservation Act regarding erosion. The soil erosion limit needs to be reduced from the current up to 40t/ha to a sustainable level. This limit leads to soil degradation. In comparison, the limit applied in the Czech Republic is 9 t/ha. Tightening the limit will have a positive impact on water retention in the landscape as it has a direct impact on crop rotation and maximum area per crop. The Central Agricultural Inspection and Testing Institute (ÚKSUP) is responsible for monitoring compliance with the limit. Water erosion is directly influenced by the method of ploughing along the contour line or along the fallow line.

5. The establishment of new and extension of existing irrigation systems is recommended:

a. Simplification of the permitting of small water structures

b. Defining small water retaining structures for notification

c. Adjusting the current irrigation thresholds for EIA

d. Rehabilitation of existing irrigation without EIA

e. Reassessment of the justification of existing reclamation structures due to climate change

f. Preparation of the implementation of the reclaimed water regulation

Our German case study leader, the Technical University of Munich was thrilled to kick off its First stakeholder engagement workshop in Upper Main! 

All relevant stakeholders, including vulnerable groups and minorities, were invited to take part in the discussions, which took place on April 19, 2024 in the conference room of the AgroBioTech Research Center.

Climate change has a major impact on the quantity and quality of water for agriculture, energy, industry, citizens and ecosystems.

The aim of the expert event was to promote strong, integrated, sustainable and inclusive water management and information exchange among key stakeholders and decision makers. 

The discussion focused on improving governance practices in the face of challenges such as floods, droughts, water insecurity, desertification and biodiversity loss, as well as land fragmentation in the western part of Slovakia.

The workshop specifically addressed:

        • The implementation of SUA Strategic Plan measures in the area of blue infrastructure such as water conservation measures and facilities, rehabilitation of hydromulsification and irrigation infrastructure.
        • The modification of legislation, regulations and policies related to agriculture, energy, municipalities and ecosystems
        • Climate change impacts and measures to combat climate change
        • Opportunities to improve cooperation between decision-makers
        • The sustainability of agriculture and water management in relation to nature conservation and
        • The promotion of natural ecosystems
        • The involvement of stakeholders in discussions and solutions, including vulnerable stakeholders

Recommendations for decision-makers

1. Apply a system of inter-ministerial and inter-sectoral cooperation in the management of water resources. Use the modern WEFE Nexus system and manage water resources in collaboration with technical and non-technical stakeholders.

2. Accelerate and ensure the continuous commissioning of comprehensive land development projects that lead to the settlement of property rights and also allow for the implementation of green and blue infrastructure elements with a positive impact on water retention in the landscape.

3. Restore existing water sources

a. Clean water reservoirs of sediments that reduce their capacity by up to two thirds. This requires changing the Act on land application of sewage sludge and bottom sediments. The current wording of the law only permits the application of bottom sediments with a minimum organic matter content of 18 per cent by dry weight to agricultural or forest land. This is an unrealistically high value, which far exceeds the standard organic matter content. Such a value makes clean-up impossible.

b. Replace pump stations with new ones with substantially lower electricity consumption. In fact, high electricity consumption significantly increases the cost of irrigation.

4. In order to increase water retention in the landscape, tighten the Soil Conservation Act regarding erosion. The soil erosion limit needs to be reduced from the current up to 40t/ha to a sustainable level. This limit leads to soil degradation. In comparison, the limit applied in the Czech Republic is 9 t/ha. Tightening the limit will have a positive impact on water retention in the landscape as it has a direct impact on crop rotation and maximum area per crop. The Central Agricultural Inspection and Testing Institute (ÚKSUP) is responsible for monitoring compliance with the limit. Water erosion is directly influenced by the method of ploughing along the contour line or along the fallow line.

5. The establishment of new and extension of existing irrigation systems is recommended:

a. Simplification of the permitting of small water structures

b. Defining small water retaining structures for notification

c. Adjusting the current irrigation thresholds for EIA

d. Rehabilitation of existing irrigation without EIA

e. Reassessment of the justification of existing reclamation structures due to climate change

f. Preparation of the implementation of the reclaimed water regulation