EviBAN has used results from Norway, Finland, France, and South Africa to help the water industry choose the most sustainable solutions for integrated water management. The project has used examples from the four countries to learn more about stormwater management when it rains too much and increase water resources when it rains too little. The common denominator has been the use of nature-based solutions.
In Finland and Norway, we continued from ongoing stormwater management projects with data from existing test sites and also conducted our own studies. A Finnish PhD student worked on field experiments and modelling of urban runoff together with local stakeholders and the other participants in the project.
In the French study, treated sewage from the local treatment plant was infiltrated and treated further in the ground to protect the water quality in the sea outside. This was important to protect local oyster production and can be a good water management measure under other conditions as well. The French project partners worked to increase knowledge about this type of solution for use in several locations.
The knowledge from France is also useful when the goal is to increase the amount of groundwater during infiltration. This was the case in South Africa where they are threatened by water shortages during dry spells. Here, the project partners wanted to learn how infiltration of runoff during periods of heavy rainfall can be used to increase groundwater resources used during dry periods.
All water management measures must be adapted to local conditions and take into account the wishes of local stakeholders in order to be sustainable solutions. In EviBAN, we included local representatives in the work and included governance measures in the evaluations. An integrated sustainability analysis was created to compare different solutions that will be part of the integrated water management toolbox developed in EviBAN. The toolbox will be used by local decision-makers, consultants, and researchers.
Since the kick-off meeting organised by SINTEF in Norway in May 2019, workshops have been held in all partner countries with local stakeholders. Due to COVID-19, these were conducted digitally with Teams as a tool from March 2020 to October 2021 when the second round of workshops was completed in all the participating countries. At the workshops, the local case studies were discussed and information for the development of the integrated sustainability analysis and the other tools developed in EviBAN was obtained. During the workshops, the status of the work of the PhD students affiliated with EviBAN was also presented.
The Finnish PhD student visited SINTEF at the beginning of March 2020 to work on common issues in the Norwegian and Finnish case studies but had to be interrupted due to COVID-19. The collaboration between SINTEF and Aalto University continued with online meetings, and in 2022 a Finnish Post Doc and the Finnish professor visited the Norwegian participants in Trondheim.
The first annual meeting of the consortium in May 2020 was held as a virtual meeting organised by Aalto University in Finland. The second annual meeting was held at the BRGM in France in November 2021 after being postponed six months due to COVID-19. The project was extended in spring 2022 and the last annual meeting was held at Stellenbosch University in South Africa in November 2022.
During the last 6 months of the project, the development of the NWRM (Natural Water Retention Measures) assessment toolbox was completed. The toolbox presents the tools developed in EviBAN and the studies that were done in the various countries where existing methods and models were also used.
The project and the toolbox for integrated water management are described on the project's website: www.eviban-project.com
Knowledge and innovations were developed in EviBAN by collaboration between scientific institutions, companies, public stakeholders and policy makers in several case studies:
• In Trondheim (NO), analysing NWRMs at the ZEB Laboratory next to the NTNU campus
• In Vantaa (FI) with road runoff filter system, and Espoo (FI) analysing NWRMs in a suburban residential catchment.
• In the Goukou catchment (SA), modelling and assessing MAR for management of water resources.
• At the Agon-Coutainville Soil Aquifer Treatment (SAT) system (FR)
EviBAN increased knowledge in the stakeholder and researchers groups about water management, water governance, hydrological, hydrogeological and geochemical processes, and forecasted effectiveness of stormwater management and managed aquifer recharge solutions that are valuable for developing and assessing water management solutions for different conditions with respect to climate change, anthropogenic activities and societal change.
The EviBAN toolbox provides compilation of assessment tools for adaptive water management. The aim is to support planning and decision making required for implementation of Natural Water Retention Measures and similar Nature Based Solutions. The methods and tools provide qualitative and quantitative results, which include technical performance, environmental, economic, governance and social aspects of the solutions. The tools are related to assessments at different stages of the planning and decision-making process. Stakeholder perspectives were provided by interviews and workshops in the EviBAN cases.
A governance assessment tool provides systematic assessment of the conditions, drivers, and barriers to NBS for water management in different governance contexts. NBSopt (single objective optimisation of NBS), SWMMLIDopt (optimising selection of LID measures to minimize the peak runoff while minimizing the total cost of these measures) and MARopt (optimizing MAR measures at sub-catchment level based on cost and performance) may be used for screening alternative solutions early on in a decision process before the selected solutions will be analysed and designed in more detail. An integrated sustainability assessmet (ISA) provides a framework with objectives, criteria and indicators to assess the sustainability, considering progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The EviBAN toolbox is available through the project website, www.eviban-project.com, for users in research, consultancy and other stakeholders.
Information about the EviBAN toolbox for adaptive water management was disseminated to end users and policymakers thereby improving public knowledge at commercial, societal, and political levels.
The private company partners, ANTEAGROUP and IMAGEAU-SAUR established Exploitation Plans for their innovative tools developed in EviBAN to assess the marketability and their cost effectiveness to enable their commercialisation.
EviBAN will increase the knowledge on evidence based, sustainable management of water resources. This will be achieved by developing a toolbox for evaluation of adaptive management options and measures that account for impacts of climate change, anthropogenic activities and societal change in different regions of Europe and beyond.
The toolbox will have a Governance Assessment Guide; a tool for stormwater management under changing climate with dynamic modelling of NWRM; an ICT tool for SAT & MAR monitoring, and model for performance evaluation; an optimisation tool for NWRM and similar NBS in complex systems; and an integrated sustainability assessment (ISA) including evaluation of ecosystem services (ESS).
Optimisation will be based on performance and cost. Measures acting on water quantity and/or quality will be evaluated. Management options will be evaluated by ISA to assess their ability to mitigate negative impacts of human activities and climate change on the water cycle, and contribute towards the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The project activities will be performed by a multidisciplinary team with researchers, water service providers, public agencies for water and health, and private companies supplying NBS and ICT (Information, Communication Technology) monitoring solutions. The toolbox will be developed, tested and verified using data from case studies from Finland, Norway, France and South Africa to cover diverse conditions with respect to climate, water resources, hydrogeological conditions and water management challenges.
EviBAN will thereby enable evaluation of adaptive management options and measures that account for impacts of climate change, anthropogenic activities and societal change in different regions of Europe and beyond.