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WaterVisions show the way to climate-robust planning of rural areas

Launch of WaterVision Nature and WaterVision Agriculture

Two tools for the climate-robust planning of water management in an area: WaterVision Nature (WWN) and WaterVision Agriculture (WWL), are now available to everyone as freely downloadable tools. KWR, by processing recently developed knowledge, made a major contribution to this project which is headed by STOWA.

How does one plan water management optimally for both agriculture and nature? What is the impact of too wet, too dry or too saline hydrological conditions on crop yields and natural vegetation? What impact does the changing climate have on these functions, and how can we prepare our water management for the change? These are questions that occupy water managers every day. Questions that are moreover becoming increasingly pressing in view of the changing climate, as exemplified in the bone-dry summer of 2018. WWN and WWL have been developed to answer these questions as effectively as possible.

Bundled knowledge

All relevant knowledge, developed over the last few years at different research organisations, has been bundled into these tools. The Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), the knowledge centre of the regional water managers (mostly the Water Authorities) in the Netherlands, is the force behind this large, multi-year collaboration on WaterVisions. STOWA continuously brought together the necessary stakeholders: from the Water Authorities and the national government, to agricultural and nature organisations and to research institutes, such as Wageningen Environmental Research (WEnR) and KWR.

WaterVision Nature

WWN is a method which allows users to determine the impact on nature resulting from water management actions and climate change. WWN also helps identify hydrological measures that most benefit nature.

WWN is available for free on KWR’s website. This tool can be used to:

  • test water management against existing vegetation objectives;
  • assess whether vegetation objectives are achievable under other climate conditions;
  • identify new sites suitable for nature development;
  • optimise water management for the benefit of nature.

The tool calculates very quickly and generates results in the shape of clear maps and tables.

WaterVision Agriculture

Besides WWN, the WaterVision Agriculture (WWL) tool has also been developed. WWL, which determines the effects of changes in hydrological conditions on agricultural production, is available on the WENR website..