Announcement: February 2014 - Starting of the GLOBAQUA (EC FP7 Project under Grant Agreement No. 603629-ENV-2013-6.2.1-Globaqua)





The project under the Seventh framework program of the European Commission entitled Managing the effects of multiple stressors on aquatic ecosystems under water scarcity (acronym GLOBAQUA; funded under Grant Agreement No. 603629-ENV-2013-6.2.1-Globaqua.) started in February 2014.

The main objectives of the GLOBAQUA are to identify the interaction between stressors (multistressor situations), and to study the effects of multiple stressors to different groups of aquatic biota, ecosystems functionality and on the chemical and ecological status of water ecosystems. The outcomes will be used to improve water management practice and policies with the main emphasizes on the pressures caused by multiple stressors. To properly address GLOBAQUA tasks, a cross-scale approach is applied in six representative basins - the Adige, Sava, Ebro, Evrotas, Anglian and Souss Massa (Figure 1). Each basin will focus on a specific set of stressors to illustrate different management scenarios. In the first four target river basins an extensive field work will be done in order to collect information on the main stressors (pollution, pathogens, invasive species, geomorphological and flow regime alterations), while in the other two, the existing data will be used to evaluate different management scenarios. Manipulative laboratory experiments will be also employed to better understand the complex relations between environment and biota.

In short, the GLOBAQUA aims to provide (a) the necessary scientific background to understand the role and cross-effects caused by the interaction of the different stressors on the aquatic systems and (b) the translation of this basic knowledge into practical management options.

GLOBAQUA brought together a multidisciplinary team of 21 European partner organizations and 2 non-European partners from Morocco and Canada (Table 1), as well as the active involvement of water authorities, river basin managers, and other relevant agents as stakeholders. Scientific, financial and administrative management of the project is carried out by the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research of the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (IDAEA-CSIC). The project will employ team of leading scientists in the fields of hydrology, chemistry, biology, ecology, geomorphology, economics and sociology, including hydrological, biophysical and ecological modelling, socio-economic and governance science and knowledge brokerage and policy advocacy. Overall, the synergy of the different groups arises from their different expertise that complements each other to get a holistic picture of the problem, as well as potential solutions.


Table 1: GLOBAQUA partner organisations


Figure 1: GLOBAQUA Target River Basins