In the first week of November, 4 young hydrologists from the Blue Deal partnership in Argentina paid a work visit to the Dutch water authority Brabantse Delta. They came to work with Dutch hydrologists on a hydrological (surface water) model for the basin of the Blue Deal partnership in Argentina: the Tandíl-General Lavalle basin in the south of Buenos Aires.
The hydrologists work at ADA (Autoridad de Agua of the province of Buenos Aires). They had already done a lot of preliminary work in Argentina in the past couple of months and came here to work this out with the Dutch team mebers and also to learn how the water authorities in the Netherlands work.
The aim of the Blue Deal collaboration with the province of Buenos Aires is to have water management partly carried out by the residents themselves. Organizational formation is necessary for this and that is the core of the project. A hydrological model is a very useful tool for this, because this provides insight into the functioning of the water system. This helps the different types of users and different areas to work better together. You can use a model to provide residents/users with insight into the influence of upstream measures on the downstream part, and vice versa.
The 4 hydrologists worked very hard on their model together with the Dutch hydrologists this week. Of course they also learned more about how the Dutch water authorities function and the Dutch team showed them many examples of Dutch water management. For example to Deltares, Kinderdijk and the Delta Works (Deltawerken). The team also took them to projects that members of the team had worked on themselves.
What did the hydrologists learn from their visit? What they remember most is that the Dutch work together with so many other parties, such as municipalities, provinces, nature managers, Rijkswaterstaat and the residents in the area. And that the Dutch water authorities can work on their projects with continuity, so that they can also complete them within the foreseeable future. The 4 hydrologists will now disseminate the knowledge they have learned within their own organization.
The Blue Deal partnership in Argentina captured their working visit on video in the spring of 2019. How the workshops are prepared and carried out is explained in a tutorial. Useful for the local partners, now that it is still not possible to travel due to the corona pandemic.
The video shows how farmers, residents and civil servants assessed water problems and came up with conceptual solutions.
The KIWI learning programme recently organised a lecture by professor Guy Alaerts about the unruly nature of international water management and solutions for complex water problems.
Water managers worldwide are looking for integrated solutions for complex water problems. Major investments are often required to become climate proof, but finding financing is difficult. Water managers and financial institutions do not know where to find each other and converting globally available financing into concrete projects on a large scale is difficult. Watch the lecture below. The lecture is in Dutch, but can be viewed with subtitles.
TU Delft and Erasmus University, in collaboration with Dutch Water Authorities, have launched a study into water management knowledge exchange. The universities are investigating which lessons the Dutch regional water authorities take abroad.
As part of the study into water management knowledge exchange university researchers are looking at the lessons learned at an individual level, group level and organisational level. The aim is to find out exactly what effect these lessons have on organisations.
A questionnaire is sent out via the Dutch Water Authorities foreign coordinators. It is hoped that insight can be gained into the possibilities and limiting factors of international knowledge sharing.
The 2021 annual plan of the Blue Deal programme has been approved by the steering committee. The partnerships will continue their work in 2021 to improve water management in 14 countries.
The focus of the Blue Deal Annual plan 2021 is on three crucial elements: sufficient knowledge and skills, a well-functioning organisation and collaboration with key stakeholders.
As COVID-19 continues into 2021, the Blue Deal partnerships focus on online learning and training in the first six months. This is not easy in all countries, for example due to slow internet connections or recently initiated partnerships. Therefore, the partnerships also focus on additional local representation. Dutch Water Authorities hopes to physically meet its partners again in the second half of 2021.