The overall objective of SNOWSUNMED is to enhance parsimonious water use and balance water allocation in mountain catchments of the Mediterranean area by demonstrating the integrated potential of hydrological, hydro- ecological and erosion simulation models together with novel, climate-smart irrigation technologies, novel materials and adapted forest landscape restoration (FLR) approaches. Such innovations will be implemented through multi-stakeholder processes in three demonstration sites (DS), drawing conclusions that can be replicated at Mediterranean-scale.
will start from characterizing water availability, demand and decision making in the three DS in Morocco (Laou River basin), Lebanon (Shouf Biosphere Reserve) and Italy (Adige River basin). It will progressively and iteratively integrate results from the field application of: (i) a new hydrological modelling approach, mixing process-based and machine-learning modelling solutions with ground and satellite data to quantify all water cycle components, including surface water availability, evapotranspiration and snowmelt; (ii) novel methods for quantifying ecosystem water needs and soil erosion, which have feedback effects on societal needs; (iii) Internet of Things- and Artificial Intelligence- based precision irrigation solutions and new polymers for water absorption; (iv) locally adapted Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) practices for increased water collection especially during snowmelt. Results of such demonstrations will then be streamlined into local water and land use policies and IWRM practices to improve water allocation and to upscale water use efficiency at the catchment level. This iterative process will lead to improved water governance in the three DS, with focus on preventing socio-economic conflicts and environmental stress, and will finally be described for learning and replication in other Mediterranean mountain areas.