Millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water. The inhabitants of the Jordan River valley in the Mideast are among the worst affected.
A team of international researchers headed by Tübingen’s Professor Katja Tielbörger (who specializes in vegetation ecology) are therefore working on the GLOWA Jordan River Project to find a sustainable water and land management program for the region.
More than one hundred hydrologists, ecologists, sociologists, economists and other experts from Germany, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian areas have been collaborating on this interdisciplinary project since 2001. It is sponsored by the German government’s Ministry of Education and Research.
From September 5 – 8, the GLOWA Jordan River Project celebrates a decade of successful research collaboration, marking the occasion with a final scientific conference in Limassol, Cyprus. In the ten years, the project members have been able to create an atmosphere of mutual trust, cooperation and even friendship.
The project aims to improve the future of the countries through which the Jordan flows in the light of global change.
The project works with important forces in the region, such as universities, NGOs and the ministries regulating water, agriculture and development. Application-oriented project results are integrated into national and regional decision-making processes. This approach aims to ensure that the region’s scarce water resources are used optimally to the benefit of the ecosystem and the people.
The team provides scientifically-based proposals for appropriate water and land use – which can minimize the negative effects of climate change. Some of the things the project has achieved so far: software which helps in planning how to balance water supply and demand (WEAP – Water Evaluation and Planning Tool), regional scenarios for climate change, a platform for researching the influence of climate change on biodiversity, models for assessing the consequences of climate change, scenarios for land use considering regional and global change and its influence on the water available for agriculture, and the evaluation of strategies for adapting to increasing water scarcity.