IWRM-NET is an ERA-Net project, coordinated by the International Office for Water and funded by the European Commission. It is a network of research programme managers working at national or regional level in Europe and dealing with Integrated Water Resource Management issues.

One of the objectives is to identify the main research needs in the field of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) with a strong focus on the Water Framework Directive and to implement corresponding research programmes at the trans-national and trans-regional levels.

IWRM-Net has launched two calls (2008 and 2009) for research proposals. The first call focused on the effect of hydromorphological pressures and impacts on the ecological status of European rivers. In 2009 IWRM-NET called for research proposals on

  • the economic and social aspects of Integrated Water Resources Management,
  • water scarcity and drought,
  • the impact of climate change on river ecosystems and strategies for IWRM how to consider and adapt to these changes.

The IMPACT project specifically addresses the following expected outputs of the second IWRM.NET call:

  • Effects of climate change on reference conditions (and definition of Good Ecological Status…) and on key variables for surface water and groundwater, ecosystem processes and services; disentangling effects of climate change and local anthropogenic pressures.
  • Development of integrated scenarios (hydrology, ecology, usability of water bodies, socio-economics, management, governance).
  • Quantitative projections of changes in river flows and their consequences.
  • Management of uncertainties of climate change scenarios and impacts in designing river basin management plans.

In the IWRM-NET projects, funding is granted according to countries, which means that each European funding organisation involved funds its own national research institutions collaborating in the joint research projects according to national funding rules. For example, the German partners in IMPACT are funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. 02WM1134)