Adaptive and Sustainable Water Management and Protection of Society and Nature in an Extreme Climate


The project focused on the effects of climate change for groundwater systems. CLIWAT aimed to identify the challenges caused by the higher water levels and to develop climate scenarios focussing on surface water and water supply as well as the impacts of it on buildings. This would enable the North Sea Region to react more efficiently to the consequences of climate change.

The project built on and improved existing geo-physical methods and these were tested in the partner regions in order to be able to develop recommendations for the North Sea Region on how to deal with the consequences of increased groundwater levels.

CLIWAT was also represented in the WaterCAP cluster and in WaterCAP Taskforce.

01/09/2008 - 01/03/2012
2 - Promoting the Sustainable Management of our Environment
Area of Intervention
2.3 Adapting to and reducing risks posed to society and nature by a changing climate
ERDF Grant
2,750,063.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
Total Eligible Budget
5,500,126.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Region Midtjylland Jord og Råstofer, Denmark
Rolf Johnsen
Tel: +45 8728 5205
Project Homepage
Beneficiaries per Country
Region Midtjylland Jord og Råstofer
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
Region Syddanmark
Environment Centre Aarhus
Environment Centre Ribe
Aarhus Universitet
Municipality of Horsens
Landesamt für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Räume (LLUR)
SeeConsult GmbH
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)
The Netherlands
Geological Survey of the Netherlands / Deltares
Provincie Fryslan
Wetterskip Fryslan
Ghent University
Background and Aim

To adapt to climate change, reduce risks and protect society and nature in a more extreme climate.

Technical investigations, modelling and prediction tools with focus on transboundary regions:

  • Field investigations in pilot areas developing new techniques focusing on determining the effects of climate change on the quantity and quality of groundwater systems and ultimately surface water, wetlands and water supply for drinking water and irrigation. Existing data was reused where possible.
  • Develop and deliver new groundwater related geophysical methods.
  • Modelling and prediction tools innovated on different scales for sustainable management of the environment in selected regions seen in relation to to the Water Framework and Groundwater Directives and the associated guidelines. 
  • Analysing and defining areas of the region that are vulnerable to the forced leaching from point sources and agricultural sources in a new climate regime.
  • Demonstrate how effects of different climate change scenarios will affect spatial planning and technical engineering in the North Sea Region. 

Responsiveness and adaptation:

  • Establish and facilitate a working process in regional and transnational boards being contact points where results of the project are delivered and the process towards adaption to climate change is focused, initiated and continued.
  • Identification and elaboration of the challenges and solutions for engineering design of buildings, roads etc. Delivered through network of experts in boards.
  • Identification and deliverance of new measures to relevant authorities.
  • Active communication of the results of the project and adaptation process by use of webpage, communication plans (newspapers, TV stations) and conference in conjunction to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen 2009.
  • New geo- and hydrological tools for evaluation and demonstration of the effects of climate change scenarios for the North Sea region
    Scientific special issue in HESS.   
  • Extend the knowledge in climate change impacts on the hydrological cycle with emphasis on groundwater influence on dependent aquatic ecosystems in the North Sea Region
  •  Transnational and regional management plan for groundwater protection, considering climate change
  •  2 and 3D geological models, visualisations
    Newsletter October 2010 
    Newsletter June 2011   
  •  Maps of groundwater table scenarios, maps of flood risk areas
    Newsletter June 2011  
  • Handbook(s) with maps
  • Recommendations to better practice in spatial planning/urban development

The WaterCAP project ensured the recommendations for the EU level. The results have been given to the national climate adaptation responsibles in the different countries and further delivered to the stakeholders in the different pilot areas.

The project WaterCAP

Airborne techniques for subsurface characterisations have been quick and cost efficient tools for increasing the knowledge on geology and salt water fresh water interfaces

Improoved knowledge on groundwater aquifers. Changes in groundwater table due to climate change effects. Modelling according to an A2 emmision.

Simplified diagram of the surface water and groundwater challenges in relation to quality in Horsens town (Denmark)

SkyTEM results from Terschelling showing the saltwater fresh water interface (Saltwater is blue, freshwater yellow and red colours) The results increased the knowledge and management of the groundwater ressource on the island

SkyTEM results from Terschelling showing the saltwater fresh water interface (Saltwater is blue, freshwater yellow and red colours) The results increased the knowledge and management of the groundwater ressource on the island

Conceptual model of the catchment to the Horsens Estuary showing selected pressures on the chemical status of groundwater and surface water (Hinsby et al., 2011, 2012

Presentation Wadden

Water sampling, Zeeland


Partner meeting Sankelmark

Workshop Hannover

Pilot studie meeting, DK

Partner meeting Terschelling

Field work Terschelling

Transnational board meeting Ghent

Partner meeting

Field work Eskelund

Field work Fohr

Field work Fohr

Event Calendar
Events Archive