The potential impact of the EUWATHER project outcomes includes:
- A new digital tool to make a database on waterways cultural heritage easily accessible to private entrepreneurs in river tourism, to public/private institutions devoted to environmental education, to open air and other museums, and to rural tourism networks, particularly those involving hikers and cyclists.
- Support for institutional (both local and national) activities concerning diagnostics, conservation, recovery and digitisation of both tangible and intangible waterscape assets.
- Stimulating major co-ordination, co-operative and co-designed activities that involve local communities, public institutions and private bodies involved in secondary rivers and historic canals management.
To ensure that the full impact of the project is achieved, a number of Associated Partners (APs) have agreed to participate in the project, using their specific expertise to guide and complement the research, as well as providing access to the waterscapes themselves. They will also ensure that the full social and economic impacts of the project are distributed across the four partner countries and beyond.
In the case of the UK, the Canal and River Trust (CRT) has a long standing expertise in managing, restoring and fostering the social uses of waterways. The CRT wishes to work with the research team to implement a new approach to co-designed community engagement. This will be used to identify and evaluate new approaches to the development and management of under-used urban canals in Greater Manchester. It is expected that the impacts of this work will be both social (better amenity, recreation and health impacts) and economic (more user fees).
In the Netherlands, the involvement of Waterrecreatie Nederland is crucial to ensure that the project addresses new tourism and recreational opportunities, to supplement the work that Waterrecreatie Nederland has been undertaking in the last decades.
The Italian AP (the Consorzio di Bonifica Acque Risorgive, Reclamation Land Syndicate) is experienced in the management of secondary hydrography with particular reference to river restoration and the establishment of good ecological standards - a crucial goal of the EU Water Framework Directive. The impact for this partner will be in implementing new approaches to community engagement, which will allow it to develop a better understanding of the potential of using an ecosystem services approach to its resource management activities.
The Spanish AP (the Euro-Mediterranean Tourism and Water Campus) is experienced in developing interactions between universities and private companies with the goal of encouraging water based tourism along minor rivers and canals. The research will provide new insights and methods that can help develop this work.
None of the Associated Partners is equipped individually to undertake extended research into complex subjects such as the social, cultural, environment and economic development of their waterway assets. Instead, they rely very often on work with local volunteers and others. In this sense the expected impact of the project on the Associate Partners is substantial.