The engagement of what the POWER consortium have named as “Follower Cities” can be defined as the recruitment of municipalities who are willing to A) observe, be informed and be able to provide their opinions on the development of the objectives and the results of the POWER project in the latter stage of the initiative’s progress B) adopt the use of the POWER DSP to their own local needs regarding water, C) fulfil a) and b) as well as implement the socio-political initiative named ConCensus which employs the POWER DSP as the communication focus of its activities and/or D) extend the methodology of POWER in order to enhance the progress of other environmental issues or indeed other non-environmental issues within their municipality.
The involvement of Follower Cities is important for a number of reasons:
- Increased dissemination of the project’s results.
- Further objective external input and feedback regarding the mechanisms produced by POWER.
- The exploration of the extent of the prowess of the POWER results with regards to water in regions whose idiosyncrasies both in Europe and beyond differ to that of the POWER KDCs.
- Replication of the process which would extend beyond the lifespan of the POWER project itself.
- The opportunity to test the mechanisms of POWER in other non-water related ambits at a municipal level.
- The exploration of the use of POWER within the broad SCI-ART-SUSTAINABILITY DIPLOMACY approach named RENAISSANCE.
Follower cities that would be particularly interested in this theme are cities in regions of water scarcity. For Europe, this would be predominantly cities in the Mediterranean. There are several cities that have a particular low drinking water consumption and could be considered as front runners. Examples are Kortrijk (Belgium), Copenhagen (Denmark) and most Dutch cities. In addition, the city of Melbourne (Australia) has also much experience in this field as it had to adapt to the millennium droughts. Different techniques have been identified that can improve the variables related to water conservation. In particular, systematic monitoring techniques have been identified. The city of Jerusalem has a good track record that has the potential facilitate a vivid interaction of best practices with follower cities in the Water Community environment. The city of Berlin (Germany), is one city that would be interesting to include in the Water Community environment as they also have many best practices with respect to variables related to water conservation. Finally, best practices of water quality have been identified. Water quality is a very broad theme. The city of Sabadell is well-known for their recycling of wastewater for purposes that require less stringent water quality standards. Other cities such as have similar best practices such as for greenhouses in Torre Marimón (Spain), industrial purposes in Tarragona (Spain), for irrigation purposes in Shafdan (Israel) and urban and recreational purposes such as in Sabadell and El Port de la Seva (Spain). Also note that the cities that are the most vulnerable to river peak discharges often are also vulnerable to sea level rise. These cities might be follower cities that are interested in Water Communities regarding extreme weather events based on the challenges these cities face. Within Europe, we identify a few cities that might have a particular interest in the DSP based their high vulnerability to extreme weather events and river peak discharge. Examples of these are the city of Athens (Greece), Bucharest (Romania) and Varna (Romania). However, it is important to state that many more cities in Europe and beyond are vulnerable to weather events. Extreme rainfall events will increase both in frequency and magnitude because of climate change and can affect most cities (EEA 2012).
The result to date is that at present (March 2019) the following entities and individual municipalities are now official follower entities of the POWER project:
- The German Federation of Towns and Municipalities (DE) representing 14,000 municipalities
- The Xarxa de Ciutats I Pobles Cap a la Sostenibilitat (ES) representing 283 municipalities in the Province of Barcelona.
- Tossa de Mar (ES)
- Figueres (ES)
- Lisbon (PT)
- Constanta (RO)
- Ovidiu (RO)
- Harsova (RO)
- Cernavoda (RO)
- Nagykanizsa (HU)
- Szentkiraly (HU)
- Amman (JO)
- Nicosia, (CYP)
- The National Government of Bermuda
- Los Angeles (USA)
In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, it is essential that the project’s initiatives are observed by, disseminated to, and ultimately replicated in a number of follower cities who have expressed their interest in the activities of the POWER consortium. This is one of the reason the POWER Follower Cities Conference has been organised in Pisa on the 12th of April 2019. All the details about participation can be found here.