WE-ACT General Assembly: Advancing Water Management in Central Asia
The WE-ACT General Assembly, held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from April 23rd to 24th, 2023. The event focused on advancing water management in Central Asia through keynote speeches, collaborative sessions, and innovative demonstrations. Notable moments include the introduction of serious games for interactive learning and decision making, and a visit from BWO SyrDarya and SIC ICWC, emphasizing the importance of end-user engagement. Overall, the assembly exemplifies collective efforts towards sustainable water allocation in the region.

Date

The WE-ACT General Assembly, assembled from April 23rd to 24th, 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, served as a medium for WE-ACT partners to share important project information. Organized by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), in collaboration with the WE-ACT Consortium Partners and regional as well as national partners, the assembly focused on addressing key challenges and fostering collaboration in the region.

The assembly commenced with a welcome address from the project coordinator and local organizer, emphasizing the importance of collective action in addressing water-related issues.

Insights into HydroSolutions

The first keynote speaker, Dr. Tobias Siegfried from HydroSolutions, delivered a speech on hydrological forecasts and integrated water resources management in Central Asia, providing insights into Data Sharing of Hydro- Climate Information in Central Asia, and the digital assistant for operational hydrology (iEasyHydro HF), SnowMapper Central Asia, and opportunities for forecast service improvements in the region.

 Sister Project Transcend and European Funding Perspectives

The session was followed by sister project Transcend and Dr Dionisio Pérez from USAL, highlighting the interconnectedness of initiatives aimed at holistic water management.

Dr. Thomas Ammerl (BayFOR) shed light on European research and innovation funding in green topics, emphasizing the significance of international partnerships, and the opportunities within the EU funds.

Participatory Sessions and Technology Showcases

The assembly facilitated engagement and collaboration through participatory activities, including discussions on end-user needs and the alignment of DSS (Decision Support System) scenarios with WE-ACT partner capabilities. Mock-ups of DSS software tools offered tangible insights into ongoing developments, while discussions on regional data and model platforms helped in future technology advancements.

Panel Discussion and Practical Guidance

A panel discussion led by BayFOR provided a platform for sharing experiences on project management and EU reporting, offering valuable insights for WE-ACT partners and the upcoming reporting period. 

Empowering End-Users: Collaborative Visits and Fine-Tuning Solution

Among a series of collaborative sessions, the visit from BWO SyrDarya and SIC ICWC was a standout moment during the WE-ACT General Assembly. Representatives from these prominent organizations took advantage of the chance to clarify their stakeholder and end-user needs and ambitions, providing light on how our collective solutions could be tailored to fit their individual requirements. They provided significant insights on potential ways to incorporate Decision Support System (DSS) technologies into their operational frameworks by delving into the subtleties of water management within their various domains. 

Serious Game in Action

The highlight of the WE-ACT General Assembly was the initial testing of serious game. This provided partners with a unique opportunity to experience the role of decision-makers and navigate complex water management scenarios across various sectors. The serious game was designed with a specific goal in mind: to explore avenues for valuing water and fostering a deeper understanding of its intrinsic worth.

Participants engaged in interactive gameplay where they faced simulated challenges and dilemmas mirroring real-world scenarios. From allocating water resources among competing sectors to implementing conservation measures in the face of environmental pressures, the game was a dynamic approach for decision-making and strategic thinking.

In conclusion, the WE-ACT General Assembly served as a forum for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and strategic planning to address water management challenges in Central Asia.

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