The need for the implementation of innovative governance of coastal aquifers taking into account the technological development as well as socio-economic factors, has become a worldwide necessity. In compliance with the challenges and scope of the PRIMA call topic 1.1.2 “Sustainable, integrated water management”, Sustain-COAST was designed to explore innovative governance approaches of coastal aquifers among multiple water users and beneficiaries, under the uncertainties posed by the changing climate conditions, in four Mediterranean countries.

Sustain-COAST “Sustainable coastal groundwater management and pollution reduction through innovative governance in a changing climate” is an R&I project co-funded under the PRIMA 2018 programme section II, for a period of 3 years starting from June 2019. Sustain-COAST consortium is led by the technical university of Crete (TUC) and is composed of a multidisciplinary team of seven partners from six countries.

Sustain-COAST intends to develop a calibrated multi-criteria decision supporting system (DSS) and a web Geographical Information System platform accessible for water stakeholders and policy makers. The DSS and platform, combined with a specific animation activity will allow: i) the engagement of social actors in a learning process around water issues at catchment scale based on visualization of interactive thematic maps, ii) the use of advanced technologies and tools, such as optical sensors and remote sensing capacities for a participatory monitoring of water, iii) the use of calibrated numerical models for the time-space simulation of water quantity and quality progress.



Even though various measures were taken by the administrations and agencies of the MED countries to promote a more integrated and sustainable management of coastal water resources, various management weaknesses persist in some European countries (e.g., Greece and Italy) and associated states such as Tunisia and Turkey. These four countries seek to contribute to improve MED coastal water resources governance through a collaborative research project which is designed to explore on the field, systemically and with innovative integrated approaches, a wide range of situations under the dynamic changes of socio-economic and environmental contexts and identify suitable and field-tested pathways for improving water management and governance in the MED basin.

The Overall objectives of sustain-COAST are the following:

  • Design and test innovative governance approaches to Mediterranean coastal water resources

  • Improve water resources management

  • Mitigate water resources pollution

  • Application of good governance principles: equity, legitimacy, efficiency, transparency & accountability

  • Decentralization, civil society engagement in decision-making processes, engagement of private sector in solid public-private partnerships

Sustain-COAST has 4 pillars as illustrated below:  


The Specific objectives of the project has been designed according to the project pillars.

P1- Strengthening of desirable coastal water resources management options

  • OBJ-P1-1: Identification and update of the strengths, opportunities & barriers regarding water resources management

  • OBJ-P1-2: Accounting of water availability, consumption and potential water-harvesting infrastructure

  • OBJ-P1-3: Establishment and application of sustainable governance


P2- Prevention of coastal groundwater pollution

  • OBJ-P2-1: Identification of sources and feasible pathways for the prevention of groundwater pollution

  • OBJ-P2-2: space – temporal prediction of gw flow and pollution transport according to stakeholders-suggested preventive & mitigation options & climate change scenarios


P3- Active engagement of concerned stakeholders in a social learning process

  • OBJ-P3-1: Raising awareness in society and stakeholders on the opportunities of improved water management systems

  • OBJ-P3-2: Facilitation of social learning spaces


P4- Reinforcement of monitoring, communication and dissemination activities

  • OBJ-P4-1: Promotion of the Sustain-COAST outcomes

  • OBJ-P4-2: Improvement of the international visibility of Sustain-COAST partners activities

  • OBJ-P4-3: Up-scaling of the sustainable governance strategies to other MED regions