The Project

STARS4Water “Supporting Stakeholders for Adaptive, Resilient and Sustainable Water Management” is a collaborative project funded under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. The project begun in October 2022 and will run for 4 years.

STARS4Water aims to improve the understanding of climate change impacts on water resources availability and the vulnerabilities for ecosystems, society and the economy at river basin scale, including two distinctive elements:

  • the need for an international stakeholder community to address their specific needs and requirements
  • the development and application of innovative data services, models, tool
STARS4Water will develop and deliver new data services and data driven models for better decision-making support on planning actions for adaptive, resilient and sustainable management of fresh water resources, which will be co-designed with stakeholders to meet their needs, ensuring their relevance and uptake beyond the lifetime of the project. Following a process of co-creation in seven river basin hubs, we aim to capacitate stakeholders with next generation river basin tools and build a strong Community of Practice.

The Project at a glance

Supporting STakeholders for Adaptive, Resilient and Sustainable Water Management (STARS4Water)

Instrument: HORIZON-CL6-2021-CLIMATE-01 , European Research Executive Agency
Total Cost: 4,584,730 €
EC Contribution: 4,580,979 €
Duration: 48 months
Start Date: October 1st, 2022
Consortium: 21 partners from 10 countries
Project Coordinator: Stichting Deltares
Project Web Site:
Key Words: Water resources, Catchment scale water management, Climate change adaptation, Water-climate interactions, Risk and vulnerabilities assessment, Data-driven models, Decision making tools, Information systems, Stakeholders engagement, River Basin Organisation. Living-lab approach

Project Objectives

Provide stakeholders with new generation data services and data-driven models tailored to their needs and requirements

New data services and data-driven models will be developed in the 7 river Basin hubs, advanced to TRL 5-6. Each of the new data services and modelling tools will be validated in at least one of the River Basin hubs.

Improve accuracy and resolution of regional-scale projections of water resources availability, from 10 to 1 km2 grids

Application of data science techniques, using the full potential of data from existing monitoring and observation frameworks. The improved future projections will be made available through a portal of a metadata platform.

Enhance the knowledge base and the scientific underpinning of climate risks and impacts, in various scenarios and time horizons

The new data services and tools will be applied int projections of climate and socio-economic changes under 3 scenarios (2030 - 2050). The projections will be used to define the safe operating space for water availability and ecological requirements, enabling the stakeholders to define actions for sustainable management and climate resilience.

Improve stakeholders' desicion-making through the development of dashboards: co-designed & co-developed information systems

The dashboards will present climate impacts on water resources and hydrological extremes at river basin scale, to support stakeholders in better assessments of strategies by incorporating decision-support indicators on safe operating space, extreme events, water-energy-food nexus, water supply impacts.

Promote uptake and transferability of the data services & tools through guidance documents and capacity building activities

Uptake will be achieved through establishing a network of water planners and practicioners (Community of Practice) and data service platforms, starting from the 7 river hubs. Complemented by the STARS4Water Academy and Stakeholders Forum.


The overall implementation of the project is structured in 7 Work Packages (WP). Central in the project are the 7 River Basin Hubs, which will serve as living labs for co-creation and validation of new services, models and tools that support climate resilient water resources planning. A wide range of upscaling, capacity building and dissemination activities are foreseen to foster the uptake and exploitation of the project results and deliver a wider impact.

WP1 main objective is to work with stakeholders through a co-creation approach to address the main points in their water resources information system where new data, tools and indicators can increase the effectiveness and timeliness of their water management decisions concerning climate resilient water resources planning. The specific objectives are:

  • Build river basin communities together with the river basin organisations for each river basin hub.
  • Map the stakeholders’ data needs and requirements for assessing water resources availability and water use.
  • Make local data concerning the river basin hubs available through the river basin communities.
  • Co-design and co-development of a dashboard for informed decision making.
  • Co-design of narratives with stakeholders to explore future water scenarios in the river basin hubs.

WP2 is dedicated to data sets and services that form the basis for water resources management. The specific objectives are:

  • Make an inventory of existing data sources in each of the river basin hubs specifically and perform a needs assessment for additional data sources that are currently underutilised such as satellite data sources.
  • Develop a metadata portal for global and regional data services for water resources management to facilitate development of new data services and uptake by RBOs.
  • Develop new data services to support the enhancement of water resources management.
  • Create improved data sets concerning projections of water resources availability in selected river basins in Europe.
  • Develop a set of indicators for better monitoring and assessment of climate change risks and impacts for ecosystems, society and water depending economic sectors.

Within WP3 we will develop next generation and tools for water resources management under climate risk. The specific objectives are:

  • Compare and evaluate existing models used operationally within the 7 river basin hubs and explore options for improving their accuracy and spatial resolution to meet stakeholder needs, including adding new systems and process understanding (e.g. improved understanding of future water demand and e-flows modules).
  • Test how innovative multi-scale model integration and data-driven (machine learning) techniques could enhance water resources management.

Within WP4 we will validate and apply the new data services and modelling tools for an integrated risk assessment of the future Europe’s freshwater resources. The specific objectives are:

  • Calibrate and validate the next generation models in the 7 river basin hubs
  • Assessment and reporting of water resources availability under climate change risk in the 7 river basins, by interacting with stakeholders
  • Develop storyline maps on climate change and socio-economic developments within the 7 river basin hubs
  • Upscaling of basin-wide assessment of climate change risks and impacts to EU-level

WP5 will synthesize the results from risk assessments at river basin and pan-European level and promote uptake and upscaling to support river basin managers and EU member states in preparing for climate change impacts with respect to water resources management. The specific objectives are:

  • Develop a synthesis report for guidance to practitioners’ climate risk assessments
  • Upscaling from the seven river basin hubs to other river basins inside and outside the EU, supported by a multidimensional analysis
  • Develop technical guidance on data and model innovations to river basin practitioners for capacity building purposes
  • Create a storyline map website for international networking on policy level, capturing main insights and recommendations for adaptation in co-design with stakeholders
  • Support EU Green Deal and EU water policies and prepare a ‘blueprint’ with recommendations for strengthening EU policies and actions

WP6 will disseminate the project results, products and knowledge to a broad audience, and maximize the uptake of the foreground and the potential for future exploitation. The specific objectives are:

  • Design and implement a dissemination strategy in a targeted and effective manner to maximize its impact.
  • Produce dissemination products and ensure timely distribution to the different target audiences.
  • Develop and use innovative tools that facilitate diffusion of the results and further support stakeholders’ interaction and exchange (tailored to the end-users).
  • Build capacity of targeted groups, develop a Community of Practice (CoP), networks and EU wide alliances, and maximize the involvement of citizens, end-users and stakeholders in water management
  • Design and implement educational activities.
  • Link research and innovation to the regional and EU policy.
  • Develop an Exploitation Plan (including IPR) for the uptake and commercialization of the foreground.
Accordion Content

WP7 will facilitate, support, monitor and guide the project’s progress towards achievements of its aims. It will manage all technical, scientific, administrative, legal and financial matters in a professional and efficient way, ensure that all deadlines for deliverables and reports are met, and ensure adequate and appropriate resource uses. The specific objectives are:

  • Organise and supervise the overall workflow and the interaction between the partners and panels.
  • Provide and maintain internal policies and procedures for budget control, time control, quality control, risk management, financial management, decision making and conflict resolution.
  • Ensure an efficient and effective communication between all partners by providing and communication tools and procedures.
  • Organise the project meetings, the Steering Group and the Advisory Board.
  • Reporting and effective communication with the European Commission. 
  • Management of Data, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights and ethical considerations.