Kick-off of the ClimEx-PE project

A domestic ClimEx-PE project participating in the EU’s Water4All partnership call has set the goal of mitigating extreme climatic events and ensuring adequate water supply for humanity and ecosystems. The professional coordinator of this project is the hydrogeological research group at ELTE. The details of the three-year work were presented in Madrid by the professional representatives.

The opening meeting of the projects, supported in the European Union’s Water4All 2022 partnership call, was held in Madrid at the Spanish State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación – AEI) on April 23-24. At the event, the ClimEx-PE Climate Extremes buffering through groundwater flow-based Managed Aquifer Recharge and Public Engagement project, which started on April 1 with ELTE consortium leadership, was also introduced. The ClimEx-PE project was created within the framework of the CHARM-EU institutional cooperation, with the conceptual background provided by the ELTE hydrogeological research group.

The two-day event was attended by representatives of the 27 winning projects, members of the expert group responsible for monitoring the projects’ professional work, EU representatives dealing with the subject area, and representatives of the organizations involved in the implementation of Water4All. The ClimEx-PE project was represented by Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, scientific coordinator, Ildikó Erhardt, project assistant and Ádám Tóth from Utrecht University.

The representatives of the ClimEx-PE project at the opening event (from left to right: Ildikó Erhardt, Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, Ádám Tóth)

The event was opened by the coordinator of the Water4All partnership and representatives of AEI, followed by insights into other EU initiatives related to the water themes. Subsequently, the requirements and deadlines serving the monitoring of funded projects were presented.

On the first day of the meeting, 12 projects, including ClimEx-PE, were presented in two parallel sections. Representatives presented the objectives of the three-year projects, the composition of the consortia, the individual work packages, and the expected results in a ten-minute presentation. Following the introductions, members of the expert group asked additional questions to the speakers.

The ClimEx-PE application was presented by Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, the project’s scientific coordinator, who outlined the novelties of the planned work and the conceptual background. She also explained that the research connects knowledge of groundwater water flow systems with Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and public engagement, which is of paramount importance in mitigating extreme climate events and thereby contributing to ensuring safe water supply for humanity and ecosystems.

Judit Mádl-Szőnyi during her presentation

The day concluded with a structured networking module, which facilitated the exploration of collaboration opportunities for the participating projects’ researchers, identification of emerging needs, and recognition of synergies.

On the second day of the gathering, the other 15 projects were also introduced, followed by presentations from representatives from various EU countries on data management, ethical issues, and topics related to water-themed Horizon Europe calls. The event was closed by representatives of AEI, who summarized the main lessons learned from the two-day event, thanked the audience for their participation, and wished them a success project implementation.

In the ClimEx-PE project, researchers immediately began their work, as on April 25, they visited the La Muga Basin (Spain) study site organized by researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB), its hydraulic processing and adaptation of the ELTE concept are key tasks in the project. During the field trip, UB researchers presented the geological, hydrogeological, meteorological and geographical conditions of the area, as well as the problem of water scarcity and their proposed solution. Later, the researchers traced the path of water from a wastewater treatment plant to the wetland area. At the end of the day, with the guidance of Judit Mádl-Szőnyi, the researchers discussed the concept of the ELTE group, which they will adapt to the La Muga basin study area. Equipped with a wealth of useful information from the field trip, the participating researchers continue their cooperation to achieve the tasks undertaken in the project.

Snapshot from the field trip

Principal investigators of three universities during the field trip (from left to right: Jose F. García (University of Barcelona), Judit Mádl-Szőnyi (ELTE), Ignacio Cazcarro (University of Zaragoza))

In addition to the Faculty of Science (TTK), researchers from the Faculty of Education and Psychology (PPK), Faculty of Humanities (BTK), and Faculty of Law and Political Sciences (ÁJK) also participate in the multidisciplinary implementation of the ClimEx-PE project. The leading researchers of the project are: Judit Mádl-Szőnyi (TTK), Brigitta Zentai-Czauner (TTK), Ferenc Gyuris (TTK), István Hoffmann (ÁJK), Andrea Velich (BTK), and Attila Varga (PPK).