On Wednesday, 14th December 2022, the 1st BONEX workshop for the Italian case study was conducted. The two project partners organized the event, the University of Bologna (UNIBO) and Consorzio Della Bonifica Renana (CBR), in the CBR headquarters, located in the historical city centre of Bologna. This event was the first of three workshops that will be organized by the project BONEX in Italy, aiming to drive the stakeholders’ engagement and enhance Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus. The cooperation of all the relevant actors within the case study is crucial to find solutions to the rising water demand stressed out by the pressing problems related to climate change.
Following the workshop carried out by the partners in Spain, the first Italian workshop pursued the same methodology and aimed at identifying the most relevant problems in the area of interest.
For the welcoming of the workshop, Michele Solmi did the honours as Head of Sector Irrigation and Environment of CBR. The beginning of the morning consisted of three presentations to engage the stakeholders and inform them about the project and a practical session.
Attilio Toscano, full professor at the University of Bologna, started the sitting with a brief presentation of the BONEX project highlighting the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus and the project’s specific goals. Then, Michele Solmi described the Italian case study in the irrigation district of Lorgana and Botte, focusing on the importance of enhancing water use efficiency, energy saving, and the role of the wetlands located in the area. Before starting with the working part, Pietro Drei, PhD student at the University of Bologna, presented the methodology ‘Participatory System Dynamics Modelling’ stressing the keys point of the process and describing the attended result.
In the first part, the participants were divided into three groups to identify the region’s problems according to the dimensions of the WEFE nexus using the variable elicitation process. In the second part, the stakeholders elaborated causal loop diagrams using the relevant variable from the first part, coordinated by the BONEX project team. The final output was facilitated due to adoption of a specific software, which allowed us to interpolate the work of the three sub-groups easily.
The event closure was carried out by a brief recap of the results obtained. The affluence was good, with 26 attendees that took active participation in the discussion. For these reasons, the first workshop was a beautiful opportunity for the local stakeholders to get to know more about the project BONEX and an excellent chance to create interrelations between the relevant actors in the Italian case study.