Streams in developed regions are under significant stress due to the pressure of human activity on both the catchment and the river channels. Humans affect streams by changing land uses in the catchment, altering stream channel morphology, and delivering nutrients, emergent pollutants and pathogens from urban and industrial activities into the streams. These activities clearly threaten the ecosystem health, but also can constitute a human heath risk, since streams and rivers are a key water resource for human activity. In Mediterranean streams, these problems are additionally compounded by the scarcity of water. MEDSOUL is a coordinated project, which aims to contribute to the needs of the prioritized challenge about climate change and the efficiency in resource use by providing scientific knowledge and tools to face the management of freshwater resources.
For this, the project will be developed in the context of the One-Health concept, which integrates the requirements for Ecosystem’s and human’s health. MEDSOUL takes a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach using the combination of expertises from the participant groups in a) forest ecology, catchment modeling, and fluvial hydrology and chemical dynamics (subproject 1, CREAF-UB), b) instream biogeochemistry and aquatic plant ecology (subproject 2, CEAB-CSIC); and c) pathogen persistence in the freshwater environment (subproject 3, UB). The ultimate goals of this project are (1) evaluate blue water’s health under different climate change scenarios (i.e. IPCC-2013) in the Mediterranean region based on recent projections.