Within the framework of the French Presidency of the Alpine Convention, the Alpine-wide conference "Water resources and alpine rivers: adaptation to the challenges of climate change" was held on 18 and 19 February at the edge of Lake Annecy (FR). The interactive conference format encouraged the over 100 participants from 6 Alpine countries to discuss their questions and ideas on the present and future developments of the Alps, Europe's water tower. The basis for these discussions were lectures from scientists, policy makers at regional level and inspiring showcases of practical examples from the Alpine region, often carried out with EU co-funding. The first day of the conference was dedicated to the topic “Alpine rivers in times of climate change”, the second day was devoted to “Management of Alpine water resources and water conflicts”. Key priorities raised during the discussions included: effective communication, political decision-making and awareness raising as well as the exchange of scientific data, integrated approaches (both in terms of combining drought and flood issues, and of cross-border water management), coherent financing and a deeper understanding of water resources.
The President of the Permanent Committee, Alexandra Bonnet, congratulated the participants for a wealth of good practices and useful input for the future work of the Alpine Convention. In her inaugural presentation Secretary General Alenka Smerkolj outlined the past and current work of the Alpine Convention on water, especially through the past Water Management in the Alps Platform (2009-2019), the Alpine Climate Board and the EUSALP Action Group 6 (AG6). She also took the opportunity to meet Thierry Billet, President of the Alpine Town of the Year Association and Vice-President of the Grand Annecy agglomeration.