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WHAT IS CAM platform?

The integrated management of water resources (IWRM) comprises social, environmental, technical and economic dimensions of which each is typically represented by different groups of stakeholders (e.g. institutions, public agencies, companies, NGOs, etc.). IWRM typically tries to harmonize conflicting stakeholder positions to achieve compromises for an overall improved and sustainable water management practice. However, current global developments involving (seasonal) water demand growth as well as threats imposed on freshwater resources linked to global climatic changes, increase the stresses induced on water systems and could increase conflicts among stakeholders. Some of the keys for the successful implementation of an IWRM among different stakeholders are the sharing of interaction, the sharing of problem perceptions, the recognition of stakeholder diversity and the related development of mutual trust. The online CAM (Coastal Aquifer Management) dialogue platform was developed as a new management instrument for IWRM-challenges that directly tackles the aforementioned key conditions for a successful IWRM. The core of the CAM platform is a free, online geographic information system (GIS) for providing an interactive online access to hydro-geospatial data (e.g. scenario based modelling results) and governance reports to any concerned stakeholder involved in a given IWRM-challenge. The CAM platform is structured around cases of IWRM-challenges. Each user (stakeholder) can create his own account in the online CAM platform and start a new or join an existent IWRM-case, to which he in turn could invite other relevant colleagues and stakeholders. In the framework of each IWRM-case users can upload data related to the given IWRM-case, provide different levels of data usage permission to other users and receive access to data uploaded by fellow users. The CAM platform, therefore, bundles all relevant data and information of importance to a given IWRM-problem with inputs from each user (stakeholder). Once populated with meaningful data the platform allows each user to explore the established state of knowledge around a given water management problem. Additionally, the CAM platform features an option for defining personal target functions with regard to hydr-environmental water management indicators as derived from hydrological and hydrogeological model results (e.g. target groundwater level, target minimum stream discharge, required groundwater recharge; further discussed below). The results of applied, stakeholder-specific target functions can be shared and compared in the CAM dialogue platform in a cooperative process with the group of concerned stakeholders. Although the development of the CAM platform arose out of water management challenges in the context of coastal aquifers, its application is not limited to coastal areas. The CAM platform can improve IWRM-processes by the following functionalities:
• The platform provides an online environment that allows groups of stakeholders to share relevant reports, data and model results on a particular IWRM-case, while each user keeps full administrative control over his data. Thereby the barriers for sharing interaction between stakeholders are decreased.
• By allowing the sharing of all relevant and available data for a given IWRM-case among the groups of stakeholders, the transparency and objectivity in the IWRM-process is potentially increased. This in turn facilitates the sharing of the problem perception among stakeholders.
• By allowing each user to individually define target functions with regard to scenario based hydrological or hydrogeological model results the mutual recognition of the diversity of the different stakeholder perspectives is increased.
• Further, the CAM platform is user-friendly. It features several help dialogues that guide the user through the main working procedures in the platform.
Overall, the aforementioned functionalities facilitate an environment which promotes a cooperative and transparent exchange between stakeholders in the water sector. All of these aspects taken together are expected to increase the trust between the respective stakeholders and finally support the successful implementation of IWRM measures in multi-stakeholder contexts.