In the Mediterranean, the increasing social impacts of water scarcity are growing, but effective measures to manage such scarcity are difficult to implement due to the variability of stakeholders and the weak means to handle new policies. To ameliorate the future of water management in the region, communication between stakeholders has to be improved. The Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000) defines a European framework for water management and protection at each hydrological basin level and gives priority to environment conservation through participatory and consultative programmes. In the perspective of developing and analysing a set of comprehensive scenarios of Europe freshwater futures up to 2050, SCENES project (Water Scenarios for Europe and for Neighbouring States) suggests the use of fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) as an Information and Communication tool significantly able to support public participation. The present paper reports on the use of FCM in a typical Mediterranean area, the Candelaro river basin in southern Italy, to elicit public perceptions on the current pressures on and state of water resources. Based on these perceptions and down-scaling the global scenarios, local visions of future changes were developed and their potential environmental and socio-economic effects explored.
Keywords: candelaro river basin, FCM, Mediterranean, participatory process, scenarios, WFD