Guido Schmidt

Guido Schmidt

Guido Schmidt is a German PhD Environmental Planning Engineer, with 30 years of experience as a team leader, key expert, evaluator and project/portfolio manager for better understanding, preventing and/or solving water and environmental problems and conflicts.

He has also published books and technical articles, including several handbooks and analyses of good practice, and has co-organised and participated in about 200 seminars, workshops, master courses and conferences. In the past years he has been involved in the following key projects:

  • REGILIENCE (Resilience Strategies for Regions) (Since 2021). Client: European Commission, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency. Role: Technical project coordinator. REGILIENCE is a Horizon 2020 Green Deal Coordination and Support Action (GA 101036560) that aims to foster the adoption and far-reaching dissemination of regional climate resilience pathways, following a demand-driven approach.  The expertise and knowledge acquired, as well as the solutions available from Innovation Packages and other sources are thereby considered. Overall, almost 700 specific activities are planned with an estimated audience of 100,000 individuals, including 8 large network events, 52 workshops/webinars, 30 twinnings, 300 helpdesks, 10 testings, and 40 media activities. 
  • Support to the Commission on water quantity management – follow up to the Fitness Check of EU water law conclusions, EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and Common Implementation Strategy Work Programme for the water directives (2022-2024) (Since 2022). Client: European Commission, DG Environment. Role: Team leader. This project develops specific support for the EU action on water scarcity and droughts including the assessment and reporting of good practices on the implementation of ecological flows and water balances, water efficiency targets, climate adaptation in river basin management, costs and benefits of nature-based solutions for flood risk management, water allocation mechanisms and transboundary river basin management. 
  • Support to developing the India-EU Water Partnership (2015-2020). Clients: AETS-Consultants and GIZ for the European Commission. Role: Team leader and Key Expert. The Partnership aims to facilitate a stronger involvement of the EU and its Member States (MS) together with the relevant Indian authorities for improving water management in India. The actions include the development of River Basin Management Plans, the establishment of ecological flows, better groundwater management, the improved collection and use of data, and the Clean Ganga initiative of the Indian Government. The establishment of a concrete example for EU-India relations involving engagement of the EU and its MS as key players and acting in a coordinated and complementary manner aims to allow the replication of EU policies and best practices to facilitate opportunities on water issues for EU companies. Specific activities include the development of workshops, business meetings and fora. 
  • Secretariat of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Water (2012-2020). Client: European Commission, DG Environment. Role: Team leader. The overall objective of the EIP Water was to support and facilitate the development of innovative solutions to address the many water-related challenges Europe and the world are facing, as well as to support economic growth by bringing such solutions to the market. Our team supported the preparation of a Strategic Implementation Plan, the EIP Water governance structure and further analysis of barriers, as well as 29 Action Groups involving 600 partner organisations to develop, implement or commercialise water innovation. We developed and maintained innovation and communication tools, such as an online marketplace, and organised four major conferences and meetings of different EIP entities. 
  • Follow-up of the Implementation of EU Freshwater Policies and Assessment of RBMPs and FRMPs (2012-2020). Client: European Commission, DG Environment. Role: Principal expert. This project required technical Secretariat Support to Working Groups under the WFD Common Implementation Strategy: “Programme of Measures” and “Ecological flows” to develop a European guidance document, as well as specific assessments of EU River Basin Management Plans, Flood Risk Management Plans and possible infringements of the WFD. 
  • Mongolia: Implementing innovative approaches for improved water governance (2018-2022). Client: Asian Development Bank & Ministry of Environment and Tourism. This technical assistance to the Government of Mongolia 1) developed river basin policy recommendations, 2) implemented a capacity-building program for the river basin administration, and 3) defined and developed actions and approaches for better river basin management, including pilot projects for water security, addressing managed aquifer recharge, hydrometeorological monitoring, water pollution effluent monitoring and water pollution fee implementation. Fresh Thoughts was engaged as a Specialist for International Institutional Water Management and Capacity Development. 

In the past few years, Guido has also worked on other topics such as the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus, Innovation, Ecosystems, Monitoring & Evaluation, Communications and Knowledge Management, SEA and EIA, Protected areas, Wetlands, Nature-based solutions, Due diligence, Risk Analysis, Supply chains, Rural Development, Public and stakeholder engagement, International Cooperation, etc. Guido Schmidt is fluent in English, German, and Spanish and has worked in Europe, Latin America, the MENA region and Asia with in-country expertise in the European Union, South-Eastern Europe, Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, India and Mongolia.

associated projects

Advisory Service for a Tapi River Basin Management Plan Stakeholder Workshop
Analysis of draft River Basin Management Plans in Europe
Assessing interactions between the EU Water Framework and the Nature Directives
Assessment of freshwater status and water risks in the Ebro basin
Assessment of the contributions of the Spanish Rural development Plans 2014-2020 to the achievement of WFD objectives
Assessment of the status of water bodies and ecosystems in Doñana
Body of Knowledge “Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe”
Central project evaluation of the project Sustainable management of biodiversity in the Southern Caucasus
Climate Europe Festival Workshop Moderation
Conference on water, climate change, and adaptation
Conformity checking on Member States’ measures to transpose and apply EU environmental legislation: compliance assurance systems in relation to the Directive 2000/60/EC
DRYing rivER networks (DRYvER)
Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan UNDP Component (EU4Sevan)
EU Switch to Green and Water Facilities
EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership tendering
EU-Iran environment and climate change exchanges
European Drought Observatory
Evaluation of Horizon 2020 applications
Finding innovative solutions for water scarcity in Southern Europe Programme 2022: Governance and finance solutions
Floods Directive and Water Framework Directive Compliance check
Framework contract for services related to coordination between the different marine regions in implementing the ecosystem approach
Framework Contract on Evaluation, Review and Development of EU Water Policy
Framework on Climate Change Policy
Framework Partnership Agreement concerning the European Topic Centre on Biodiversity and Ecosystems 2023-2026
Good Cases of Water Framework Directive Implementation in Europe
Greening EU Cooperation webinar “Transboundary Water Management”
Implementing Innovative Approaches for Improved Water Governance – Mongolia
Independent Review of Water Projects
Independent Review of Water Sourcing and Saving in Fruit and Vegetable Production
Innovative tools and solutions for governing the water-energy-food-ecosystems NEXUS under global change (GoNEXUS)
Integrated Nexus Strategy for Water, Energy and Agriculture in the Gaza Strip
Legal and technical assessments of Member States’ compliance with the applicable EU environmental legislation
Mid-term evaluation of the GIZ-EDEKA-SAB Miller Water Stewardship Strategic Alliance
Mid-term review of GIZ
MIP4ADAPT – Building the Implementation Platform for the Climate Adaptation Mission
Mongolia: Improvement of Guideline on River Basin Council establishment
Nexus Assessment in South East Europe
Oasis Innovation Hub for Catastrophe and Climate Extremes Risk Assessment
Platform for Climate Dialogue on water management issues. Supporting Understanding between Conflict Parties Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova
Preparation of the “Nexus Assessment Reports in six South East Europe Economies”
Quality Review of a report on drought risk management
Resilience Strategies for Regions (REGILIENCE)
Review of existing flood management policies and enabling environments, conducting institutional capacity assessment with gap analyses and develop basin FRM polices – Drin
Risk-based practice- and market-oriented action plan to exclude illegal water use in agricultural supply chains of a German food retailer
Scientific knowledge about the interaction between water, climate change, ecosystems and biodiversity in Doñana, Spain
Strategic support to the ECODES Foundation (Spain)
Streamlining water into Rural development Programmes
Support of the European Innovation Partnership on Water
Support the Commission in the implementation of international water cooperation
Support to a Workshop on River Basin Management and Rural development Programmes in Andalusia (Spain)
Support to the India-EU Water Partnership
Support to the International Water Management Institute
Sustainable Integrated Management FOR the NEXUS of water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient Europe (SIM4NEXUS)
Technical assessments on Member States’ compliance with the applicable European Union environmental legislation
Theory of change and Roadmap for the restoration of the Guadalquivir River estuary (Spain)
Water & Sanitation knowledge networks and innovation in Bolivia
Water for the Green Deal
Water Resources and River Rejuvenation “Centre of Excellence” in Uttar Pradesh & Development of a Blueprint for Water accounting for India
Water Risk assessment for Citrus production in Southern Spain
Water Stewardship in Spain
Water Strategy Germany
WE@EU Web based Joint Action Plan Dynamization
WWF Report on Irrigation Modernization


Senior Policy Expert Water & Climate Adaptation
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