Water Europe, together with a coalition of stakeholders, calls on EU institutions to enshrine the Human Right to Water & Sanitation in EU Law
Today, a coalition of 26 organisations, including Water Europe, released a joint statement calling on the EU institutions to enshrine the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in EU law. The signatory stakeholders call on European policy-makers to secure better access to the 10 million people who still lack access to safe sanitation services in the EU, stressing that universal access to decent and safe sanitation services is a fundamental need and a human right.
Some key facts:
– 2010: The UN recognises the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.
– 2015: The Right to Sanitation is recognised as a standalone right.
– Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to secure access to clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.
– SDG target 6.2 calls specifically for adequate and equitable sanitation for all.
– The Covid-19 crisis highlights the vital importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene to protect human health during pandemics.
On 23 October, EU environment ministers will be gathering in Luxembourg to discuss water policy. We believe it is a great opportunity to address the issue of access to sanitation in the upcoming revision of the 30-year-old Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. The new Drinking Water Directive has rightly introduced an article promoting access to water, especially to the most vulnerable people, requiring Member States to identify populations lacking access to drinking water and find remedies. Likewise, an article promoting access to sanitation should be included in the new Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.
The signatories are fully committed to promoting and achieving Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, and SDG 6.
The REWATCH project partners are hosting the Second REWATCH Technical Open Day that will be held on October 29th, 2020 at 11:00, where the team will present technically results from the different activities of the project.
Petrochemical industry is a great water consumer sector, producing wastewater with complex composition and at high volumes (around 1,750 million of m3 per year). In order to introduce the circular economy concept into the petrochemical sector, LIFE-REWATCH project aims to demonstrate, at prototype scale, a robust and feasible battery of technologies to treat industrial wastewater and reclaim it into the same facility.
The second REWATCH technical open day will include the presentations of Xavier Martínez from Eurecat, Elisenda Taberna from Veolia, David Arias from DuPont Waster Solutions and Johann Poinapen from KWR. The seminar will be moderated by Miquel Rovira, director of Sustainability Area of Eurecat. Register here before October the 22nd. For more information, please contact Carlos Ramos.Read More
New Afrialliance webinar: How to create sustainable Communities of Practice in Africa on Water and Climate activities
The Afrialliance is holding the 3rd of a successful webinar series “Facing climate change: strengthening African stakeholders in water and climate”. This edition will explore the world of sustainable Action Groups in Africa on water and climate activities.
The overall group of webinars launched from October 7, give the opportunity to learn first-hand from the AfriAlliance partners on how you can use social innovation as a driver for change. The interactive webinars aim to tackle key challenges for African stakeholders relating to climate change and water, as well as the impact of social innovation in confronting these issues.
Webinars focuses on:
– How social innovation can be implemented by Action Groups;
– How AfriAlliance has matched water and climate solutions with key needs of African stakeholders;
– How monitoring and forecasting can be used to assess water and climate trends
– How you can make the most of the material and tools produced by AfriAlliance;
The 3rd webinar on ” How to create sustainable Communities of Practice in Africa on Water and Climate activities” will be hold on October 21, from 2pm to 3pm CEST. Click here to register.
The European Commission has just released a new Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to promote a toxic-free environment.
This represent the first milestone to achieve a zero pollution plan announced in the European Green Deal. It sets out concrete actions to make chemicals safe and sustainable by design and to ensure that chemicals can deliver all their benefits without harming the planet and current and future generations., paying particular attention to vulnerable population groups.
Accordingly, the strategy will not only foster innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals, but it will also increase protection of human health and the environment against hazardous chemicals. Particularly, the use of the most harmful chemicals will be highly prohibited in consumer products such as toys, childcare articles, cosmetics, detergents, food contact materials & textiles. Therefore, all chemicals should be more safely and sustainably.
Flagship initiatives included will also promote safety and sustainability standards globally, in particular by leading by example and promoting a coherent approach aiming that hazardous substances that are banned in the EU are not produced for exports. Check it out for more info.Read More
Water Projects Europe launched the 2nd day of the 2020 Water Knowledge event on the EU Green Deal call
Our new event is here to foster collaboration between several R&I projects, bring the project’s outcomes to the market and enable the projects to actively contribute to policy developments. This morning, we had the pleasure to have five EU funded projects with us. From REWATCH to NEXTGEN & ULTIMATE to ZERO BRINE Consortium and Industrial Water 4.0 Project, every project presented their goals & objectives and demonstrated their future contributions to the EU Green Deal & more.
Evdokia Achilleos from EASME provided specific tips & insights on how the Research & Innovation projects can contribute to the EU policies and make an impact through clustering activities, engagement with policy actors and development of timely and relevant policy outputs.
In the last part of the discussion, Andrea Rubini summed up all the contributions presented & gave the floor to all panelists to talk about the challenges ahead but also the best ways to overcome them. Stay tuned for more info.Read More
B-WaterSmart: Developing sustainable and economically efficient solutions for an optimized use of water
The water sector in coastal areas is facing a couple of challenges such as water scarcity and increasing water demands due to economic and population growth. This can lead to overexploitation of resources, quality deterioration and regional imbalances in the availability of water resources. To tackle these challenges, the European research project ‘building a water-smart society and economy’, short B-WaterSmart, develops and demonstrates smart technologies and circular economy approaches.
In order to implement those solutions more strongly in the practice of the water sector, technical and digital solutions as well as new business models are jointly developed by the project partners. The aim is to accelerate the transformation to water-smart economies and societies in coastal Europe and beyond by reducing the use of freshwater resources, improving the recovery and reuse of resources, and increase water use efficiency.
“This project has a lighthouse character. We consider the water cycle to be a holistic system of nature, technology and society. In cooperation with various interest groups, innovative solutions are co-developed and tested at six sites, called Living Labs, spread across Europe. These are intended to support water companies and municipalities in making their water systems and services sustainable, water-smart and more resilient to climate change,” explains project coordinator David Schwesig.
The research therefore is based on specific problems in six European coastal cities and regions that have great ambitions to tackle their challenges and opportunities by implementing water-smart technology and management solutions. Water companies from Alicante in Spain, Bodø in Norway, Flanders in Belgium, Lisbon in Spain, East Frisia in Germany and Venice in Italy develop and demonstrate solutions as Living Labs, together with research partners and local technology providers.
The project is coordinated by IWW Water Centre in Germany and includes 36 partners from eight different countries. Water Europe is glad to be part of this consortium, contributing with its Living Labs, Communication and Dissemination expertise. B-WaterSmart is funded within the framework of the EU program “Horizon 2020”.
Pitch your project idea & build winning partnerships for the EU Green Deal Call! Join our Brokerage Event 2020
Water Europe (WE) invites you to participate in an international partnering event on the EU Green Deal Call of Horizon 2020 from the 12th to the 16th of October. This is an online event that will introduce the Green Deal call for proposals, present insights and expectations from the European Commission whilst offering a unique international networking experience to forge the winning partnerships for this exciting call.
The programme will include presentations from the European Commission and will provide a unique opportunity to pitch ideas and expertise in front of leading research organisations and cutting-edge innovators from across the industry. The space is limited, so hurry up to submit your project ideas, if you wish to take part in our event’s programme. The virtual brokerage event will allow you to expand your international network and create new strategic partnerships through scheduled B2B meetings.
As every year, our Working Groups will also host their meetings in parallel with the event. Two of our Working Groups, the WG Human Capital and the WG Nexus are organising a joint workshop on the Serious Game. If you want to learn more about the Nexus approach and how it works or if you are interested in the potential of Gaming as a learning method, join the session playing the Serious Game of SIM4NEXUS on the 15th of October from 2pm to 4pm. More information here.
The first edition of Water Projects Europe will be launched on the 13th of October. This edition will be dedicated to Industrial Water Reuse. Look at the agenda of Water Projects Europe and join for free: the event is open to anybody, but we have limited online bookings.
Check out the agenda and register for the EU Green Deal 2020 Brokerage Event.Read More
The European Commission has opened new public consultations on different fields where Water Europe will participate. You can find below the list with those key areas and their deadlines:
- Industrial pollution – revision of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. Feedback is welcome until 26th of October. This REFIT procedure aims to improve public access to environmental information linked to industrial installations in line with the Green Deal and zero-pollution and biodiversity strategies.
- EU farm policy – evaluation of its impact on water. Feedback is welcome until the 22nd of October. The evaluation covers the impact on water from all EU farm policy (CAP) measure and it will focus on the quality and quantity of water.
ULTIMATE project kicked off on 7 and 8 of September, bringing virtually together 27 partners from 11 countries. Coordinated by the KWR, the 4-year H2020 project mobilises a strong partnership of water companies, industry, specialised SMEs, applied research institutes, technology platforms, city and regional authorities. Water Europe is proud to be part of the project, bringing on board its Water-Oriented Living Labs, Networking and Communications expertise.
What is ULTIMATE about?
ULTIMATE aims to create economic value and increase sustainability by valorising resources within the water cycle. Wastewater is not only a reusable resource but also a carrier for energy and components that can be extracted, treated, stored, and reused.
ULTIMATE focusses on a particular type of industrial symbiosis – “Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis” (WSIS) – in which water/wastewater plays a key role as a reusable resource in itself, but also as a carrier for energy and materials to be extracted, treated, stored and reused. Besides the demonstration of advanced technologies, ULTIMATE investigates the socio-economic and business-oriented success factors necessary for the successful transition to industrial symbiotic ecosystems.
The consortium builds an evidence-base of industrial symbiosis applications based on real-world, large scale demonstrations. ULTIMATE has selected nine large-scale demonstration cases from the four most important industrial sectors in Europe: agro-food processing, beverages, heavy chemical/petrochemical and biotech industry.
Learn more about the ULTIMATE project.
Joint Interview with Wim Van Vierssen & Ilari Aho – Water Europe Board Members for College D ‘Suppliers & SMEs’
You were recently elected as Water Europe board members of college D ‘Suppliers & SMEs’- Could you tell us what drives you personally to have this role at Water Europe? What do you want to achieve?
Wim: I have worked for many years of my career at universities and knowledge institutions. From that background, I was also a College B member of Water Europe for years. There I learned how much time and money it takes to get innovative research off the ground. I am now active as a consultant at a commercial engineering company that is a member of College D, the world of SMEs and technology suppliers. In the classical view, there is a large gap between an innovative idea and the market, the so-called Valley of Death. I would like to contribute to help bridge that gap.
Ilari: I am and have been for all my career passionate about innovation, sustainability and the role businesses play in improving our society. The water business is a fantastic mix of these, as we work with a resource that is essential to all human and natural life, and our businesses can make a big difference in safeguarding and preserving it. Water Europe is positioned in the centre of delivering a better world through business, policy and technology innovation, and having the possibility to serve on the WE board is an opportunity to personally contribute to this transition.
Representing the solutions providers at Water Europe, which ones do you consider the key challenges and the most burning needs of this college and how do you contribute to addressing these in the context of Water Europe?
Ilari: As with almost all business sectors, one of the most important challenges that solution providers face is increasing and speeding up early market adoption of innovative solutions. In sectors that are based on critical long service life assets, such as the water sector, this requires finding models for sharing the financial and technical risks associated with innovation, and collaborative and co-creative development models across the value chain. I believe that a broad cross-industry community such as the WE membership can overcome these challenges by creating new types of innovation partnerships, and I would aspire to contribute to this development.
Wim: The main challenge is that you have to do business yourself. Our members can do that like no other. Water Europe can, however, support its members in matters beyond their own strength. For example, when mapping out what the future needs of the water sector could be. Think of energy efficiency, water storage as an instrument against the effects of prolonged dry spells, sustainable desalination and advanced digital solutions. The adaptability of water infrastructure poses an additional challenge due to climate change. But innovations are difficult to predict. Not even by Water Europe. So, we are here to always give support to enthusiastic members who work in their own way every day.
Encouraging innovation in the water sector is vital. How important do you consider the role of SMEs in this regard and what are the existing opportunities for the uptake of their innovations to the next level both inside and outside of Europe?
Wim: I think SMEs are the missing link between academic research and the market. Innovative companies are by their nature very aware of what needs to be done to make their idea marketable. But even then, that is a complex matter. I personally believe in creating a much more innovative ecosystem by challenging our major European multi-national water companies to assist innovative SMEs to gain access to the European market and even beyond that. The path up for an SME is difficult and takes a lot of stamina and determination. Such partnerships could help. Water Europe may facilitate such partnerships among its members, but also beyond.
Ilari: A large part of technology innovation, indeed, has its origin in one way or another in SMEs. The SME challenge is related to their typically limited access to broader markets and limited resources for business development. Large, established corporations can in turn provide access to new markets for SME innovations, and extend their outreach to new customer groups. Facilitating and supporting this interaction and partnering between SMEs and large corporations could be a valuable leverage for European innovations.
Based on our vision, Water Europe aims to build a Water-Smart Society. From your point of view, which actions shall we put forward to make this happen and how could the solution providers contribute to that?
Ilari: I think the key again is in collaboration across the value chain. By bringing together solution providers, utilities, water users, the research community, and other partners, we will be able to much better identify and specify the problems that require smart solutions both in the short and long term. Solutions are after all only as valuable and important as the problems they address.
Wim: A water-smart society recognizes the role of water as a primary factor for prosperity and well-being. Such a society deals consciously and sparingly with water, but also ensures that water of the right quality is available at the right time for various purposes, such as drinking water, industrial water or water for nature. Given the dynamics associated with climate change, this is a complex care task. There are great opportunities for solution providers because of the enormous task. We are talking about a great diversity of solutions, products and services. Incidentally, I think that in such a world of water checks and balances digital services are becoming increasingly important.Read More