The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has recently released a policy paper ‘Climate change and the European water dimension –Enhancing resilience’ following the Conference held between 4 and 5 November 2020.
This policy paper results from the deliberations at the conference and provides recommendations for the European Commission and EU Member States on how to increase water-related climate resilience and initiate the transformational change required to ensure resilience in the future. Key points are:
-Climate change is already affecting people, the economy and the environment in Europe as the temperatures have repeatedly broken long-term records in recent years and are projected to further increase.
-Climate change impacts primarily manifest in changes to the water cycle, including extreme events such as droughts and floods, but also gradual, yet significant effects on water availability, quality, and water-related ecosystems
-Sustainable and climate-resilient water management is a critical building block for the overall climate-resilience of economic sectors, ecosystems and society at large. It is thus crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.
-In the face of increasing pressure on water resources, however, the incremental adaptation of water management to changing climate conditions will, in many places, not ensure resilience in the future. More systemic and transformational change will be required in the way water is managed, used by various sectors, and valued by society.
-European institutions play a key role in establishing the framework conditions that enable all relevant actors in the Member States to accelerate efforts to enhance water and climate resilience.
The paper not only provides input for the current political debate but it also aims to influence targeted EU initiatives to enhance adaptation efforts at EU, Member State and transboundary levels. It builds a background analyses in more detail the observed and expected climate change impacts, adaptation measures adopted to date, required action and possible entry points for EU activities. Read the full paper here.Read More
The European Commission has just launched the second call for projects under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.
Today, this new call makes available grant funding of €100 million for small-scale projects, with a capital expenditure between €2.5 and 7.5 million for:
-Energy-intensive industries, including substitute products
-Carbon capture, use and storage.
The call is open for projects located in all EU Member States, including Iceland and Norway. The funds can be used in cooperation with other public funding initiatives, such as State aid or other EU funding programmes, as well as combined with private investments.
The projects will be evaluated according to their potential to avoid greenhouse gases emissions, innovation potential, financial and technical maturity, and potential for scaling up and cost efficiency. The application process has only one stage and the selection procedure will be simpler.
Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal where more details on the overall procedure are available. The deadline for submission of applications is 10 March 2021. To see more details about the call visit the official EU Commission website.Read More
Ecolab, Water Europe member, has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) which tracks the leading sustainability-driven publicly listed companies globally.
Since launching in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices have benchmarked the world’s largest companies based on economic, environmental and social performance. The DJSI World Index is comprised of corporate leaders in sustainability as identified by SAM, now a part of S&P Global, and represents the top 10% of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index, based on long-term economic and ESG factors. Ecolab has previously been named to the DJSI North America index six times.
“I’m proud of what Ecolab’s 45,000 associates do every day to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “In 2019, we helped our customers conserve 206 billion gallons of water (equivalent to the drinking water needs of 712 million people), conserve 28 trillion Btus of energy and avoid 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. We are driven to help our customers operate more sustainably throughout the world and it is an honor to be recognized on the DJSI World Index for our commitment.”
For more information on the 2020 DJSI World Index and other Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, please click here.Read More
The purpose of this consultation is to understand the views of the citizens and stakeholders on sewage sludge and how it is managed across the EU.
The Sewage Sludge Directive was adopted to encourage the correct use of sewage sludge in agriculture and to regulate its use in order to prevent harmful effects on soil, vegetation, animals and humans. The use of sludge in agriculture is an effective alternative for chemical fertilisers, as it is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous.
Sludge also contains valuable organic matter that is useful when soils are depleted or subject to erosion. Recycling of materials, in line with circular economy principles, is high on the EU agenda .
However it is also important that what is used as a resource is not contaminated, otherwise recycling will result in increasing pollution of soil, water and/or air. The Circular Economy Action Plan adopted on 11 March 2020 commits the Commission to consider revising the Sewage Sludge Directive. To inform this reflection, this evaluation aims to see whether the law is doing what it is meant to do, whether its objectives are still relevant today, and whether the costs arising from the requirements of the law are justified.
The feedback period for the consultation is: 20 November 2020 – 05 March 2021 (midnight Brussels time). To contribute with your views please check here.Read More
The EASME side event “Building a water-smart economy and society” took place today on the 18th of November, 2020 with the purpose to raise awareness about EU funded innovation projects and clustering initiatives showcasing water circular solutions, innovative decision support and governance systems.
Andrea Rubini, Water Europe Director of Operations was amongst the panellists of the first part of the event, dedicated to policy initiatives. He contributed to the discussion, presenting the Water Europe vision, the latest policy developments and the Water Europe’s new policy papers addressing key policy initiatives.
Representatives from five new large-scale demonstration projects, financed through the Horizon 2020 Call for proposals Building a water-smart economy and society, were also there to present their projects and planned activities:
-ULTIMATE – indUstry water-utiLiTy symbIosis for a sMarter wATer society
-B-WaterSmart – Accelerating Water Smartness in Coastal Europe
-WIDER UPTAKE – Achieving wider uptake of water-smart solutions
-WATER-MINING – Next generation water-smart management systems: large scale demonstrations for a circular economy and society
-REWAISE- REsilient WAter Innovation for Smart Economy
Water Europe is glad to be participating in three out of these very promising projects: ULTIMATE, B-WaterSmart and Water Mining.
Bringing together policy makers, innovators and EU funded projects’ representatives, the event offered meaningful opportunities for participants to discuss and exchange on concrete steps for fostering the uptake of innovative solutions toward circular economy in the water sector.Read More
Online Trainings for Cluster Authorities & Companies on “Towards circularity and industrial symbiosis”
For industrial cluster managing authorities and companies, understanding water-related risks and how new business opportunities can improve organisational and international competitiveness is crucial in Europe and beyond. Circular business models where high-quality resources are recovered and reused from process water, offer a solution. As an emerging market, reclaimed minerals are interesting for industries that want to reduce their costs and work more sustainably.
In this context, two online training sessions will be organised by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology, as part of the ZEROBRINE project:
– On 1 December (9:00-12:00 CET) a training will be held for industrial cluster managing authorities, with an emphasis on six Dutch industry clusters: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Delfzijl, Zeeland, Chemelot, and Emmen. More info and registration, please click here.
– The second training session on 3 December (13:00-16:00 CET) will be held for company personnel to build symbiotic brine relationships and circular business opportunities. More info and registration, please click here.
The training sessions will utilise the Online Brine Platform, an interactive web service promoting the flow of secondary raw materials by linking brine/salt owners with the mineral/water users and technology and waste heat providers.
For more information, please contact Danielle Kutka or George Tsalidis.
The Blue Tulips Award programme is a competition that aims to connect innovators, build powerful collaborations and accelerate break-through innovations.
It is organized in a three-months competition with themes that are fully focused on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They welcome 50 innovations per themes that have the potential to improve our future. Through different rounds and digital events, innovators will work towards the end goal: winning a Blue Tulip Award and change the future.
The ‘Generation 2’ seek to promote innovative ideas in the themes of Food & Water and Education & Employment to pave the way to a brighter future. Tomás A. Michel Mayer – our President – will be participating to the event as the jury-expert for the Food & Water.
For more info & registrations: https://buff.ly/36pKNRgRead More
Water Europe releases new Position Paper ‘For a Green, Circular & Smart Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive’
Water Europe is proud to launch its new position paper ”For a Green, Circular & Smart Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive’. Water Europe welcomes the conclusion of the European Commission to update the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) in line with the Green Deal and the digitalisation of Europe and makes available a list of recommendations that can pave the way to achieving a Water-Smart Society.
The Urban Waste-Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD) has set an international reference case in the global effort in wastewater management. The revision must master the complexity of the topic by signing up for a resource-oriented approach and an energy-driven one.
A well-designed UWWTD must consider circular economy, digital water, and new technological developments. This holistic perspective is the key driver for energy-performance, resource recovery and water reuse.
To read the full report please click here.
Last week, Thursday, 29th of October, Water Europe board members convened online to elect their Executive Committee and exchange on the Water Europe priorities for the upcoming period.
In line with the new governance adopted at the general meeting in June 2020, the Water Europe Executive Committee consists of the Water Europe President, the Executive Director and five Vice-Presidents who are in charge of different portfolios according to the main priorities of Water Europe.
Tomas Michel was re-elected as Water Europe President until June 2022 and the five appointed Vice-Presidents are Hans Goosens as first Vice-President (VP), Marie-Renée de Roubin as VP for Finance, Chrysi Laspidou as VP for Technology and Research, Wim van Vierssen as VP for Innovation and David Martin as VP for Advocacy.
The Water Europe board also welcomed Mark Lange from Microsoft as a new Board member under college A.
To view the current Water Europe Board composition, please click here.
The European Commission is currently drafting a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, which is expected to be published early next year.
To highlight the importance of a water-related perspective being well reflected in this strategic document, the BMU is hosting the conference “Climate Change and the European Water Dimension – Increasing Resilience” on 4 and 5 November. Together with European stakeholders, the BMU will examine the adaptation challenges and requirements that are specific to the water sector.
We plan to incorporate the conclusions and recommendations resulting from these discussions into the ongoing debate on the new EU Adaptation Strategy. We are organising this conference jointly with Portugal and Slovenia, who will continue discussions on the new Adaptation Strategy and the nexus between climate change and water during their EU Council Presidencies in 2021.
Check programme and registration.