Webinar ‘Water is Everyone’s Business’ during Water Innovation Europe 2020 – What are the take-home messages?
The webinar ‘Water is Everyone’s Business’ took place today during Water Innovation Europe 2020. The webinar was moderated by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome; UN Sustainable Development. The panel counted with the participation of Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe at the Coca-Cola Company; Ester Asin, Director European Policy Office at WWF, Veronica Manfredi, Director Quality of Life, Directorate General ENV, at the European Commission and David Martin, VP Government Relations Europe at Ecolab.
Below, you can find the most important messages discussed during the webinar:
The WFD is one of the most ambitious and holistic pieces of the environmental legislation. We would like to thank the European Commission for standing by the evidence and giving the WFD the final sign-off. Now we need fast-track implementation.
Water scarcity is not just a “southern issue”. Brussels is the 2nd most scarce city in Europe. Smart, sustainable water management – as ensured through the WFD – is the only way in which we can safeguard Europe’s water supply for future generations.
There is so much knowledge that stays internally in specific organisations. We all need to learn what happens. People who can do something about the challenges we face, are not all biologists & scientists, but they are willing to understand & we should make sure they do.
Water risks are amongst the biggest risks to business continuity. Whatever is good for water, is good for businesses. The member states need support from civil society and businesses alike to make this a reality.
The lesson from the COVID19 crisis is that we have to start designing our systems to function with greater resilience. We need to transform by design and not by a disaster. We have to think every aspect of this renovation, to break the silos, to think water as an important part of the nexus with other sectors.
A business that invests in high standard for water is not only for the environment but also for the competitiveness of the company.
This webinar follows up the release of the ‘Water is everyone’s business’, which has been endorsed by Water Europe and 24 other organisations and businesses that stand with the 375,000 European citizens who have urged the EU governments & the European Commission to preserve the European Union’s ground-breaking Water Framework Directive in its current form.
The European Commission has recently replied that keeps the WFD in its current form. Click here to find more information.
You can now watch the complete webinar on Water Europe’s youtube page:
The second day of Water Innovation Europe 2020 continued with the session ‘A Water-Smart Industry for a Green Deal’. The session was moderated by Veronica Manfredi – Director Quality of Life, Directorate General ENV, European Commission.
Read below the key points from the session:
We are at a stage where the industrial sector is reconsidering its priorities. In the past, water efficiency wasn’t among them but the challenges of water scarcity and the others we face make it necessary to become water efficient. We have now arrived at this point of maturity as a sector.
It’s been hundreds of years that we have been taking water for granted. Now we have an abundance of technologies, so what we also need is to share the best available knowledge. With training and education, we can reach much further from what we think it’s possible.
Legislation can accelerate necessary changes for better water management.
Industries need to be open and transparent to make people understand how water affects us all. The local outreach is an extremely important point to raising awareness, increasing the degree of social conscience and driving the transition to water reuse and efficiency in Europe.
With education, we can reduce water usage, thanks to no other tools but awareness, monitoring and control. Even if you have the technology but you don’t have the will and the available knowledge, you cannot move forward.
During the COVID19 crisis, the digital tools helped industries to maintain their operations. We need to get engaged in a double transition, towards sustainability and digitilisation.
We continue tomorrow for the third day of the innovative water week. Get ready by watching the dedicated video of Session 3: A Water-Smart Society to provide healthy food for EU citizens.Read More
During the Water Innovation Europe 2020 second panel session dedicated to ‘A Water-Smart Industry for a Green deal’ Benjamin Hermans and Rhys Hellin from the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP) presented the winner of the Water Governance award for the most successful governance solution for the water sector.
De Monfort University (DMU) is the proud winner of the Water Governance Award. Through its user-driven project Political and Social Awareness on Water Environmental Challenges (POWER), DMU demonstrated that the use of smart technologies supported by innovative engagement models plays an important role in addressing priority areas that will have a significant impact on the future of water in our society. In the long-term, the POWER approach aims to build capacity in cities to develop solutions, strategies and policies for addressing water-related sustainability challenges that can ensure policy continuity, thus creating an important tool for EU water policy.
Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd, Professor of DMU received the award, thanking the audience and delivering a short speech on the winning project. De Monfort University (DMU) is known for its research and teaching excellence, particularly in the area of energy and sustainable development. It has a long established track record in the successful delivery of multi-stakeholder research and commercial projects. To learn more about it, please click here.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our tomorrow’s Awards winner.Read More
Water Innovation Europe 2020 kicked off today with 450 registered participants. This is the first time the event has gone fully digital to become an innovative water week from today until the 26th of June.
Find below the key messages of today:
In the Post-COVID-19 era, we need to replace the 3Rs Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with these Rs: Resist, Recover, Reinvent.
Across Europe, we need 20% more investment in the water sector to meet the water supply and sanitation demands in Europe. It is critical to make the best use possible of available water resources. It is critical to put water on the radar of other sectors like the energy sector and to bring water and citizens together.
Technical innovation is not enough without social innovation. We need to open the door to the future generations and to new professional profiles to enter in the water sector. As characteristically, Alexandra Serra said ‘ We are engineers (who think we can do everything) but we need new talent and new abilities. The water sector needs marketeers”
Water utilities are severely impacted by the COVID19 crisis with their revenues being affected, too. There is an urgency for utilities to better understand its customers and to engage in a more active role into their day to day lives.
New sources of funding and investments are needed.
Digitalization is a top priority and linking water to digital solutions is the way forward.
We are all responsible for avoiding any future crises and for this we need to experiment, think out of the box, learn and embrace a forward-looking mindset.
Tomorrow is the second day of our innovative water week. Get ready by watching a video we prepared for Session 2: A Water-Smart Industry for a Green Deal.Read More
Today, we have the pleasure to announce the winners of the day for the Water Europe Innovation Awards 2020 Categories: SME Award and Water Smart MEP Award. In the context of the Water Innovation Europe 2020 first panel session dedicated to ‘A Water-Smart Society for a successful Post COVID19 Recovery Plan’ Hasmik Barseghya, President of the European Youth Parliament for Water (EYPW) revealed the names of our two winners and introduced them to the audience.
Bluephage is the winner for the SME Award. BLUEPHAGE is a biotechnology company launched as a spinoff in 2016 from the University of Barcelona (Spain) that specializes in providing products and services for the analysis of bacteriophages as viral indicators in water, food and biosolids. BLUEPHAGE is developing the easiest, fastest and most cost-saving viral indicators’ kits to improve water safety. The company developed the easy kits (or 1st generation kits) which provide pre-prepared material for the enumeration of coliphages according to ISO and US-EPA methods. To learn more about the company’s work, please click here.
Simona Bonafè is the winner of the Water Smart MEP Award. This award aims to highlight the work of one Member of the European Parliament who has contributed to achieving a Water-Smart Society in Europe and beyond. Simona Bonafè from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Italy) has been our winner for her work on the EU regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse. It’s the first year that this award is given by Water Europe. Watch Ms Bonafé video speech.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our tomorrow’s Awards winner.Read More
The OECD released a report on Financing Water Supply, Sanitation and Flood Protection. It highlights that major investment is still required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. In this report, the OECD focuses on the Water Framework Directive and 3 other specific water legislation: Urban Waste water treatment directive, the Drinking Water directive and floods Directive.
The report includes projections of future investment needs derive from 3 scenarios:
- Business as usual for water supply and sanitation services
- For water supply: Projections to achieve compliance, efficiency and access
- For sanitation: projections to achieve compliance.
The report also stresses the importance of the new challenges, such as emerging pollutants, which will require additional financial investment due to climate change and the potential need of more stringent standards for drinking water and treated wastewater. Download the report.Read More
The Green Deal call will mobilise research and innovation to foster a just and sustainable societal transition aiming at ‘leaving nobody behind’. Projects are expected to deliver tangible and visible results relatively quickly and show how research and innovation can provide concrete solutions for the Green Deal main priorities.
The call contains eleven areas. The eight thematic areas are reflecting the key work streams of the European Green Deal. In each area, one or more topics addresses the challenges outlined in the respective stream. Topics target specific, high-impact technological and societal innovations that can help advance the sustainable transition relatively quickly. The three horizontal areas (strengthening knowledge; empowering citizens; and international cooperation) cut across the eight thematic areas and offer a longer-term perspective in achieving the transformations set out in the European Green Deal.
The timeline of the European Green Deal call is:
16 September, 10 am – 12h30 pm
The huge challenges the water sector faces on a global scale will require new innovative ways of financing and organizing research and innovation. Water JPI and Water Europe have joined forces to organise a webinar where the different best practices and financial models geared to the water sector will be discussed and your input will be much needed for developing future water policies. This webinar will focus on three main topics:
- Best practices on financing research and innovation.
- The role of industry and water companies promoting innovative solutions.
- The role of financial institutions on promoting innovative solutions.
Why should you attend?
Participants will gain a better understanding of this topic in order to be more successful in design and implementation of new funding programmes in collaboration with private sector parties. The webinar is intended for public and private (research) funding organisations, research organisations and industry (in particular the ones that have experience in collaboration outside Europe) and policy makers.Read More
Turning Wastewater into a Resource – A new European initiative aims to create a “Water-Smart Industrial Symbiosis”
A team of European researchers and engineers initiated the ULTIMATE project to turn wastewater into a resource. This initiative is co-financed by the European Commission and started in June 2020. The aim is 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. In the ambitious concept called “Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis” the consortium promotes recycling in various industrial settings. As a pilot the consortium has selected nine business cases from the international agro-food, petrochemical and biotech sector.
The Aretusa Consortium in Italy, treating residues waters from two communities in Tuscany, has an ambitious vision to increase its annual water process capacity from 3 to 4 million cubic meters. The famous Glenmorangie whiskey distillery in Scotland is another partner that takes part in the pilot. The aim is to extract up to 800mg/L ammonia for usage as fertiliser and to recover heat for use in the distillery processes. Another demo case is the horticulture development area Nieuw Prinsenland in the Netherlands. At this site excess heat during summer is stored and reused to cover the greenhouse heat demand during the wintertime. Furthermore, the project aims to reuse the water and nutrients after treatment of the wastewater to remove pesticides and plant pathogens. The goal is to achieve zero wastewater discharge.
All these approaches promise benefits such as lower costs as well as new types of revenues, by exploiting waste management: not only because it is a legal obligation but because it offers business opportunities. The European Commission has long recognised this potential and adopted the new Circular Economy Action Plan, one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.
“ULTIMATE is a 4-year Horizon2020 project under the EU Water in the Context of the Circular Economy programme”, says senior researcher Gerard van den Berg, coordinator of the ULTIMATE project from KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands. Van den Berg explains that “We have mobilised a strong partnership of water utilities, industry, technology providers, business developers and applied research institutes. We aim to create economic and sustainability value by valorising resources from the water cycle.”
Click here to visit the project website.
To celebrate its 1st anniversary, the European Junior Water Programme announced the launch of a Human Development Programme designed for all professionals in the water sector: The Online Summer Programme 2020 – Dealing with cruel reality: from theory to practice. Agility in the Water Sector.
During the summer programme, participants will take a cross-disciplinary approach to projects and interact in an environment that requires participation in many modes of communication. They will also learn to make real connections and set up new collaborations.
To reach this all, the EJWP has set up an online Summer Programme especially designed for water professionals.
– Personal development programme to get participants ready for the future. Participants will develop skills on how to deal and act in times of uncertainty.
– A great network of like-minded professionals with a passion to create a Water-Smart Society. This creates an added value for future projects.
– Participants will also learn how to put theory in practice and solve different challenges of the water sector.
– By joining the programme, participants will empower themselves and their organisations by taking a leading position and becoming valuable colleagues.
Managers Bonus Programme
The programme also offers a Bonus programme for managers on how to guide their employees in this constantly changing environment.
Learn more about the Summer Programme 2020.