The Water Footprint Network redesigned and recently launched its online Water Footprint Assessment Tool, a free interactive tool that enables the development of exact insights and solutions for efficient water management, through the use of the latest global scientific data on water-related to commodities, crops, geographic areas, and water sources.
A water footprint is a measurement of water used to produce specific goods and services; it can also indicate how much water is being consumed in a country or region, or from a river basin or aquifer.
Response Formulation for optimal water use is a key feature in the geographic assessment function of the new tool. Different crops can be evaluated against geographical standards of water use. Data-based suggestions are then provided on best approaches, such as improved irrigation techniques, sector synergies, or use of different materials and structures.
“The data in our tool is specific, actionable and understandable for water use and supply chains. It features much more than just a risk assessment, and can increase sustainability in water uses of companies, governments, environmental initiatives and more,” said Michiel van Heek, Developer in the Assessment Tool initiative.
World Water Day 2020 on 22 March highlights the linkage of water and climate change and is a key time to relaunch this tool. “A warming climate adds urgency to monitoring water use, as we’ll see larger water footprints across sectors. And as water use increases, our supply remains roughly the same, so use of smart approaches with our Assessment Tool facilitates more fair, sustainable and profitable practices for everyone,” said Dr. Rick Hogeboom, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network.
Data in action
One click on the Water Footprint Assessment Tool opens 15 years of scientific data development on resources for uses including:
1) farmers ensuring long-term yields,
2) investors analysing and navigating risks
3) companies planning sustainable business
4) communities reducing environmental impact.
“Water footprint assessment not only serves the direct interest of companies but aims at sustainable productivity in a broader perspective,” said Michiel van Heek, “With more data, we can increasingly benefit commercial operations, while leaving more water for others to use.”
Leadership in water assessment
The Water Footprint Network has teamed up with the expanding Water Footprint Implementation organization since 2017 to offer this best-in-class Assessment Tool. Updates in data and tool versions will continue to accommodate new developments in data and technology, and users from around the world will be able to contribute to the ongoing development of this online tool soon.
Examples of Water Footprint Assessment Tool applications:
Response Formulation: Cotton in India
Sustainability: Hydrograph of the Orange Basin in South AfricaRead More
This month, the European Commission has released €980 million of funding for European energy infrastructure projects. The funding comes from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure. According to the Commission, this is a key instrument to deliver on the Green Deal because energy infrastructure has a key role in the transition to a climate-neutral economy.
To apply for the CEF Energy funding, projects must first be considered Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), which need to have a significant impact on at least two EU countries and must increase competitiveness, enhance the EU’s energy security and contribute to sustainable development. As the Green Deal has the goal of climate neutrality, financial assistance provided under this call for proposals should maximise its added value towards decarbonisation.
The deadline to apply for the 2020 CEF Energy call for proposals is 27 May 2020. Learn more about the decision here.Read More
This month, the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the EU climate pact. This initiative aims to consult the public and interested stakeholders in order to launch a “Climate Pact” in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Water Europe welcomes this initiative to consider the engagement of the public, as it’s very important to instil a new climate culture, awareness for climate action with a cross-cutting and local approach.
However, the selected areas (energy efficiency buildings, sustainable mobility and greening urban areas) do not reflect the importance of water in the Green Deal objectives. Water Europe is, therefore, preparing a reply based on its SIRA in collaboration with its ambassadors. This public consultation is an opportunity to:
Remind the importance of water to make the green deal a success,
Support our innovative tools for an inclusive dialogue such as the water-related Living Labs,
Set in the European agenda the importance of human capital in the water sector and the education of citizens to water-related challenges in line with the Green Deal.
Deadline for the consultation: 27 May 2020.
Click here for WE Atlas of the EU Water-Oriented Living Labs.
For more information, please contact Loic Charpentier.Read More
The United Nations Water (UN Water) released the 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report under the topic ‘Water and Climate Change’, following the World Water Day’s observance on the 22nd of March, 2020.
The goal of the report, according to UN Water, is to help the water community to tackle the challenges of climate change and inform the climate change community about how improved water management offers opportunities for adaptation and mitigation.
The report stresses that climate change will affect water needed for basic human needs. The affect on the availability, quality, and quantity of water will weaken the access of billions of people to their basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation.
As climate change can alter the water cycle, energy production, food security, human health, economic development, and poverty reduction will be at risk, jeopardizing the goal of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, a UN blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.Read More
This World Water Day 2020 is about Water and Climate Change. Floods, droughts, water crises are no longer catastrophic scenarios but a reality we are all faced with.
We cannot afford to experience all the effects of climate change to realise the value of water for our society and economy. One only needs to consider the increased cost that falls on our societies’ shoulders to cope with the effects of climate change, to understand how tangible and impactful the value of water can be.
Using water more efficiently will reduce the greenhouse gases, will help to make Europe climate neutral, will contribute to the EU Green deal. We need science and research to develop innovative solutions and technologies, to increase water efficiency and to make our cities resilient against climate change events.
Today is a day to celebrate water. It’s a day to raise awareness about the urgency to act. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future. At Water Europe, every day is such an occasion. Every day, we are working with more and more of you. Every day, we are paving the way for the Water-Smart Society. For us, every day is a World Water Day.
What our Water Europe ambassadors say about the WWD2020
“The Water and Climate Working Group in Water Europe actively provides a broad platform for collaboration and application of science to develop innovative solutions and technologies and raise awareness in society to increase sustainability and resilience. This is especially important as climate change is affecting our society, economy and environment in many ways. Extreme events, such as droughts and floods, and changes in the water cycle are increasing in many parts of the world. Changes making it more difficult to cope with local situations and plan ahead.” – Working Group Water & Climate
Coupling advanced water technology with the power of nature-based solutions and with control technology to make hybrid water infrastructure solutions will allow us to minimize the environmental footprint of urbanization while maximizing the quality of our urban environment; Public, ecologic and economic health will benefit from this green deal. The WE Vision Leadership Team promotes this development by bringing people together and triggering discussions on the opportunities, challenges, research needs and to nudging options for the Commission and for others to strengthen the leading position of European players in the market for hybrid green+grey+smart solutions for water supply, sanitation, drainage and water management in the urban environment. – Water Europe Vision Leadership Team ‘ Hybrid Grey & Green Infra’
International Water Association will host a webinar on the 1st of April at 13h (Amsterdam time) addressing the management of risks from digitalisation in the water sector. The webinar’s target audience is utility managers, researchers, policy experts, and consultants.
Digitalisation is a theme that is reshaping the water sector and enabling urban services to connect through the value chain. However, amid several opportunities to the water sector, including increase in resilience and sustainability, digitalisation also brings potential threats to infrastructure and service delivery systems. This requires that the water sector prepares new approaches to manage risks, including cyber-security.
The objectives of the webinar are to bring awareness to the importance of risk management and identification of time-sensitive recovery measures related to the threats linked to the digitalisation of water utilities. The webinar will also help identify how to increase resilience in implementing new digital tools in water utility operations, among developing and emerging economies.
The panelists of the webinar are:
Harsha Ratnaweera – Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
David Tipping – Principal Associate, Associates for International Management Services
Rita Ugarelli – Chief Researcher Scientist, SINTEF Building and Infrastructure
Christos Makropoulos – Associate Professor, National Technical University of Athens
To sign up for the webinar, click here.Read More
The European Commission announced a new Industrial Strategy with the goal to help Europe’s industry lead the transitions towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. Among the proposed future actions, the Strategy includes the launch of a Clean Hydrogen Alliance.
The objective of the Alliance is to accelerate the decarbonisation of the industry while maintaining industrial leadership. The launch of the Clean Hydrogen Alliance will be followed by Low-Carbon Industries and Industrial Clouds and Platforms and raw materials.
According to Euractiv’s report, hydrogen is a candidate for an initiative that has the goal of promoting the production of clean gases in the EU. This production supports the EU’s initiative to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The Alliance is expected to be launched in the Summer.
The Industrial Strategy is a new approach to the European industrial policy, which aims at supporting big and small companies, start-ups, research centres, service providers, suppliers, and social partners. The initiative also creates steps to address issues of the single market.
To read a full report on the new Industrial Strategy and the industrial Policy package, click here.Read More
Given the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the measures taken by the Belgian Government, Water Europe’s (WE) staff is working from home from the 16th of March until the 27th of March. The operations of Water Europe continue to function with no impact on its members and network.
Having found alternative ways to keep its services at their highest level and implement effectively its strategy the next period of time, Water Europe’s activities go on normally through digital tools that allow the team to connect, exchange and support members.
The decision to stay at home and practice social distancing follows Water Europe’s latest communication on its two events’ cancellation Water Market Europe 2020 and International Water Dialogues Days 2020. Water Europe Working Groups, though, are still going ahead with their scheduled meetings for the 19th of March through videoconference to discuss their annual plans and arrange the next steps of their work.
The choice to prolong social distancing will depend on further developments of the new disease that is considered a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The goal of social distancing is to help decrease the rapid spread of the virus and to avoid putting pressure of health care services.
To contact our team, please click here to find email addresses of the secretariat. Remember, you can always reach us through our social media platforms, Twitter and LinkedIn.Read More
Innovative European SMEs and start-ups that target markets of developing countries, large emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, etc.) and developed countries can apply until March 31st for the 2nd Viability Assessment Projects (VAP) funding.
The call for funding is organised by INNOWWIDE, which works to bring innovative European SMEs to the forefront of international markets by funding VAPs in cooperation with local stakeholders around the world, creating the conditions to increase the uptake of European innovative solutions in markets outside of Europe.
The budget available for the 2nd Call is €4.2M to be divided into approximately one third per target country group. Each approved VAP will receive a fixed grant amount of €60,000, representing a maximum of 70% of total eligible costs (staff, consumables, equipment, subcontracting, others) which must be a minimum of €86,000.
Results and grant signature will be available at the end of June 2020. Project implementation is until Spring 2021. To apply, interested companies can access the INNONWWIDE application portal.
Learn more about the application process by reading the VAP Application and Guidelines.Read More
European Commission welcomes applications of startups and SMEs with solutions to tackle Coronavirus outbreak
Startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have technologies and innovations that could help the treatment, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the coronavirus outbreak can apply now for the EIC Accelerator, part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot.
The European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs to apply to the next round of funding of the EIC Accelerator, which has a budget of €164m. Applications are welcome until Wednesday, 18th of March at 17h (Brussels local time).
According to the EC, this is a “bottom-up” strategy with no predefined thematic priorities. Applicants with relevant innovations to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak will go through the same evaluation criteria as other applicants.
However, in the case of the Coronavirus recent developments, the Commission will fast track the awarding of EIC grants and blended finance (combining grant and equity investment) to Coronavirus relevant innovations. The Commission is also looking to facilitate access to other funding and investment sources.
Click here to learn more about how to apply for this opportunity.Read More