The United Nations 2023 Water Conference was held from 22 to 24 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This significant event, marking the first UN Water Conference in a generation, was co-hosted by the governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan. The organisers released the post-materials of the conference, including statements made during the Plenary Sessions, summaries of the Interactive Dialogues, Special Events, Side Events, and a Stakeholder Engagement and Impact Report of the UN 2023 Water Conference.
Water Europe’s approach is recognised in the documents and key takeaways since the Dushanbe declaration in 2022. In particular, the Summary for the UN 2023 water conference includes two recommendations from the interactive dialogue led by the European Union and China in order to re-define financial principles to make our economies water-, climate-, land- and ecosystems- smart and people-centric:
- All sectoral investment strategies must become water-smart, especially regarding energy, backed by strategic environmental assessments and low-water footprint.
- Investments must be mobilized in water-smart technology and water-risk resilient infrastructures, backed by a sustainable finance policy (e.g. through taxonomies and disclosure rules) and water pricing mechanisms with targeted social safeguards. We should also redirect any existing harmful subsidies.
For more information:
- Press Release | Historic UN Conference marks watershed moment to tackle global water crisis and ensure water-secure future
- Plenary statements
- Interactive Dialogue summaries
- Special Events summaries
- Side Events summaries
- Exhibitions summaries
- Stakeholder Engagement and Impact Report of the UN 2023 Water Conference
- PGA77 Summary for the UN 2023 Water Conference
- Watch the Conference on UN Web TV
Two new Water Europe white papers were broadly announced during our Water Innovation Europe 2023 conference, held on June 20-22 in Brussels.
The Water Europe Working Group Water and Public Health announced the paper ‘The role of water in the issue of public health’ during the Water Projects Europe 2023 side event, held on June 21. You can check the full paper at this link.
On the following day, the Water Europe Working Group Water Beyond Europe announced their paper ‘Building effective water dialogues and alliances making international cooperation in water innovation work’, available at this link.Read More
Interview with Jonas Fredsted Villadsen, Regional Director, Public Affairs & Εxternal Relations at Grundfos & Water Europe Board Member of Multinational Corporations
You are a Water Europe board member of college A ‘Multinational Corporations’- Could you tell us what drives you personally to have this role at Water Europe? What do you want to achieve?
My professional career has been about pushing for positive changes in how we treat the environment. Water Europe is a place to meet and discuss with like-minded who have the same passion. We all are ready to bring our expertise and commitment into play and to help solve Europe’s common water challenges. With the rest of the board members and collaborators at Water Europe, I’m dedicated to giving the water agenda the attention it deserves in European politics. Together we in the coalition at Water Europe highlight that water innovation is essential for the water sector, renewable energy, the European industrial complex, and the European way of life.
Why is it important for Grundfos to be part of Water Europe?
Grundfos is a value-driven company, and our commitment to securing that everyone around the world has access to clean water is deeply rooted in Grundfos’s DNA. To respect, protect and advance the flow of water and to ensure that we have an intelligent answer to the challenges posed by climate change and resulting water scarcity, we are ready to bring our expertise, technology, and commitment into play to help solve our common water challenges. But it is something we cannot do alone. Together with the other members of Water Europe, we share best-practices for bringing water to people and helping Europe live up to our global responsibilities as expressed in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which both we, from Grundfos and Water Europe, are committed to helping achieve.
Which ones do you consider the biggest challenges of the European water sector at the moment, and how do you see us overcoming them?
In the past couple of years, it has become adamant that the challenges we are facing regarding water management. The European Industry is water dependent and is already facing water risks due to, for example, water scarcity, impacting not only jobs but the resilience and competitiveness of the European economy. Solutions are needed in each part of the water cycle to alleviate this. Decarbonising the water cycle is of utmost importance, and we need to speed up the green transitions to reach the climate change targets set out in the European green deal. Green and blue solutions go hand-in-hand, and energy efficiency has great potential in the water sector. Challenges of this magnitude are not to be solved by one company or one sector working alone. We can achieve much more together when working across spheres, joining public, political and private stakeholders.
Building a Water-Smart Society is our vision. Which actions shall we prioritise to make this happen?
Digitalisation. Through digital solutions, we can gather valuable data to build more efficient water systems by detecting leaks and revamping aging infrastructure where needed. With smart sensors and digital solutions, we can cut down on non-revenue water and conserve water. Closing the water loop should be prioritised across Europe. Smart water use involves reusing water and finding ways to best utilise the water available in Europe. Setting up cascading water systems where fit-for-purpose water is reused in industries, homes and irrigation will enhance water availability, putting less pressure on our precious water resource, and alleviate the impact of droughts in places where water scarcity is becoming an issue. With Water-Smart solutions, excess heat from industrial processes and data centers can be put into the district heating grids. These solutions will play an essential part in securing the green transition.Read More
Are you developing an innovative solution for climate adaptation? The EU-funded project, ARSINOE is seeking for solutions that can help regions and communities across Europe increase their resilience to extreme heat, water scarcity, drought, water pollution, and/or floods.
The aim of this open tender is to identify promising or mature innovations that can help ARSINOE’s case study regions become more climate resilient. Applications will be evaluated, and the selected ones can receive up to EUR 50.000 for demonstration activities in the Main River (Germany) and Canary Islands (Spain) case studies, and up to EUR 25.000 in the Albanian demarcation of the Ohrid & Prespa Lakes case study.
Have you started getting ready for the summer holiday? Before you go, make sure to mark your calendar for our Water Knowledge Europe 2023 event, coming up on 17-19 October in Brussels. Make sure to join us on the 18th for the main Networking and Brokerage event and our side events: Info session on the future Water KIC (17/10), Workshop Horizon Europe Work Programme 2025-2027 priorities and Water Projects Europe “ZeroPollution4Water Cluster” (19/10). We are looking forward to seeing you!
Why Should You Join WKE2023?
✅ Discover the opportunities presented by the Work Programme 2024 of Horizon Europe;
✅ Gain invaluable guidance for crafting winning project proposals;
✅ Engage and network during the B2B meetings with potential partners and coordinators;
✅ Have your say for the development of the next Work Programme of Horizon Europe;
✅ Discover the Action Plan of the ZeroPollution4Water Cluster.
Check the official webpage of the event here.Read More
On the 6th of July 2023, the European Commission presented the 2023 Strategic Foresight Report, which analyses how to put ‘sustainability and people’s wellbeing at the heart of Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy’ and suggests ten concrete actions to achieve this aim.
What’s special with the report is that water is mentioned for the first time as follows:
☑ Environmental resources, which are not infinite, form the very foundation of economic activity: for example, 72% of the 4.2 million companies in the euro area are highly dependent on at least one nature-related service such as pollination, clean water, healthy soil, or timber.
☑ In particular, building on the existing mechanism for screening current strategic dependencies, the EU and its Member States should further develop tools to assess future dependencies across strategic sectors (e.g. health, food, digital technologies, energy, space, water).
☑ Large-scale action is needed to strengthen EU’s water- resilience, by addressing pollution and the increasing demands by agriculture, energy production, industry, or households. Measures to improve the governance of water (including appropriate pricing and allocation mechanisms), its efficient use, the development of sustainable alternative sources, the elimination of water pollution, and ensuring equal access are key.
Furthermore, the report outlines that additional investments of over EUR 620 billion annually will be needed to meet the objectives of the Green Deal and RepowerEU. There are issues with unlocking private financing for Europe to meet the Green Deal goals and the EU will work on this – mainly at EIB level.
Therefore, the report demonstrates the need to take into consideration a Water-Smart Strategy in the recast of the legislation for:
– the industrial emissions directive
– the nature restauration law
– the urban wastewater treatment directive
The report will strengthen our strategic autonomy and foster our competitive asset. To read more and download the report, click here.Read More
The WIE2023 post-event video has just been released, allowing viewers to embark on a captivating journey through the most remarkable moments of the conference. Watch it at this link.
The 2023 edition of Water Innovation Europe was a great success, attracting more than 180 participants from all aspects of the water sector to discuss the need for a Water-Smart Strategy. It was the right time to ask the question: EU Water Policy: What’s Next? Over 55 speakers took the floor at the WIE2023 plenary sessions and side events to address water-related topics and offer new insights on how to foster water innovation in Europe.
Read the full announcement to recap the 2023 edition.
The European Commission adopted yesterday a proposal that is strongly linked to water quality and water quantity management in the EU: a proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience (Soil Monitoring Law).
Improving soil health is an essential way forward to strengthen disaster prevention and management. Strengthening response capacities on fires, floods, soil erosion and droughts is not sufficient. Managing droughts and water scarcity requires innovative approaches, combining more traditional water and drought risk management responses with a focus on building larger ecosystem resilience.
Healthy soils retain up to 25% of their mass in water, contributing to disaster risk prevention and acting as long-term reservoirs to refill groundwater bodies. The natural capacity of resilient soils, wetlands and forests to store water is higher than what could be achieved through costly new artificial reservoirs. Improved water retention can mitigate floods as well as droughts and make the environment more resilient to landslides and soil erosion. Overall, nature-based solutions for flood prevention, for instance, have high benefit-cost ratios. Healthy soils with a high-water infiltration rate also support the establishment of wildfire-preventing and -resistant vegetation cover.
This proposal for a Directive on Soil Monitoring and Resilience, when adopted, will put the EU on a pathway to healthy soils by 2050, by gathering data on the health of soils and making it available to farmers and other soil managers. The law also makes sustainable soil management the norm and addresses situations of unacceptable health and environment risks due to soil contamination. The proposal is accompanied by the impact assessment and guidance on EU funding opportunities for healthy soils. Read more about the proposal here.
Water Europe has released a dedicated position paper on ‘Strengthening the Water-Soil Nexus for a Resilient Ecosystem and a Circular Society.’ Read it here.
Healthy soil is essential for water management due to its ability to absorb and retain water. It helps prevent runoff and erosion by acting as a natural sponge, thereby reducing the risk of flooding. Additionally, healthy soil facilitates water filtration, ensuring cleaner water by removing impurities and contaminants. Healthy soil is vital for the achievement of a Water-Smart Society.Read More
The Water Europe’s Working Group Human Capital is organising a new series of webinars to increase your skills and train yourself in the water sector.
The first webinar will be held digitally on June 29 from 10:00 to 12:00. This webinar is dedicated to the Practical School with WQeMS, which is an EU-funded project working to provide an operational Water Quality Emergency Monitoring Service to the water utilities industry in relation to the quality of the “water we drink”.
The webinar will offer you a guided hands-on experience of the WQeMS Platform, discussing real examples of services exploitation and their benefits. The overall objective of WQeMS is to generate knowledge to support the existing decision support systems and contribute to the Drinking Water Directive.
If you are interested to attend the webinar, please register at this link.Read More
🏆 SME Award: Hydroko
🏆 Water Governance Award: BlueArk
🏆 Water Technology & Infrastructure Award: Águas do Tejo Atlântico
🏆 Digital Water Award: LACROIX
🏆 Global Water Challenges Award: Agua DB