MEPs call for a comprehensive EU water strategy
The European Parliament adopted a set of recommendations following a summer of devastating droughts, forest fires and other extreme weather phenomena across Europe. MEPs called for an EU framework on climate adaptation and a climate resilience “stress test” for key infrastructure in order to improve our emergency response. Improving our food security, sustainable water and forest management play an essential role in the context of climate adaptation.
Beside adapting our food system to make it resilient in the long term, the text calls on the Commission to present a comprehensive EU water strategy. MEPs ask for general efforts to reduce the overall water use and “to increase the use of water reuse techniques, water-saving irrigation technologies and practices […] across all industrial, residential and commercial water cycles and applications”.
MEPs also call “for the amendment of current legislation to encourage the reuse of water in industries that use a lot of water while respecting the strictest quality criteria” (point 49). Moreover, it underlines the direct impact of water efficiency on the energy-water nexus (point 50).
You can find out more in the text adopted 15th September 2022 (Water, point 47 to 52).Read More
Exploiting synergies of the water and energy nexus
On September 22, Water Europe co-organised with CDP and European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) the online webinar ”A Legislative Framework Supportive of the Water-Energy Nexus: Exploiting Synergies Between Water and Energy Savings, organised in the context of the European Sustainable Energy Week, and hosted by Dentons Global Advisers.
During the webinar, policymakers and stakeholders explored water and energy efficiency and discuss synergies to allow the emergence of a coherent regulatory framework.
The discussion took place in Brussels and online, from 12:00 to 13:30 CET highlighting the following points:
☑ We need to better integrate the water-energy nexus not only in the energy legislation but also in the water legislation to reduce the economic impact of water risks;
☑ We need to improve our water productivity and mandatory water efficiency assessment can support these objectives in line with the EU Green Deal;
☑ Digital water is key as it contributes to reducing the investment costs;
☑ The silo mentality between water and energy should be broken in order to save money and strengthen collaboration between the two sectors;
☑ Water really need the 3 S: solidarity, water storage and water security;
☑ A coherent regulatory framework supportive of the water-energy nexus will contribute to the achievement of a Water-Smart Society;
If you want to learn more about the topic, Water Europe co-signed a joint declaration with the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), namely ”Unleash the Potential of Water-Energy Nexus in the Energy Efficiency Directive”.
You can also watch the full session of the webinar here.Read More
4 Takeaways from the Workshop ‘Water-Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs) for the Green and Digital Transition’
On September 21, Water Europe organised the Workshop ‘Water-Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs) for the Green and Digital Transition’ during the Open Living Labs Days, held in Turin on September 20-23.
The workshop intended to highlight in the OLLD 2022, building on the workshop implemented at the OLLD 2019, how the Water-Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs) can generate the ideal multi-contextual, empirical real-world environments and the systemic innovation approach. The most important takeaways from the discussion were:
✅ WOOLs can be an effective instrument to engage citizens in a real-life setting;
✅ Digital Twins can be a successful instrument for scenario planning and the identification of options;
✅ Combining Water-Oriented Living Labs with Digital Twins serve the purpose of establishing Green and Digital Transformation and a Water-Smart Society with engaged citizens;
✅ The Twin approach enhances and facilitates the connectivity between water-oriented living labs throughout Europe.
The projects involved during the Workshop were: Rewaise, ULTIMATE, Water Mining, B-Watersmart, Wider Uptake.Read More
Is air pollution affecting water quality?
From rainfall patterns to monsoon intensities, air pollution can significantly affect the water cycle. Particulate matter can reduce the amount of solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface, affecting the rate at which water evaporates and moves into the atmosphere. They also affect clouds’ formation and water-carrying capacity.
For example, changes in intensity and distribution of rainfall in India and China have been linked to particulate matter pollution. Some areas experience more rain than usual, often in concentrated bursts, while others experience less.
Particulate matter also affects the trajectory and intensity of monsoons in Asia, and have intensified droughts in China, North America and South Asia. European and North American pollution affect rainfall and drought in the Sahel. To the casual observer, these impacts seem to blend in with more general environmental variability, but their impacts on agriculture, water reservoirs and biodiversity are significant.Read More
€65 million for a better water and wastewater infrastructure in Romania
The European Commission has recently approved a contribution of more than €65 million from the 2014-2020 Cohesion Fund for a better water and wastewater infrastructure in the Medias, Agnita and Dumbraveni regions, in Sibiu County, Romania.
The investment aims to:
– upgrade the control systems to monitor the water quality,
– create 33 permanent jobs for staff for the maintenance and operation of the infrastructure’
– reduce pollutants in water sources and ensure a continuous supply of safe drinking water,
– have a long-lasting positive impact on public health while contributing to compliance with the EU Drinking Water and Urban Wastewater Directives.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Cohesion Policy is about concretely improving the living conditions for citizens in the EU in all regions. This project will significantly upgrade the living conditions of more than 35,000 citizens by improving the water and wastewater network.” You can read more details here.Read More
New Online Webinar ”Smart Tools to tackle water scarcity” coming up on September 29
In collaboration with Climate-KIC, Water Europe is co-organising the new online Webinar ”Smart Tools to tackle water scarcity” coming up on the 29th September 2022 from 15:30 to 17:00 pm (GTM+2).
During the webinar, a group of experts will discuss issues related to the use of smart tools to tackle water scarcity in the southern European context with a series of short presentations on urban, industrial and agricultural application of digital solutions, and the barriers to their application.
The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with distinguished guests from the tourism, agriculture and utilities sectors, policy makers and researchers. The group has received support Diego Intrigliolo Molina, Katarina Kostic and Maria Jesus Blanco.
If you are interested in joining the event, please register here.Read More
Rainwater everywhere on Earth unsafe to drink due to forever chemicals
According to new research, rainwater almost everywhere on Earth is considered unsafe to drink, due to the PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’.
Forever chemicals are Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a large family of human-made chemicals that don’t occur in nature. They are called “forever chemicals” because they can stick around in the environment for decades.
PFAS are used in a wide range of consumer products due to their ability to repel both grease and water, including paper and cardboard food packaging, textiles, cosmetics and electronics.
The health risks of being exposed to these substances have been researched widely. Scientists say that they could be linked to fertility problems, increased risk of cancer and developmental delays in children. Find out more info here.Read More
Green Deal Going Local: new call for best practices and climate commitments
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is launching a new call for best practices to its members and alternates, Young Elected Politicians (YEPs) and members the CoR network of local and regional councillors to collect and promote low-carbon and sustainable projects as well as climate commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from local and regional authorities across the EU.
Does your region or city have a specific project that targets the objectives of the European Green Deal? Has your region or city set a target to reduce GHG emissions by 2030 or 2050? Then this new call is right for you.
To share their recently achieved or ongoing projects and initiatives on the following themes à complete this survey: Climate adaption, Climate mitigation, Circular economy, Energy related matters, Clean mobility, Zero pollution, Reforestation and urban greening or Green budgets
During the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP27) climate commitments from local and regional authorities will be gatheredRead More
Water Europe at the World Water Week 2022
Water Europe will be present at the World Water Week 2022, taking place from August 23 to September 01, online and in Stockholm. This new edition will offer opportunities to connect face to face and propose online components to engage worldwide.
On August 30th, WE Innovation Water Policy Manager, Loïc Charpentier, will be speaking on behalf of the EU Water Alliance, at the session ”Creating New Champions: Enhancing Links to Achieve SDG 6 Across” happening from 14:00 to 15:30 CET, in the room 353.
The session will provide information and evidence-based recommendations about how to increase the political prioritization of the water and sanitation agenda, both within other sectors and with high-level decision-makers around the world. Find out more about the session here.Read More
Climate change is intensifying the water cycle, bringing more powerful storms and flooding
In recent years, India, Australia and Western Europe have been hardly affected by powerful storms and extreme floods. The impact of climate change on extreme water-related events like this is becoming increasingly evident.
Scientists around the world studied how the water cycle has been intensifying. As the planet warms this will continue to intensify.