In 2017, WssTP was recognised as official associated partner of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and energy. As one of the world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory.
WssTP’s partnership with the Covenant of Mayors was a first important step for our platform to build bridges between our work and the cities, the water-related challenges they face and the solutions that are in need of. Involving stakeholders in the governance process is a factor of paramount
importance, as it is, also, indicated in the new WssTP vision 2030 which highlights multi-stakeholder governance as a critical component to achieve the transition to a water-smart society.
Regions and municipalities are, both physically and socially, the closest institutions to the citizen. They provide a direct link to the citizens, who together with the public sector, industry and academia constitute the Quadruple Helix. Local authorities are, thanks, in no small part, to their proximity to the citizen, key players in both water management and the enhancement of the circular economy. Many supranational entities, including the EU, UN, and the OECD publicly recognize that the municipality represents the principal tool of implementation for supranational strategies.
Therefore, municipal and regional administrations, no matter their nationality, need to explain, discuss and, indeed, involve their own citizens in issues that affect water management and the implementation of water-based legislation.
As the voice and promotor of water-related RTD and innovation in Europe, WssTP has decided to develop a new college this summer to involve public authorities who demonstrate an interest in the water sector.
WssTP demonstrates its ambition to create a full, open and transparent dialogue between all stakeholders. The launching event will take place in Brussels on the 5th of March 2019.
Municipalities, cities, regions and association of municipalities interested in this workshop, they are invited to contact Loic Charpentier, for more information on the upcoming event.
The challenges, we are facing, call for the development of water smart cities where urbanization goes hand in hand with sustainable water management
Why is it important to have a Cluster dedicated to the theme ‘Water Smart Cities’?
In Europe, as well as, globally the trend is for more and more people to live in cities. This means that the demand for clean water and proper sanitation in cities is rising dramatically. Urban development, also, increases the area of paved land, which – combined with more heavy rainfall and rising water levels from climate change – increases the risk of flooding. Other cities have to react to water scarcity caused by overuse and droughts.
These challenges call for the development of water smart cities where urbanization goes hand in hand with sustainable water management. Thus, they will form the basis for the work of the Water Smart Cities Cluster.
How is the Cluster ‘Smart Water Cities’ going to drive the way to the implementation of the WssTP Water Vision 2030?
The Cluster Smart Water Cities will focus on the concept of Living Labs where the different stakeholders of the urban water cycle contribute to the process of making this more sustainable. The stakeholders will, among others include municipalities and other local government organizations, utilities, universities, industry and citizens etc.
For the coming 2 years, our main focus will be on the development of the WssTP Smart Water Cities Living Lab concept. In cooperation with other WssTP clusters, we have already initiated an inventory of existing Water Living Labs throughout Europe. The results of this will be presented at conferences and other events. Existing living labs will be invited to participate in this process.
What are the key actions the Cluster has identified to bring
research and innovations from the SIRA to the market?
In close cooperation with the WssTP Working Groups, the Smart-Water Cities Cluster will focus on the use of existing or new Living Labs to act as sites for demonstration of new solutions, exchange of best practices, identification of emerging needs, and broadening the vision building across Europe.
Attention will be given on the reduction of water use for urban purposes, the development of new business models, digitalization, conscious water management in urban planning, enhanced resilience against climate change, conversion of wastewater treatment plants to resource recovery facilities and participatory governance models towards fully circular models and practices of water.Read More
On the 11th of December, the Water Test Network had its official launch at the Scotland House in Brussels. “How will the project deliver innovation into the water sector?” This official launch was all about answering this question and presenting the opportunities that the project can provide.
The Water Test Network is a project funded by the ERDF (€3.61million) as part of the Interreg North-West Europe programme. The project is a collaboration between partners across North West Europe (NWE) which will establish a transnational network of testing facilities to enable SMEs in NWE to develop, test and verify new innovative. Its main aim is to speed up market uptake of innovative water technologies. The project runs from March 2018 until December 2021 and offers SMEs a fully-funded integrated package of support which will be tailored to their needs. The Water Test Network project is now ready to receive applications. If you are an SME in NWE and want to make use of the transnational network of testing facilities and the accompanying services, please click here.Read More
The intrinsic link between agriculture and water quantity is the central challenge for water smart societies’
By Jochen Froebrich, Leader of WssTP Cluster ‘Water-Smart Rural’
Why is it important to have a cluster dedicated to the theme “Water for smart rural?
Rural areas are at the heart of the cultural heritage in Europe and with its landscapes and environmental conditions, they potentially offer a high quality of life. Smaller cities could be attractive places to work and live, if they could provide a first-class infrastructure, inspiring socio-economic conditions and actual perspectives for jobs and growth. Instead, Europe is facing a continuous abandonment of rural areas and urban sprawl.
It is essential to have happy, healthy European Citizens, especially in rural areas, for the future of the European Union. The initiation of new jobs and sustainable growth in rural areas, hence, requires a systemic innovation with rethinking new business models in a circular and bio-based economy, an ongoing innovation effort and a true recognition of environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and human sustainability. As agriculture is the largest water consumer of river and ground water, the intrinsic link between agriculture, water quantity is the central challenge for water smart societies. Within the Cluster “Water Smart Rural Areas”, WssTP recognizes the importance of water security, systemic innovation in water consumption and the recovery of resources in a circular economy.
How is the Cluster ‘Water Smart Rural’ going to drive the way to the implementation of the WssTP Water Vision 2030?
The Cluster Water Smart Rural strives for water security, innovation in water use, and happy, healthy European citizens. Innovation towards water security must be a permanent process that has to involve European Citizens in a multi actor effort from the beginning. To reach this aim, it requires a fundamental change in research and development. Joint collective learning amongst all payers in the field of innovation must be a central part in the entire transformation process.
To facilitate the ongoing learning, the Cluster Water Smart Rural adopts the concepts of living labs that allows the exchange of best practices, emerging needs, and broadening the vision building across Europe.
The Cluster Water Smart Rural will focus over the next years on three critical areas of innovation in the field of circular economy and inclusive growth :
1) Increase of Waste Water Reuse in the AgriFood Sector 2) Advancing Nutrient Recovery from organic waste 3) Contributing to water security at the scale of river basins
Activities within the Living Lab will provide room for contributions from multiple working group and exchanges with other clusters. To gain first-hand experience and to offer WssTP members a place to unpack the concept of Living Labs, we will first consolidate the Living Lab on Waste Water Reuse – Learn to offer (L2O), a case study driven co-learning platform that will deploy insights how to advance new Agri-Food business opportunities in the field of waste water reuse. The L2O Living Lab embraces the concept of “multiple waters for multiple uses” and aims at generating new labelled water-footprint emblematic products via real business cases at several selected transnational regional levels.
What are the key actions the Cluster has identified to bring research and innovations from the SIRA to the market?
Advancing waste water reuse, nutrient recovery and water security in river basins is less a technological challenge than a complex interaction of creating new markets, alternatives in water consumptions, consumer habits, regulations, and creating a common vision. The Cluster will utilize the Living Labs as a science policy business interface to foster the innovation and market up-take of research and business development. Key actions will include: Foster the description of Demo Sites and activities at the local living lab nodes ; Map innovative business opportunities ; Launch the series of WssTP Think Tank events to advance the exchange of lessons learned amongst the local living lab nodes.
The L2O Living lab will host the WssTP Think Tank events – Co-innovation in Agribusiness and Waste Water reuse – in Brussels from early 2019 onwards. Additional regional events will be hosted around the local Living Lab nodes.Read More
Written by Wim Van Vierssen, Professor Emeritus & WssTP Vice-President. Article published in the “Journal of European Auditors”.
Cooperation in the field of public audit is the main theme of this ECA Journal. But how does cooperation look like in other areas? What is the approach to cooperation in another area that is clearly vital for everybody: water? Professor Wim van Vierssen, previously CEO of KWR Watercycle Research Institute and current vice-president of the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform, has worked almost his whole life with issues related to water. In this ECA Journal Long Read, he presents specificities of the water sector at large and how such a cross border issue as water, often organised locally, has led to multiple cooperation efforts, with success. And he also makes the link with the role of the EU and of public sector audits in this area.
To read the full article of WssTP Vice-President, please download the document here.Read More
|The EIC Horizon Prizes offer money to those who can solve some of society’s most difficult challenges, without detailing how this should be achieved or who should achieve it. These prizes are open to anyone willing to think outside the box across sectors and disciplines.
A total value of EUR 5 million will be allocated in five awards of EUR 1 million each for the best, proven, cost-effective tech-based solution for humanitarian aid in five distinct thematic areas:
– Shelter and related assistance
– Water, sanitation and hygiene
– Health and medical care
– Other forms of humanitarian aid (“open category”)
Cooperation between international organisations and NGOs responding to crises, beneficiaries and local actors, research and scientific communities and the private sector is strongly encouraged in the context of this Prize. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2020 and the contest is open to all legal entities from all countries.
For more information, please click here.
|WssTP participated at theResource Nexus Policy & Cluster Workshop that took place at EASMEpremises on the 27th of November.
The workshop started with a short presentation of the three Horizon2020 projects organising the event, SIM4NEXUS, MAGIC and DAFNE and featured four panel sessions that brought forward, amongst others, the following key messages: Nexus thinking requires both mind-set change but also institutional change; it is necessary to break existing technical, social, regulatory and institutional silos. These silos put challenges to the governance of the nexus.
There are different ways of producing knowledge; to address theWEF nexus governance we need not only technical knowledge but also tap into other types of knowledge: multi-actor engagement is necessary. Contextualisation: When it comes to nexus governance, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach but it needs to be tailored to each situation.
There is limited conceptual and practical guidance about the nexus. Two main challenges that are to be addressed:
1) the complexity of the nexus itself and,
2) the issue of policy fragmentation.
The workshop concluded with some follow-up actions, including a possible event in 2019, and the launch of a website of the NexusProject Cluster, which is accessible here. The presentations of theworkshop can be found here.
To read the whole overview from the workshop, please click here.
Curtis & Wyss Group is pleased to invite you to the European Smart Water Summit scheduled for December 6-7th, 2018 in Berlin.
This premier B2B event will bring together experts from all levels of the value chain to
ensure maximum knowledge transfer and professional exchange; elaborate on the best practices within the companion industry, hear and learn about their experiences on latest trends on companion development, to network and enjoy excellent mix of case studies, interactive panel discussions, speed networking and workshops.
Who Should Attend this summit?
• Chief of Operations • VP Industry Strategy • Head of Digitalization • Head of Innovation
• Metering Strategy Manager • Leakage Strategy Manager • Water Efficiency Manager
• Water Quality Manager • Director of Asset Management • Sales Director • Marketing Manager
• Business Development • Network Manager • Asset Manager • Solution Provider
• Innovation Manager
From Industries Such as:
• Utilities • Manufacturing • Agriculture • Renewables & Environment • Construction
• Water Infrastructure • Water resource management • Information Technology and Services
• Local government/Municipality • Utility • Environmental Services • Renewables & Environment
• Ministry/Government • Financier • Regulator • NGO • Civil Engineering, BIM
• Utility Association • Municipal Association
Interested ? To attend the European Smart Water Summit 2018, register through the online form by clicking here
To download the full programme, click Here
Tomas Michel, WssTP President delivered a keynote speech at IV Diálogos del Agua organized by CAF, Development Bank of Latin America on the 23rd of October in Madrid.
‘How Innovation can improve urban water management and promote circular economy’ was the theme of this year’s edition that attracted representatives from the Spanish Government, basin authorities, water organisations, large companies in the water sector and high-level stakeholders from Paraguay, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Brasil, Peru, and Argentina.
WssTP President presented an overview of the EU’s RTD effort per Framework Programme from 2002 to 2026 and the European Commission’s report on Science, Research and Innovation performance of the EU 2018. Tomas also spoke about the WssTP Water Vision 2030, explaining its four innovation tiers: Value of Water; Digital Water; Different Waters for different uses and users; Grey and Green Infrastructure and highlighting the three main WssTP objectives:
- Create a podium for water in EU
- Help develop excellent water research in EU
- Promote Living labs as the ideal tools to boost innovation
At the end of his speech, emphasis was put on the WssTP Living Labs as water mission driven and open -test environments to foster innovation, and on a potential future collaboration between WssTP and LATAM.
To follow the whole speech of WssTP president, please click here.Read More
On the 17th October, WssTP was represented at the 3rd edition of the Financial Time Water Summit by Geoff Townsend, Cluster Leader of the “Water Smart Industry” theme during the roundtable session on “new competitive edge: creating shared value through collective action”.
In association with WWF, the conference focused on businesses, investment opportunities, bankable water projects and other innovative financial solutions from a corporate perspective. It was a great occasion for participants to interact and debate with Executives from Heineken company, CDP, Nestle Water, MARS, WWF, Mondi South Africa and many other representatives from big organisations.
Geoff Townsend took part in the Watershed Moments session, hosting the roundtable session on “new competitive edge: creating shared value through collective action” that addressed how tackling larger-scale shared water challenges can benefit both businesses and the communities they operate in and how companies can work together and with government bodies to improve water availability.
With main traversing message of the session that “Water is a common shared value and needs collective actions”, Geoff raised key questions on how stakeholders can actually get engaged in collective actions that generate value for all and how making a societal improvement can generate profits for organisations.
Regarding companies operating in emerging markets suffering from poverty and endemic societal issues, Geoff particularly stressed out that ’It is vital to help them by demonstrating the value they can generate in a collective open transparent way, not only by making money and being prosperous in their location but by actually doing much greater good for that whole area. The way companies communicate that is a big challenge and the way they connect their brand and reputations is absolutely crucial to operate in these locations.’
David Martin from Nalco and Ecolab company who also attended the FT Water Summit pointed it out the importance of gathering all the stakeholders, such as WssTP, around the table to resolve water issues.“The core of WssTP lies in water and innovation, and sometimes we think of innovation as being technical or technologies issues. The event today was really around financial innovation in addressing the water challenges and I thought that the Geoff’s intervention and the collaboration between companies, research centers and association, such as WssTP and the financial community is the way to find the solution.”
For more information on the FT Live events, please click here.Read More