Are you a media organization, water expert, researcher, business, international or national institution? You have a role to play at the Water Innovation Europe 2022 event, coming up in Brussels on June 14-15, under the theme ”What is the role of water in the net-zero carbon society?”.
The event offers you four ways to promote your brand while enjoying the event and networking with water experts. It’s your choice how you want to leave your mark on this year’s edition. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Watch the video and find out more info here.
If you want to attend the main event, you can register here.Read More
The European Commission will allocate over €110 million to LIFE programme Integrated Projects. Check out the 11 new large-scale LIFE projects, where they come from, and learn more about their role in our new related infographic.
This EU funding will help 11 major environmental and climate projects in 11 EU countries reach their ambitious targets. The new projects will take place in Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Finland. They are expected to channel more than €10 billion of complementary funds, greatly multiplying the resources available to make a real difference on the ground.
The projects contribute to the green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and support the European Green Deal’s objective of making the EU the first climate-neutral continent by 2030. They also add to key European Green Deal components, including the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and the EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Find out more in the official press release.Read More
Following the recent visit of Ursula von der Leyen in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron is ready to take over his role for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2022.
The main priorities of the next programme will follow the achievements of the Slovenian Presidency and the European Commission’s work programme for 2022.
Some of the priorities announced by France for its presidency include:
1) enforce the Green Deal and coordinate work around four main components: accelerating the transition to a decarbonised economy to become climate neutral by 2050;
2) bolstering measures to preserve biodiversity;
3) promoting a more circular and sustainable economy;
4) achieving the transition towards healthier environment by reducing the impact of pollution on the environment and on health;
5) fight against climate change and the promotion of sustainable development will be actioned in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors.
If you want to read the full programme for the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, click here.Read More
The latest indicatory assessment published by the European Environment Agency shows water abstraction and economic growth in the EU decoupling over the period 2000–2017. Total water abstraction declined by 17 %, while total gross value added generated from all economic sectors increased by 59 %. However, water scarcity conditions and drought events continue to cause significant risks in southern Europe, as well as in specific areas of other European regions.
Agriculture remained the sector exerting the highest pressure on renewable freshwater resources overall, being responsible for 59 % of total water use in Europe in 2017. This is mainly because of the agriculture levels in southern Europe.
In 2017, 64 % of total water abstraction was from rivers and 24 % from groundwater.
Annual renewable freshwater resources per inhabitant showed a decreasing trend across all regions except Eastern Europe over the period 1990-2017. Large decreases were observed in Spain (-65 %), Malta (-54 %) and Cyprus (-32 %). Climate change and population increase exerted high pressures on renewable freshwater resources in Europe over this period.
The increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme droughts and floods enhance the risk of there being reduced volumes of renewable freshwater resources in the future.Read More
EU Report on the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive for 2013-2018 shows unclear ”water situation”
The European Commission has released the Report on the implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive for 2013-2018.
The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) is the primary EU legal instrument to regulate emissions from about 52 000 agro-industrial installations across the EU. These include among others: power plants, refineries, production of steel, non-ferrous metals, cement, lime, glass, chemicals, pulp and paper, food and drink, waste treatment and incineration and the intensive rearing of poultry or pigs.
It aims to achieve significant benefits for the environment and human health, in particular through the mandatory application of Best Available Techniques (BAT). The water-related elements we have identified in the report are:
🔸The situation regarding emissions to water, is less clear – they are estimated to represent 20 to 40% of emissions of heavy metals and 30 to 60% of pollutants other than nutrients and organic carbon.
🔸More derogations have been granted for emissions to air than for emissions to water.
🔸Baseline report expected, according to Article 22(2) of the IED, where the activity involves the use, production or release of hazardous substances. The report shall be submitted to determine the state of soil and groundwater contamination at the site of the installation. The baseline report shall be submitted before the start of the installation operation or before the permit of the installation is updated for the first time after 7 January 2013.
🔸The IED has led to substantially reduced pollutant emissions to air and, to a lesser degree, to water.
🔸The IED is largely coherent with other EU policies and supports, at least to some extent, their delivery. There is however scope for greater contribution in some areas, such as water policy.
Drought and water stress: Commission report shows water management progressing, but too slowly and underfinanced
The Commission has adopted the latest report on the implementation of EU water rules, which aim at all European water bodies to be in good status by 2027. The report measures EU Member States’ progress towards that goal. It shows that the gap to full compliance with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive is still considerable.
EU Member States are implementing their programmes of measures, particularly to tackle pollution and regarding abstraction and water efficiency. However, due to a lack of sufficient financing, this is not happening at the required speed. Reducing flood risk across Europe requires consistent implementation of the Floods Directive and cooperation across borders.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:
“Drought and water stress now cause EUR 9 billion of damage every year, not counting damage to ecosystems and the services they provide. Only healthy rivers and lakes can help protect us against the rising challenges of droughts and floods. While our Member States are making progress in the right direction, we need to go faster, and invest more into water management. The European Green Deal is a unique opportunity to jointly enhance our water resilience by securing its water-smart implementation across all policies”.Read More
Dear Water Europe family,
2021 is coming to a close and over the last couple of months, we hosted two events and a members’ general meeting, restructured our collaboration programme, released new position papers, joined the EU’s zero pollution stakeholder platform, and the list could go on and on. Until the last days of the year, Water Europe remains active and busy on all its fronts.
After 2 years of virtual events, Water Knowledge Europe 2021 came back in a hybrid edition in Brussels on November 9-10, offering all participants the opportunity to catch up with their peers in person, while also keeping the digital interaction ongoing. Over 100 attendees joined the event, which was structured in one main session, a networking dinner, one Horizon Europe Workshop, fifteen Working Groups meetings and several B2B sessions.
Next to Water Knowledge Europe, we hosted last week also the Water Projects Europe event dedicated to the ‘Integrated water-smart strategies for industrial processes’ with over 300 registered participants and online viewers. Speakers from 5 innovative EU-projects Waste2Fresh, AccelWater, IntelWATT, AquaSPICE, iWAYS, the HaDEA and Process4Planet joined the panel discussion sharing with attendees the reasons why it’s crucial to preserve freshwater in industrial processes and how these projects can play a role in the integration of water-smart strategies.
Following October’s board meeting, new changes in the WE Collaboration Programme 2021-2024 have now come in place with the new structure of the VLT and WGs established, and the leadership teams appointed. What is new is the grouping of the WGs in six thematic clusters. This has been done on the one hand to stimulate related WGs to collaborate and coordinate and to help with the communication and marketing of the work done by the WGs to the outside world.
Great news this month is further that Water Europe has been selected by the European Commission as a member of the EU’s Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform to represent the innovative water sector. The Platform aims at bringing together stakeholders and experts of different policy areas (health, agriculture, research and innovation, transport, digitalisation, and the environment) to effectively mainstream the zero-pollution agenda, promote collaboration, foster integrated solutions and actions that maximise synergies with decarbonisation and post-COVID 19 recovery efforts.
Water Europe is about innovation and almost half a year ago, five winners were awarded for their innovative solutions at the Water Europe Innovation Awards 2021. In this newsletter’s edition, they take the time to share with us their exciting developments and progress since then. Enjoy the reading!
As a complex and difficult year comes to an end, we should be proud of what has been, so far, achieved. The way ahead looks positive and inspiring. Water Europe has not only shown resilience adapting to the pandemic situation, but also innovative spirit finding new formulas to continue doing what we all know to do best: Creating an as visible as possible podium for water, sharing and explaining our view of a Water Smart society.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and the year, which is just around the corner, to be a better one!Read More
The Water Europe Collaboration Programme 2021-2024 took off with the reorganisation of the WE Vision Leadership Teams and Working Groups with a new approach aimed at rationalising the efforts of the collaboration matrix of WE. New Teams and updated Missions for the VLTs are prepared, and the synergic clustering of the WGs that are now grouped in thematic areas, to accomplish the mission of WE for the achievement of a Water-Smart Society.
Vision Leadership Teams
For the Programming Period 2021-2024, the VLT matrix will consist in three horizontal VLTs that are innovation-driven: Digital Water, Circular Water, and Grey-Green Infrastructures, three vertical VLTs that are implementation driven: Water-Smart Cities, Water-Smart Industries, and Water-Smart Rural Areas, and a holistic VLT on the Value of Water for our society and economy.
WE Vision Leadership Teams are the strategic think tanks of WE, consisting in 3-5 thought leaders, that are tasked with driving the progressive implementation of the Water Europe Vision in order to achieve a Water-Smart Society. VLTs are about visionary leadership and teamwork. Each VLTs is working on basis of a specific mission, a work plan for the appointed period, and a yearly reporting. Check here out VLTs.
For the WE programming period 2021-2024, Water Europe has organised its working groups in six clusters with the aim to support the strategic alignment of the WGs with the WE vision and strategy, to strengthen their impact and visibility, and to stimulate the coordination and collaboration between WGs.
All the Water Europe Working Group team members have been informed and appointed to their new positions and are already making preparations for the effective implementation of this new structure. As part of the WE Collaboration Programme, the Working Groups are the operational level for members’ collaboration and coordination. They provide input to the WE Advocacy Programme and its WE Policy Advisory Committee (WE PAC) for the purpose of shaping the WE policy positions and responding to public consultations by the European Commission. Water Europe WGs are a key instrument for achieving the Water Europe vision and strategy, and reaching the common goal of establishing a Water-Smart Society. To check all our Water Europe Working Groups, please click here.
For more information, please contact Andrea Rubini.Read More
Water Projects Europe is the newest event series of Water Europe that counts, so far, four successful editions since October 2020. No one doubts that there are many innovative projects running and many impressive results available, but how often do they reach the right audiences? This need is covered through the Water Projects Europe event that creates the platform for projects to share their lessons, explore strategies for market outreach and offer inputs to policymakers. This type of inputs can provide evidence for policy development and design, can identify gaps and barriers in policy frameworks, but it can also develop new opportunities and innovative activities for any area of policymaking.
Due to the pandemic, all the WPE editions have been held online, with the launch of the event taking place in October 2020 under the theme ‘Industrial Water Reuse in the Circular Economy’. In 2021, the first WPE edition was held in March and was dedicated to ‘Water in the Circular Economy Policy Agenda’. Based on the outcomes of Water Projects Europe workshop, the European Commission published later in the year the ‘Water in the Circular Economy policy development’ report, presenting not only the topics discussed but also several recommendations derived from the Horizon 2020 projects participating in the workshop. In the context of our annual conference WIE2021, another WPE edition took place on the topic ‘Inclusive Governance for a Water-Smart society’ in June 2021 which was live-streamed and can be watched here.
The latest WPE event happened last week and gathered more than 300 participants and online viewers who tuned in to follow the discussion on how to preserve freshwater by integrating water-smart strategies for industrial processes. The event is also available on YouTube and the presentations can be found here. New Water Projects Europe editions will be coming up in 2022. More communications will follow in the new year.Read More
Water Europe is delighted being appointed to the new Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform set by the European Commission, in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions.
The Platform will bring together stakeholders and experts of different policy areas (e.g. health, agriculture, research and innovation, transport, digitalisation and the environment) to effectively mainstream the zero pollution agenda, help create co-ownership, promote collaboration and foster integrated solutions and actions that maximise synergies with decarbonisation and post-COVID 19 recovery efforts.
It will develop and share good practices on cross-cutting topics such as financing for zero pollution innovation and jobs, boosting sustainable production and consumption. The Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform will also establish synergies with other relevant initiatives, such as the European Climate Pact, as well as foster regular and interactive dialogue and collaboration with Member States, businesses, non-governmental organisations, academia and other stakeholders.Read More