The European Commission has approved the grant agreement for WATER MINING, a project aimed at demonstrating innovative water resource solutions. Water Europe is participating in the project along with other public and private partners from 12 countries. The project will be led by Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and is set to start on 1 September 2020.
As part of the project, demonstrations in Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and The Netherlands will be built to show novel efficient ways to reclaim nutrients, minerals, energy and water from industrial and urban wastewater and seawater.
The WATER MINING project aims to provide examples for real-world implementation of the Water Framework Directive to help the transition to a circular economy. It also ties in with the recently presented European Green Deal.
The demonstrations will integrate selected innovative technologies developed by partners and from previously funded EU projects. The value-added end-products (water, platform chemicals, energy, nutrients, and minerals) are expected to fuel regional economic developments.Read More
The ability to adapt is one of the characteristics that defines the success of companies. In a context of crisis, having a reliable solution for both telecommuting and remote operations management becomes a must.
GoAigua technological solution allows water service operators to have at their disposal all the information necessary to improve decision-making processes and guarantee the continuity of their service in an efficient and safe way. As a result of to its predictive capabilities, by means of advanced algorithms and the study of consumption patterns, the technology anticipates situations that may occur and offers the best solutions, saving costs and avoiding unexpected circumstances.
The situation that has arisen due to COVID-19 has meant the suspension of a significant part of economic activity, causing a change in consumption patterns at all levels, both urban and industrial. Given the context, the management of water supply, sanitation and purification is key, but so is limiting the exposure of workers to the virus.
GoAigua technology allows to obtain the right solutions for each of the possible scenarios and solve them with the guarantees. In relation to the monitoring and remote operation of infrastructure, a good example is the remote control of microbiological risk in water. When confinement at home means that the tap is the main point of supply, ensuring water quality is particularly important.
The positive impact of technology is reflected in any action or need that arises at a time of crisis. GoAigua allows the identification of events for which on-site attention is necessary, optimizing the management of work orders to minimize the exposure of operators or customers to the virus. In addition, the delimitation of the search area for leaks shortens response times and duration of work in the field.
GoAigua also allows the control, monitoring, and analysis of consumption at any supply point, letting us know if there are leaks in a public center (hospital, residence, school…) in order to take the appropriate measures. The system prioritizes the resolution of these incidents and generates specific work orders.
In relation to the operation of distribution and sanitation networks, the combination of mathematical models with technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning ensures a continuous supply of water. In addition, the simulation of critical scenarios allows the manager to anticipate events, thus avoiding possible incidents in the operation of the networks.
This system allows remote reading of consumption via IoT with no effect on the service, postponing visual checks. All the consumption information is available in the virtual office, where users can see their consumption, send their readings and even pay online.
In short, GoAigua technology is helping water utilities adapt to the new context of crisis, ensuring the continuity and quality of water services, regardless of the time of day.Read More
As EU Member State governments try to tackle the health crisis and take measures to mitigate its immediate impact on the economy, EU environment ministers recently signed an open letter urging a green economic recovery and the importance of the European Green Deal in this process.
The open letter states that while Europe prepares to rebuild the economy, it “must not lose sight of the persisting climate and ecological crisis. Building momentum to fight this battle has to stay high on the political agenda.” The letter adds the importance of the European Green Deal as a “roadmap to make the right choices in responding to the economic crisis while transforming Europe into a sustainable and climate-neutral economy.”
To the same extent, the Value of Water and a Water-Smart Society should be important building blocks in the recovery plans. Water Europe envisions a Water-Smart Society in which the true value of water is recognised and realised, and all available water sources are managed in such a way that water scarcity and pollution of water are avoided. Water and resource loops are largely closed to foster a circular economy and optimal resource efficiency, while the water system is resilient against the impact of climate change events.
Achieving the Water-Smart Society requires leadership, strategic action, and persistence. WE will drive the transition to a Water-Smart Society with the support of nine Vision Leadership Teams each representing a key dimension of Water Europe’s Water Vision.
With the support of our WE ambassadors, Water Europe has been able to respond quickly to the request of the European Commission to provide input on the value of water in the EU post-COVID-19 strategy. As a result, Water Europe is preparing a position paper on water in post-COVID-19 that will soon be released.
Water Europe welcomes Dominique Gatel as the new co-leader of the Vision Leadership Team ‘The Value of Water’. Dominique Gatel is Director for institutional relationships/water at Veolia Headquarters.
He was for 10 years deputy technical director, and previously for 11 years head of the R&D Department for water supply. Prior to this, he has worked in the food industry (Unilever, Danone). He graduated from the National School of Agronomy in France, with a MD in food science.
The transition to a Water-Smart Society will be driven through Water Europe’s Vision Leadership Teams (VLT). The VLT ‘The Value of Water’ aims to identify, better understand, define and update the Water Europe SIRA challenges related to new socio-economic, financial and multi-stakeholder governance models based on the “true” value of water and provide recommendations for structuring and selecting real-life multi-stakeholder living lab environments.
“Valuing water is a tough exercise which is pitching its way globally and certainly in Europe. With the adoption of the Water Framework Directive, a number of academia and water directors have examined the topic with a view to feed cost-benefit analysis, but the wide majority of basins don’t use it in practice, showing there is room for improvement. At Veolia, we use on a case-by-case basis the ‘True-Cost of Water’ tool to assess the Value of Water for industrial sites beyond the mere abstraction/Discharges levies. Over the years to come, I am certain the Value of Water will become more mainstream at all level, from macro to meso to micro-scale. Happy to join this effort.” – Dominique Gatel.
For more information on the Water Europe Vision Leadership Teams, please click here.Read More
The Water Europe Working Group Human Capital has now made available its position paper titled ‘Towards a water-related human capital agenda for the Green Deal’. The new position paper is developed to bring the knowledge on the challenges and good practices of Human Capital in the European Water Sector (EJWP Report released last September) to the tables of the policymakers.
The position paper outlines specific recommendations as outcomes of a consultation carried out in July 2019. The document also offers a selection of the most significant results of this research under four categories: general overview, education, demography, and indirect investments.
The position paper is here to raise awareness, give direction, show practical opportunities and emphasize the importance of investment in human capital to be resilient and supportive of innovation.
To download the position paper, please click here.Read More
After their successful online meetings held on the 19th of March, the Water Europe Working Groups (WG) continue their activities towards preparing their 2020 annual work plans and corresponding activities. Some updates follow below:
WG Water Beyond Europe
Working Group Water Beyond Europe has been focusing on the organization of the fourth Water Europe flagship event entirely dedicated to International Cooperation: the “International Water Dialogue” conference. Unfortunately, the event, which was designed very carefully and in close cooperation with the Water Europe Board, had to be cancelled due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
However, the in-depth process of identification of both the programme and the participants has produced very important results:
1) Consolidating further the close cooperation between the Working Group activities with the ones of UNESCO, especially in support of the EC International Cooperation agenda on Water
2) A thorough inventory of very important water-related activities in support of international cooperation which the WG intends to involve once the International Water Dialogue Event will take place.
WG Human Capital
During the first months of 2020, the WG Human Capital has been busy with online meetings, working together on the publication of a new position paper ‘Towards a water-related human capital agenda for the Green Deal‘.
In the next phase of the Working Group, they will continue raising awareness to the human factor at a policy level, but also at a practical level during workshops at conferences (online and offline).
Also set for the next months, the WG aims to work on an Employer Branding guide, including a workshop for HR personnel. It also wants to look into the human capital needs of Water Europe members and set up a training curriculum. The WG also plans to open up all good practices and activities already being developed in a platform available for all Water Europe members.Read More
On the occasion of the Week dedicated to Gender Equality, the Spanish Network of the Global Compact has published on its website 40 successes stories of partner entities working to achieve gender equality. The network has selected Bioazul as one of the entities proposing good practices for this fundamental right.
Bioazul stands out for being one of the few small companies selected and that appears in the dossier together with large corporations nationwide. As a good practice, Bioazul defends the leadership of women in innovation. Bioazul states that it is committed to ensuring gender equality at all levels in the organization, including the participation of women in all the activities of the company, and in decision making.
Bioazul’s projects are aligned with the EC’s Gender Equality Strategy in H2020, the European policy for equal opportunities between men and women, and the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation. The most concrete measures applied by Bioazul are the integration of the gender dimension in its R&D and innovation projects, helping to improve the scientific quality and social relevance of the knowledge, technology and/or innovation produced; and the inclusion in the work plans of tasks focused on evaluating the impact of gender on the implementation and results of the projects.
Bioazul also invites gender auditors specialized in research and environmental issues to the expert panels it organizes. In addition, it selects women as external experts for these panels to achieve 50% female participation.
Two examples of projects coordinated by Bioazul are:
Water2REturn approximately a third of the scientists, engineers, and technicians involved in the project are women (56 participants of whom 20 are women (36%).
SUWANU EUROPE has 22 highly qualified female professionals, a high proportion of managers and scientists for the activities planned in the project (30.6%).
About Gender Equality
Gender equality is one of the fundamental rights established by the Charter of the United Nations since 1945 and it is also a basic pillar to achieve sustainable and equitable development in society. Although much progress has been made in this regard, women continue to suffer from inequality in representation in areas such as politics, economics or public life. Some of the data that demonstrate this reality are that in 2019 the global wage gap was 23% and the activity rate of women was 63% compared to 94% of men.
This commitment to gender equality is also very present today thanks to the 2030 Agenda with the Sustainable Development Goal number 5 dedicated to promoting equity between women and men. This SDG is considered the second most important, which means that companies are working more and more each day to promote this goal in their daily work and corporate culture.Read More
The Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) Acceleration Programme, RIMA, funded by the European Commission, has selected 19 beneficiaries to support in the development and deployment of robotics I&M applications with equity-free funded grants.
The 19 selected proposals were out of the 121 applications submitted in its first open call. 13 participants were selected to join the Technology Demonstrators Programme (TD) and 6, to start the Technology Transfer Experiments Programme (TTE).
Technology Demonstrators (TD) consist of validating the technical and economic viability of a new or improved robotics-based technology, product, process, service or solution. Technology Demonstrators may receive up to 100.000 euros per proposal and join a 6-month training programme.
Technology Transfer Experiments (TTE) consist of developing, testing and validating the technical and economic viability of a robotics-based representative model or prototype system to be applied in the ‘Target-Use Domain’ operational environment. Technology Transfer Experiments may receive up to 300.000 euros per consortium and start a 14-month training programme.
RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance) is a 4-year project that aims at establishing a network of 13 Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and industry associations to support the uptake of robotics, and help small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to develop novel solutions for different industry sectors.
RIMA will offer financial and technical support to 50 cross-border experiments involving two open call rounds (2019 and 2020) with a total amount of 8.1 million euros.Read More
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a working paper that describes several trends that can inform a broader discussion on water security and the factors that can hinder or enhance its advancement.
The paper uses patent data to document trends in the invention of technologies to promote water security since 1990, focusing on the countries in which inventions are developed, where they might be commercialised, and in which subsectors they originate.
The water-related technologies identified in the paper can be clustered into three categories:
- water pollution abatement;
To download and read the full the working paper, visit the OECD iLibrary.Read More
IUCN Member Rewilding Europe recently launched a call for action to drive forward and scale-up practical rewilding across Europe, urging EU politicians to prioritise nature restoration in the upcoming EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030.
Organisations and individuals across sectors, including energy, land management, forestry, river management, investment, research, and others, as well as citizens, are called on to co-sign and share the #CallForAWilderEurope.
To date, around 60 organisations in Europe have co-signed the Call for Action for A Wilder Europe and a global call for action will follow in the lead-up to the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
To co-sign the Call to Action send an email to email@example.com or visit the website to learn more.Read More