The digital edition of Water Innovation Europe 2020 had its third day full of activities, from sessions, working group meetings, virtual networking chat rooms, and the Water Europe’s annual general meeting. Today’s session was about a Water-Smart Society to provide healthy food for EU citizens, which was moderated by Chrysi Laspidou, Professor, Alternate Department Head – Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Thessaly.
The panel consisted of Antonia Lorenzo, CEO and R&D Director at BIOAZUL SL; Lesha Witmer, Steering Committee member (advocacy lead) at Women for Water Partnership and Jan-Willem Vosmeer, Global Manager Corporate Social Responsibility at HEINEKEN.
Below, find the key points of the session:
By 2050, the demand for food will increase by 60%. Currently, 30 and 50% of food is currently lost or wasted and when there is a loss or waste of food, there is loss and waste of water.
The COVID19 crisis has demonstrated how vulnerable is our system and how we need to make it resilient. The Water-food-energy nexus has become water-food-energy-ecosystem health nexus.
We need to make visible the amount of water used in agriculture. Consumers are often not aware of the amount of water needed for a product. We all need to be aware, including consumers, public administrators, farmers, companies, about the water needed for food production. Stakeholders’ engagement is an absolutely essential part of the discussion. This is not only about publishing information on a website but about entering into a dialogue, involving people, making the communications accessible.
High-tech solutions exist but they are not often accessible to the workers of the ground. The biggest amount of workers in agriculture are women and they don’t always have access to modern technology. We need to translate these solutions to the right people for better water management.
We are very much concerned with how we grow food but not how we process food, how we cook food. We could waste a lot less water. Changing people’s process and cooking habits is very important.
The programme continues tomorrows with the fourth session: A Water-Smart Society for protecting aquatic biodiversity and habitats. Watch the video:Read More
The winner of the Water Technology & Infrastructure Award was revealed today during the Water Innovation Europe 2020 third panel session dedicated to ‘A Water-Smart Society to provide healthy Food for EU citizens’. Ingrid Keupers from the European Junior Water Proramme (EJWP) presented the winner of the most innovative technology related to all aspects of the water cycle.
Idrica is the winner of the Water Technology & Infrastructure Award for its technological solution GoAigua. Used by 400+ water utilities globally, GoAigua transforms utilities into smarter, more proactive and more resilient entities. GoAigua unifies all digital components of the water utility infrastructure – SCADA, GIS, ERP, AMI/AMR, CMMS, IoT Sensors – into a single utility. Using advanced AI/ML algorithms, GoAigua improves operations, maintenance, asset management, customer experience, and adaptability. The centralized intelligent management enables real-time sense and respond – prioritizing the most important activities. This innovative solution can provide regulators and public health officials with a new and effective tool to establish social distancing guidelines or anticipate future spikes in hospitalization. By monitoring wastewater networks, water utilities can also implement a large-scale surveillance program.
Idrica is a leading international company that provides a unique differential value based on its experience and knowledge of the sector. Its technological solution GoAigua gathers the success of the digital transformation of Global Omnium, a Spanish company with more than 125 years of experience in water cycle management. To learn more about its work, please click here.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our tomorrow’s Awards winner.Read More
Webinar ‘Water is Everyone’s Business’ during Water Innovation Europe 2020 – What are the take-home messages?
The webinar ‘Water is Everyone’s Business’ took place today during Water Innovation Europe 2020. The webinar was moderated by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President of the Club of Rome; UN Sustainable Development. The panel counted with the participation of Therese Noorlander, Sustainability Director Europe at the Coca-Cola Company; Ester Asin, Director European Policy Office at WWF, Veronica Manfredi, Director Quality of Life, Directorate General ENV, at the European Commission and David Martin, VP Government Relations Europe at Ecolab.
Below, you can find the most important messages discussed during the webinar:
The WFD is one of the most ambitious and holistic pieces of the environmental legislation. We would like to thank the European Commission for standing by the evidence and giving the WFD the final sign-off. Now we need fast-track implementation.
Water scarcity is not just a “southern issue”. Brussels is the 2nd most scarce city in Europe. Smart, sustainable water management – as ensured through the WFD – is the only way in which we can safeguard Europe’s water supply for future generations.
There is so much knowledge that stays internally in specific organisations. We all need to learn what happens. People who can do something about the challenges we face, are not all biologists & scientists, but they are willing to understand & we should make sure they do.
Water risks are amongst the biggest risks to business continuity. Whatever is good for water, is good for businesses. The member states need support from civil society and businesses alike to make this a reality.
The lesson from the COVID19 crisis is that we have to start designing our systems to function with greater resilience. We need to transform by design and not by a disaster. We have to think every aspect of this renovation, to break the silos, to think water as an important part of the nexus with other sectors.
A business that invests in high standard for water is not only for the environment but also for the competitiveness of the company.
This webinar follows up the release of the ‘Water is everyone’s business’, which has been endorsed by Water Europe and 24 other organisations and businesses that stand with the 375,000 European citizens who have urged the EU governments & the European Commission to preserve the European Union’s ground-breaking Water Framework Directive in its current form.
The European Commission has recently replied that keeps the WFD in its current form. Click here to find more information.
You can now watch the complete webinar on Water Europe’s youtube page:
The second day of Water Innovation Europe 2020 continued with the session ‘A Water-Smart Industry for a Green Deal’. The session was moderated by Veronica Manfredi – Director Quality of Life, Directorate General ENV, European Commission.
Read below the key points from the session:
We are at a stage where the industrial sector is reconsidering its priorities. In the past, water efficiency wasn’t among them but the challenges of water scarcity and the others we face make it necessary to become water efficient. We have now arrived at this point of maturity as a sector.
It’s been hundreds of years that we have been taking water for granted. Now we have an abundance of technologies, so what we also need is to share the best available knowledge. With training and education, we can reach much further from what we think it’s possible.
Legislation can accelerate necessary changes for better water management.
Industries need to be open and transparent to make people understand how water affects us all. The local outreach is an extremely important point to raising awareness, increasing the degree of social conscience and driving the transition to water reuse and efficiency in Europe.
With education, we can reduce water usage, thanks to no other tools but awareness, monitoring and control. Even if you have the technology but you don’t have the will and the available knowledge, you cannot move forward.
During the COVID19 crisis, the digital tools helped industries to maintain their operations. We need to get engaged in a double transition, towards sustainability and digitilisation.
We continue tomorrow for the third day of the innovative water week. Get ready by watching the dedicated video of Session 3: A Water-Smart Society to provide healthy food for EU citizens.Read More
During the Water Innovation Europe 2020 second panel session dedicated to ‘A Water-Smart Industry for a Green deal’ Benjamin Hermans and Rhys Hellin from the European Junior Water Programme (EJWP) presented the winner of the Water Governance award for the most successful governance solution for the water sector.
De Monfort University (DMU) is the proud winner of the Water Governance Award. Through its user-driven project Political and Social Awareness on Water Environmental Challenges (POWER), DMU demonstrated that the use of smart technologies supported by innovative engagement models plays an important role in addressing priority areas that will have a significant impact on the future of water in our society. In the long-term, the POWER approach aims to build capacity in cities to develop solutions, strategies and policies for addressing water-related sustainability challenges that can ensure policy continuity, thus creating an important tool for EU water policy.
Ljiljana Marjanovic-Halburd, Professor of DMU received the award, thanking the audience and delivering a short speech on the winning project. De Monfort University (DMU) is known for its research and teaching excellence, particularly in the area of energy and sustainable development. It has a long established track record in the successful delivery of multi-stakeholder research and commercial projects. To learn more about it, please click here.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our tomorrow’s Awards winner.Read More
Water Innovation Europe 2020 kicked off today with 450 registered participants. This is the first time the event has gone fully digital to become an innovative water week from today until the 26th of June.
Find below the key messages of today:
In the Post-COVID-19 era, we need to replace the 3Rs Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with these Rs: Resist, Recover, Reinvent.
Across Europe, we need 20% more investment in the water sector to meet the water supply and sanitation demands in Europe. It is critical to make the best use possible of available water resources. It is critical to put water on the radar of other sectors like the energy sector and to bring water and citizens together.
Technical innovation is not enough without social innovation. We need to open the door to the future generations and to new professional profiles to enter in the water sector. As characteristically, Alexandra Serra said ‘ We are engineers (who think we can do everything) but we need new talent and new abilities. The water sector needs marketeers”
Water utilities are severely impacted by the COVID19 crisis with their revenues being affected, too. There is an urgency for utilities to better understand its customers and to engage in a more active role into their day to day lives.
New sources of funding and investments are needed.
Digitalization is a top priority and linking water to digital solutions is the way forward.
We are all responsible for avoiding any future crises and for this we need to experiment, think out of the box, learn and embrace a forward-looking mindset.
Tomorrow is the second day of our innovative water week. Get ready by watching a video we prepared for Session 2: A Water-Smart Industry for a Green Deal.Read More
Today, we have the pleasure to announce the winners of the day for the Water Europe Innovation Awards 2020 Categories: SME Award and Water Smart MEP Award. In the context of the Water Innovation Europe 2020 first panel session dedicated to ‘A Water-Smart Society for a successful Post COVID19 Recovery Plan’ Hasmik Barseghya, President of the European Youth Parliament for Water (EYPW) revealed the names of our two winners and introduced them to the audience.
Bluephage is the winner for the SME Award. BLUEPHAGE is a biotechnology company launched as a spinoff in 2016 from the University of Barcelona (Spain) that specializes in providing products and services for the analysis of bacteriophages as viral indicators in water, food and biosolids. BLUEPHAGE is developing the easiest, fastest and most cost-saving viral indicators’ kits to improve water safety. The company developed the easy kits (or 1st generation kits) which provide pre-prepared material for the enumeration of coliphages according to ISO and US-EPA methods. To learn more about the company’s work, please click here.
Simona Bonafè is the winner of the Water Smart MEP Award. This award aims to highlight the work of one Member of the European Parliament who has contributed to achieving a Water-Smart Society in Europe and beyond. Simona Bonafè from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Italy) has been our winner for her work on the EU regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse. It’s the first year that this award is given by Water Europe. Watch Ms Bonafé video speech.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our tomorrow’s Awards winner.Read More
The OECD released a report on Financing Water Supply, Sanitation and Flood Protection. It highlights that major investment is still required to maintain and improve water infrastructure in OECD and non-OECD countries. In this report, the OECD focuses on the Water Framework Directive and 3 other specific water legislation: Urban Waste water treatment directive, the Drinking Water directive and floods Directive.
The report includes projections of future investment needs derive from 3 scenarios:
- Business as usual for water supply and sanitation services
- For water supply: Projections to achieve compliance, efficiency and access
- For sanitation: projections to achieve compliance.
The report also stresses the importance of the new challenges, such as emerging pollutants, which will require additional financial investment due to climate change and the potential need of more stringent standards for drinking water and treated wastewater. Download the report.Read More
The Green Deal call will mobilise research and innovation to foster a just and sustainable societal transition aiming at ‘leaving nobody behind’. Projects are expected to deliver tangible and visible results relatively quickly and show how research and innovation can provide concrete solutions for the Green Deal main priorities.
The call contains eleven areas. The eight thematic areas are reflecting the key work streams of the European Green Deal. In each area, one or more topics addresses the challenges outlined in the respective stream. Topics target specific, high-impact technological and societal innovations that can help advance the sustainable transition relatively quickly. The three horizontal areas (strengthening knowledge; empowering citizens; and international cooperation) cut across the eight thematic areas and offer a longer-term perspective in achieving the transformations set out in the European Green Deal.
The timeline of the European Green Deal call is:
16 September, 10 am – 12h30 pm (CET). For detailed programme and registration click here.
The huge challenges we face in the water sector on a global scale will require new innovative ways of financing and organizing research and innovation.
In this Webinar we discuss different best practices and financial models geared to the water sector and in particular the role of the private sector in this. Your input is much appreciated in order to develop future water policies.
Speakers from research institutes, industry, Research & Innovation promotion agencies and international financial institutions will give their view on:
- Best practices on financing research and innovation.
- The role of industry and water companies promoting innovative solutions.
- The role of financial institutions on promoting innovative solutions.
Why should you attend?
Participants will have a better understanding of this topic in order to be more successful in design and implementation of new funding programmes in collaboration with private sector parties.
Who should attend
- Public and Private (research) Funding organisations
- Research organisations and Industry (in particular the ones that have experience in collaboration outside Europe)
- Policy makers
Registration and programme
There is a limited number of digital places available so please make your registration accordingly.
For detailed programme and registration click here.