The European Commission plans to introduce a “digital product passport” early next year that would contain information about the composition of goods on the European market to help boost their chances of being reused and recycled.
At the moment, half of total greenhouse gas emissions and over 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing. Global consumption of materials, like biomass, fossil fuels, metals and minerals is expected to double over the next four decades, with annual waste generation projected to increase 70% by 2050.
The idea is to identify the most important information about the makeup of each product so that users across the supply chain can reuse it or treat it correctly at waste management facilities.Read More
-reduce environmental pollution and potential health risks, while respecting the principles of the single market and encouraging competitiveness and innovation.
Water Europe is excited to be part of the new Horizon 2020 project ‘ARSINOE- Climate Resilient Regions Through Systemic Solutions and Innovations’ that was officially launched in October 2021. ARSINOE is financed by the European Commission with a total budget of 15 million euros and is coordinated by Prof. Chrysi Laspidou, University of Thessaly. It brings together 41 partners from 15 countries and intends to be a game-changer for shaping pathways to resilience by delivering regional innovation packages that build an ecosystem to develop and implement innovative climate change adaptation measures and solutions across Europe. The kick-off meeting of the project took place in Athens on October 14 and 15, as a hybrid event.
The four-year ARSINOE project will develop a methodological framework for combining the Systems Innovation Approach (SIA) with the Climate Innovation Window (CIW). It will create an ecosystem to meet EU Green Deal targets for specific regions under a three-tier approach:
- integration of multi-faceted technological, digital, business, governance and environmental aspects with social innovation for the development of adaptation pathways to climate change
- linkage with CIW to form innovation packages by matching innovators with end-users/regions
- fostering the ecosystem sustainability and growth with cross-fertilization and replication across scales, at the European level and beyond, using appropriate business models and exploitation-outreach actions.
Nine widely varied regions across Europe will demonstrate the ARSINOE three-tier approach as a proof-of-concept regarding its applicability, replicability, potential and efficacy. The regions are: (i) Athens metropolitan area (EL), (ii) Mediterranean ports including Port of Piraeus (EL), Limassol (CY) and Valencia (ES), (iii) Main river in Germany (DE), (iv) transboundary Ochrid/Prespa lakes (MK, AL, EL), (v) Canary Islands (ES), (vi) transboundary Black Sea including Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey (RO, BG and TR), (vii) Southern Denmark (DK), (viii) Torbay and Devon county (UK) and (ix) the Mediterranean island Sardinia (IT).
Interested in learning more about ARSINOE? Check out the YouTube video to find out more about the project’s concept.
To follow its updates and developments, follow the ARSINOE Twitter account.Read More
Water Europe is glad to release its new position paper on ‘Digitalization and Water’ calling for digital and water-smart infrastructures in the two sectors.
The publication of this new position aspires to stress the interconnections between the digital and the water sector. Developed in the context of Water Europe’s preparation for its involvement in the new Zero Pollution stakeholder platform, the position paper focuses on digitalization as a driver to release Water Europe’s new commitment toward a net-zero Water sector by 2050 but also the necessity to build a European water-smart digital sector.
The EU digital strategy aims to shape Europe’s digital future while benefiting everyone. The moment that digitalization benefits the water sector within its activities, the digital sector also consumes water for its businesses, contributing to increased levels of pressure on our water sources. For instance, Google has a water withdrawal equivalent to the population of Florence.
This document also features several EU projects working on digital innovative solutions for the water sector such as PathoCERT, aqua3S, STOP-IT and AquaSPICE.Read More
The European Commission launched two new online tools to track progress in implementing the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. Hosted by the EU Knowledge Centre for Biodiversity, an online actions tracker will provide up-to-date information on the state of implementation of the many actions of the EU Biodiversity Strategy.
These tools are essential to monitor progress on the commitments made and central to the Commission’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the EU biodiversity governance framework by constantly improving the knowledge and evidence base for biodiversity policy, increasing accountability for implementation, ensuring transparent and effective progress monitoring and review, and engaging stakeholders across the board in the efforts to deliver the EU biodiversity targets over the coming years.
One indicator for freshwater ecosystems is under development (Target 11), Water indirectly included furthermore in Target 13 “Reducing Pollution.Read More
Called the ULTIMATE Young Professional (UYP) platform, the network has been created as part of the four-year, Horizon2020 ULTIMATE project (indUstry water-utiLiTy symbIosis for a sMarter wATEr society).
In total, the project has selected nine large-scale demonstrations (demo sites) across Europe from the agro-food, beverage, petrochemical, and biotech sectors. From water utilities to whisky distilleries, the partners represent a variety of stakeholders who could benefit from circular economy activities. Check more info here.Read More
Nexus analysis can achieve urban sustainability and integrated policy and action, according the EEA report
The European Environmental Agency (EEA) has published a new report ”Urban Sustainability in Europe: Learning from nexus analysis to present a detailed analysis of eight urban environmental sustainability nexus.
These constitute examples to help understand the complexity of urban systems and explore how, in practice, using nexus analysis can help identifying existing challenges, potential trade-offs and co-benefits on actions to achieve urban sustainability objectives and opportunities to move towards better coordinated and integrated policy and action.
Households as a sector account for 12 % of total annual water use and 27 % of final energy consumption in the EU. Although there is no water nexus included in the report, water is do mentioned on several sub-levels in the context of floods, nature-based solutions, stormwater, water scarcity and droughts, reusing and recycling water, grey water, water & sanitation, wastewater & water pollution etc.
In November, the new Water Europe Vision Leadership teams were officially appointed for the period 2021-2024, consisted of 31 professionals and experts in their field. Water Europe Vision Leadership Teams are the strategic think tanks of WE, tasked with driving the progressive implementation of the Water Europe Vision in order to achieve a Water-Smart Society.
For the Programming Period 2021-2024, the Vision Leadership Team 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.
The VLTs are about visionary leadership and teamwork. They are part of the WE Collaboration Programme and also provide input to the WE Advocacy Programme and the WE Policy Advisory Committee (WE PAC) for the purpose of shaping the WE policy positions. Which are the new VLTs? Explore them here!Read More
Creating a more resilient and sustainable future will require Europe to reimagine its economic model, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report. The report “Reflecting on green growth: Creating a resilient economy within environmental limits” highlights opportunities for Europe to go further in creating an economy that can deliver prosperity and sustainability.
The water-related elements identified in the report are:
-According to the European Commission, European government investments in public infrastructure such as schools, roads, and water supplies and sanitation have been inadequate during the last decade and require increased public investment of EUR 100‐190 billion annually (EC, 2020b). Also mentioned by Sponar in the PAC meeting.
-Simplified representation of dynamics linking elements in Europe’s socio-economic and environmental systems.Read More
Waterfall sounds can track changes in its flow as human interventions and climate change impact water levels
A new study from the American Geophysical Union developed a new tool to monitor waterfall’ soundscapes to help environmental managers determine how much water can be diverted from a waterfall.
Waterfalls have a specific threshold of water flow that must be maintained to preserve their characteristic sound and appearance, according to research that used audio recordings and images to monitor waterfalls in Europe. With this new method, scientists can use a waterfall’s sound and appearance to track changes in its flow as human interventions and climate change impact water levels.
Waterfalls’ water is valuable for hydropower, irrigation and for supporting river habitats. Water managers need to strike a balance between diverting much-needed water and preserving a waterfall’s ecosystem and natural beauty for tourism. In some regions, climate change is also threatening waterfalls.
The new study used audio recordings and images of 15 waterfalls in Europe to understand how changes in water flow affect their appearance and sound. To learn more about the results click here.Read More