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
Registrations are on for the exciting Water Projects Europe 2021 free event coming up on December. The event is designed to respond to the European environmental challenges by presenting 5 of the most revolutionary projects developing water-smart strategies: Waste2Fresh, AccelWater, IntelWATT, AquaSPICE and iWAYS.
Water Projects Europe will be online and will offer you the chance to learn how the projects are delivering a step change in water efficiency, recycling and security to inspire you and other experts across the water sector.
What is the WPE for?
🔗 Foster collaboration and synergies between EU-funded projects.
📊 Develop strategies for the market outreach of the projects’ outcomes.
💎 Extract and valorise components useful to policy building.
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 finally catch up with their peers in person but also to keep 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. If your weren’t able to join us, let us recap what happened during the WKE Autumn Edition days.Read More
Join the 2nd Webinar of International Conference “Groundwater, key to the Sustainable Development Goals” – November 25
FWP, CFH-IAH and UNESCO IHP are hosting the 2nd Introductory Webinar to the May 2022 International Conference “Groundwater, key to the Sustainable Development Goals”, coming up on November 25 to explore the role and importance of the sustainable management of groundwater in the context of the SDGs and the SDG water-related targets.
It will also underline the vital importance of preserving the quality and availability of groundwater in the face of climate change and increasing pressures on the resource, and update participants on the upcoming international Conference on Groundwater and the SDGs.
The webinar will be held in Paris on November 25th at 14:30 – 16:30 CET. Find out more info at the official Conference website. If you are interested in joining the webinar, here is the registration link.Read More
EC Commission refers Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice for failing to protect and manage its Natura 2000 sites
On November 12th, European Commission has decided to refer Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the European Union for not respecting its obligations under the Habitats Directive.
The European Green Deal and the European Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 set the objective for the EU to halt biodiversity loss by preserving its natural sites and restoring damaged ecosystems to good ecological status.
Bulgaria has not yet designated 194 out of 229 Sites of Community Importance as Special Areas of Conservation within the required time limit and has generally and persistently failed to set site-specific conservation objectives and measures for these sites. These are key requirements to protect biodiversity across the EU.Read More
EURECAT, Water Europe member, organises the CASSANDRA Conference from 15 to 17 November 2021, seeking to address the dramatic consequences of climate change on migration, health, conflict and gender in the Mediterranean.
The conference intends to establish permanent synergies between the world of science and technology with the most important social and political realities of this century. This online event will gather experts from United Nations, the World Bank, the OECD, the European Commission, and the European Parliament among others, in order to offer their visions and interact with the audience.
Water Europe will play an active role in the conference with Durk Krol, Water Europe Director speaking at the session ‘Science and social consensus in the Mediterranean’ that will delve into the ways the Mediterranean Region can be established as a leader in science and technology on the 17th of November at 14h00pm and Andrea Rubini, Director of Operations moderating the session on ‘Climate change, health and migration’ on the 15th of November at 12h30.
The registration is free for the conference and those who register will be given access to the whole event so that they can then pick and choose the panels they wish to attend. To learn more about the programme of the event and how to join, click here.Read More
Dear Water Europe family,
The Water Europe Board convened in Athens two weeks ago. It has been a too long time since our board members have not had the chance to meet in person, discuss and exchange views. We had almost become used to convene over the screen. In this lovely and hospital city, the meeting was this time a completely different and rewarding experience. Among the key topics of our agenda were the WE Membership Customer Journey, the renewal of our Vision Leadership Teams (VLTs) for the term 2021-2023, as well as the new Working Groups’ structure that will be put in place for the period 2021-2024.
The long-excluded possibility for coming together and exchanging in person is now also just around the corner for our members on the occasion of Water Knowledge Europe 2021, coming up in less than 10 days.
Water Europe has carried out an analysis of the Horizon Europe work-programme 2021-2022 to identify the water-related calls for proposals and offer the opportunity to WE members and all the event’s participants to get prepared to develop robust and successful project ideas. The analysis produced a set of documents – one for each cluster of the Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe – that highlights the selected calls for year 2022 and explain the rationale of the calls through the “Destinations” of the work-programmes of each cluster.
The Water Knowledge Europe 2021 autumn edition will be a hybrid event, allowing those who can attend physically to enjoy the event’s plenary sessions and the networking dinner but also giving the opportunity to the ones joining online to participate in the B2B meetings and the Working Groups sessions. On the other side of this hybrid experience, from the 8th to the 16th of November, all our Working Groups will host their meetings online, enabling its members to join remotely no matter where they are.
Concerning our advocacy tier, Water Europe is releasing a position paper titled ‘Addressing Pollutants of Surface and Ground Water’. Water Europe shares the concern about the presence of pharmaceuticals, microplastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals, (heavy) metals and other substances in European polluting surface and groundwater bodies. In support of the objective to “protect the aquatic environment and human health from chemical pollution through achieving good surface water”, Water Europe encourages upgrading the list of priority substances for surface and groundwater as follows to generate new economic, social & health and environmental benefits. Read the full position paper here.
We do not only need to be proactive and efficient, we also need to communicate about our actions and results. To make accessible and understandable to everyone the advocacy work done within Water Europe, we have launched a new series of videos ‘It’s time to be Water-Smart’ with the first video dedicated to the Textile strategy. If you wish to get informed on the water challenges, the recommendations that Water Europe brings forward, and how you can contribute, you need to subscribe to our channel. Watch here our first video.Read More
You were recently elected as Water Europe board member of college D ‘Suppliers & SMEs’- Could you tell us what drives you personally to have this role at Water Europe? What do you want to achieve?
It is my pleasure and honour to be a board member of Water Europe, I am very grateful to all my college D colleagues that trusted me with their vote. I would like to bring forward several topics that we prioritized in the working group Water and Health where I was leader. It is a key priority to make public health an important element in EU water-related policies and boost the R&I methodology to contribute to the achievement of a Water Smart Society in which the value of water is recognized and protected as a precious resource for human health and well-being.
Representing the solutions providers at Water Europe, which ones do you consider the key challenges and the most burning needs of this college and how do you contribute to addressing these in the context of Water Europe?
As a new member of college D and former leader and co-founder of the working Group Water and public health, I would certainly bring forward Health, since Health is a horizontal topic that relates to many policy areas. Coordination with other working groups and colleges is vital to have a holistic approach. Another challenge is the market access requirements in Europe for the water sector, it is important to have the same and transparent European requirements for products in every Member State which would mean less administrative burden, lower costs for solution providers and most important availability of innovative solutions in across Europe.
Encouraging innovation in the water sector is vital. How important do you consider the role of SMEs in this regard and what are the existing opportunities for the uptake of their innovations to the next level both inside and outside of Europe?
The European Water sector includes a large number of players, including 9,000 SMEs, due to their proximity to local communities and the deep knowledge of their specific needs and challenges, the role of SMEs and solution providers is key to innovation. Funding opportunities, together with policy coordination, as well as administrative support, is vital for this important market challenge at a European and mostly at a global level.
Based on our vision, Water Europe aims to build a Water-Smart Society. From your point of view, which actions shall we put forward to make this happen and how could the solution providers contribute to that?
The European and Global water challenges that are naturally linked to Sustainable Development Goals would need an integrated approach in research, innovation, investment and policy objectives. WE should promote research that focuses on the protection of water natural water resources and boosts the European water market as well as the global competitiveness of European water industries. Solution providers are part of the answer by providing innovative market solutions that contribute to the achievement of these challenging objectives and it is important to create a bridge between the market and administrative requirements so that innovative water technologies can reach the market in a reasonable amount of time.Read More