UN 2023 Water Conference
22-24 March 2023
The United-Nations Water Conference 2023 is concluded and we are excited to have participated in this conference that brought together 8.000 delegates from all over the world and made water the centre of everyone’s attention. With the first copies of our new vision in our hands, Water Europe team and ambassadors were present to spread the message of the need to build a Water-Smart Society. For this, five side-events were organised with a dedicated agenda covering the key thematic areas of our new vision. Scroll down to explore the main key messages from each side event.
Check all the events and key messages
Climate Resilience needs a Water-Smart Society
📌 EU Delegation European to the United Nations, New York
✅”Industry leadership and cooperation are important to achieve a circular economy” – the State Secretary to the Swedish Minister of Environment.
✅Wastewater treatment plants need to become resource plants to achieve a circular economy, particularly phosphorus recovery. It will be needed to consider first the quality of the product rather than the origin to accelerate circular processes.
✅In addition to the resource recovery, the water reuse should become critical for the future. In the European context, the urban wastewater treatment directive is the relevant tool to accelerate the circular water use and reduce freshwater need. A water funds in the European context would be welcome to support the needed investment.
Collaborative innovation: the key towards a Water-Smart Society
📌 Permanent Mission of Belgium, New York
✅New methods, systems and programmes are needed for successful water cooperation such as Water4all.
✅Water-oriented Living Labs (WoLLS) can accelerate the achievement of a Water-Smart Society.
✅“It’s not the commitments but the actions and the partnerships that we will make after this conference that matter” – Luc Jacobs, Belgian Ambassador.
Circular Economy: a key component of a Water-Smart Society
📌 United Nations HQ, New York
✅“Water is a cure to the insecurity we are facing”, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
✅“Circular solutions already exist and require collaboration to advance a just circular economy transition”, Ligia Noronha, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General.
✅“Awareness, measurement, and actions are the three key elements for realising the opportunities for circular economy”, Calvin Emanuel, Vice President Sustainable Growth Solutions at Ecolab.
Water & Health: Going Beyond the WASH approach?
✅“Digitalisation and the exploitation of state-of-the-art technology can make quality control and monitoring easier”, Marco Romiti, First Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations.
✅“A strong clean water R&I strategy to support EU water policies, the EU Green Deal and its Zero-pollution ambition is needed”, Panagiotis Balabanis, Head of Sector Water, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission.
✅All the speakers stressed the urge to move from a reactive to a preventive approach in water management.
WEFE Nexus: Highlighting the need for Water-Smart industry
📌 Consulate General of Denmark in New York
✅“Water crisis can have consequences on all aspects of our lives. We need to work together and we need to work on solutions”, Magnus Heunicke, Minister of Environment in Denmark.
✅“There is nothing like waste water, but only wasted water. We, as people, give priority to urgency than importance. I have seen the value of water changing in my life”, Hp Nanda, Chief Executive Officer at Grundfos.
✅There is a critical interrelationship between water and climate because water is the primary medium through which we feel the growing effects of climate change. The solution is addressing the water-energy nexus since our climate and water systems are linked, and valuing and saving water is a tool to address global climate challenges. Large quantities of Water are critical to developing renewable energy tools and the smart reuse of water reduces GHG emissions. Since water is finite we must use it smartly to address these challenges. The first step is to value water properly and make an abrupt shift in our management of water.