Hans Goossens, WE President’s Editorial
Dear Water Europe friends,
We are all back from a summer that had a bit of everything. Pleasant moments enjoying the sun, cooling down in the lake or the sea, and long hours of sitting outside. Yet, this is only one side of the coin. During the summer, we all experienced an exceptional heatwave across Europe, raging fires, severe drought with dry rivers and water scarcity in many European regions. We are all confronted with the mere fact that the climate is changing, if not, collapsing in front of our eyes. Water is not only life but also living. Over these months, we saw the impact of low rivers on the transportation of goods across Europe, the whole logistics line was under pressure, slowing down the production. Water is key for all the activities of our society. If we want to go for a sustainable society, we have to go for a Water-Smart Society. The frequency and the intensity of all these events around us made us take a step further and sharpen our Water Vision, an updated version of which is expected this autumn.
In the meantime, we have already published our new position paper for a Water-Smart Nutrient Management Action Plan. This paper stresses the link between a Water-Smart Society and the circular economy. A nutrient management action plan is very important for reducing, reusing, and recycling in a better way, and has a direct impact on the water utilities. The reduction of nutrients that could enter the freshwater cycle and the recycling of nutrients from wastewater treatment increases the cost-efficiency of the whole water management cycle. The paper also includes several of best practice cases from the European collaborative research projects Nextgen, Ultimate, Water-Mining, and B-Water-Smart. To read our full position paper, click here.
Our new Water-Oriented Living Lab Notebook series publications were also made available earlier this month. They serve as a manual for those interested in driving their research and development process toward a Water-Smart Society and embedding their water-smart innovations in society, using the Living Labs concept. The WOLLs are a very important instrument for the implementation of our Water Vision and this is exactly what our September’s workshops demonstrated during the IWA conference in Copenhagen and the Open Living Lab Days in Turin. Download our WOLLs publications here. Speaking of innovation, we are also excited to share with you the recently published CNN article that features the innovative solution of the Water Europe SME winner 2022 Manhat, while making reference to our Innovation awards. Read the whole piece here.
While we are bombarded daily with news about the energy crisis in Europe, we shouldn’t allow this to change our priority; instead it should urge us to turn the treat of a looming water crisis into an opportunity for creating a Water-Smart Society. Our next Water Knowledge Europe event on the 18th and 19th of October will be an opportunity for us to meet again, exchange, get inspired and come up with solutions for our water challenges. I look forward to meeting you all there!