Hans Goossens, WE President’s Message
Dear Water Europe family,
Summer is here, with warm and dry days that remind us all the urgency of implementing our agenda. There is no other option, no other way than making the water systems resilient to climate extremes, and this requires joining forces with academics, scientists, technology companies and innovators in the field of new water systems. Digital shall enable us to get powerful insights out of the number of data we have available in order to improve our water services. We need to connect scientists and technology providers with water users and policy makers to pave the way to the transition to the Water-Smart Society. We need to have the public conscious about the value of water and we need to realise the benefits and the good life that a Water-Smart Society can bring us all.
The Water Innovation Europe conference that concluded successfully in June was a revelation of this exact point, bringing, after 2 years of virtual events, all water practitioners together. There was a great dynamism in the audience that showed us that, no matter the success that our online events have, this gathering brings us new ideas, creates new opportunities for collaboration, connects us with new partners and leaves us with lasting impressions. Innovation had a central place, once again, with our Water Europe Innovation Awards ceremony, bringing to the light the most innovative technologies of this year. Check here for the winning innovations.
On this note, I would like to stress out the importance of our Water Europe Implementation programme. The programme is here to ensure that innovative approaches and new solutions are put into practice and for this, the Water-Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs) are a key vehicle to bring about a paradigm shift to the Water-Smart Society. Two papers on the WOLLs are getting ready which will function as clear guidelines for supporting our strategy for the development of a network of WOLLs and implementing the Water Europe vision.
Last but not least, the annual general meeting of our Water Europe members showed that we are a healthy organisation with increasing members in different colleges and that we cover the full arena of all the stakeholders in water management. Also, as our 2021-2022 annual report shows, despite all the restrictions of COVID, we were able to keep up the spirit and bring members virtually together, with more white papers, and policy position papers produced, indicating clearly our role as the voice of all stakeholders in the EU arena. In this regard, it’s important for me to highlight, again, that understanding our members’ needs and expectations is at the core of our operation This is what we are continuously working towards, having a solid understanding of our members and always meeting their expectations.
Have a nice summer!