Water Europe IWDs
Water Europe IWDs is an initiative, in line with the three main WE programmes: WE Collaboration, Advocacy and Market Programme, which aims to set up business and research collaboration between the EU and other strategic global regions to better enable our members to create market opportunities for European solutions and to facilitate scientific collaboration.
Water Europe IWDs are implemented through country-specific IWD, the WE WG Water Beyond Europe, and in collaboration with international organisations such as = the OECD, the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum. Currently, we have country-specific IWD on China, India, and Iran.
20 – 21 April 2020, BluePoint Brussels
Objectives of the Event
- Analysis of what is already being done: does it work, does it have an impact, and can we take success stories further elsewhere.
- Promote exchange and replication of good practices at country and regional levels.
- Review main water challenges and the relevant implications for sustainable development (including for other sectors, such as energy, agriculture, education and health) and peace
- Support implementation of ongoing EU water-related programmes
- Support the development of an EU research & innovation strategy for International Cooperation
Why you should join
International Water Dialogues Days aims to raise challenges and analyse what is being done already between the European Union and the world, particularly with China, India, Africa, Central Asia and Middle East. These Days are an opportunity to:
Create opportunities for funding programme and consortia for securing water for all;
Network with a broad scope of international water-related stakeholders to raise your challenges and success stories;
Contribute in an action plan for Europe and beyond to realize the value of water for our society and economy to achieve a Water-Smart Society in line with the 2030 Agenda and the specificities of each region.
To advocate for the role that the European Union and European water sector actors can play in achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular SDG6 and other water-related targets.
To set-up an action plan for Europe and beyond to realize the value of water for our society and economy achieve a Water-Smart Society in line with the 2030 Agenda
Water is key to all our societal functions including industry, agriculture, our daily life at home, and all the services that we enjoy, including the function that nature has for our well-being. Globally 90% of the economy and 75% of jobs depend on the availability of enough water of the right quality. The need to emphasise the value of water becomes especially clear, when we look at the emerging challenges over the upcoming decades potentially leading to increased water scarcity, pollution of our living environment and fresh water sources, and increased cost for our societies to deal with the effects of the ever more frequent and intense floods and droughts.
In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world has defined 17 specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focussed on our Planet, our People, and our Prosperity. Water has a dedicated goal (SDG6), however if we have a close look, water appears almost everywhere and it is fair to conclude that without proper attention to water sector development at large, it will be impossible to reach most of the SDGs.
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019, the water crises rank for the 8th consecutive year among the top 5 global societal risks in terms of impact. According to the WEF “Water presents some of the world’s most pressing social, political, and economical challenges.” The water crises are also closely interconnected with other major global risks.
A very special feature of the SDGs is the dedicated SDG 17 on “Partnerships for the goals” which recognizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as important instruments for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, technologies and resources to support the achievement of the SDGs. This includes the promotion of effective public, public-private and non-state CSO / CBO / NGO partnerships around the world. To this end, the multi-stakeholder water oriented living labs approach and methodology can broadly support the co-creation of systemic solutions.
More than any other region in the World, Europe boasts a wealth of experience in collaboration, innovation and the creation of proven solutions in addressing past and current water challenges. The European Union is in a unique and privileged position to secure water for all by adopting a systemic approach at the watershed level. to provide real water sustainability for people, economies and the ecosystem both now and in the future. International collaboration within such a mission will further permit the overcoming of global challenges as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Water management is risk management: this implies a move away from crisis management (linked to extreme events such as a droughts or floods) towards the Water Security approach to enhancing resilience, anticipating damages, and ensuring that water is supplied in the right quantity and quality to different users and for different uses.
Through the European Green Deal, the EU will lead global efforts towards circular economies and green and clean technologies. In the area of climate change, the EU is at the forefront of implementing the Paris Agreement, and the Commission has adopted a vision for achieving a climate neutral economy by 2050. The EU can lead the global community in developing and implementing a new approach to protecting biodiversity and planetary boundaries, while these efforts towards achieving climate neutrality also offers the opportunity for new jobs and growth globally. These actions strongly contribute to the achievement of the SDGs 6, as well as 2 (Zero Hunger), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).
Monday, 20th of April
(11.00 – 17.30)
11.30 – Opening words by Water Europe Vice-President, Mr. Wim van Vierssen & UNESCO Brussels Office
12.00 – Key-note WWDR – Presentation of the UN World Water Development Report 2020 on Water and Climate – UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
12.30 – Panel discussion SDG Agenda in EU: Presentation of the EC water-related actions in support of Agenda 2030 – moderated session with 3 EC guests
The Agenda 2030 appears prominently in many of the recent policies of the European Commission. What will be the drivers for the EU in the next 5 years to achieve the implementation of the SDGs, especially in collaboration with partners in Europe and beyond.
13.15 – Lunch break
15.00 – 3 parallel break-out sessions:
Water and Climate
The relationship between water and agriculture, energy production, livelihood viability, ecosystems is as important as it is complex: water resources are vital for both society and ecosystems and water security stress will continue to be exacerbated by climate change.
Talking about governance and cooperation, what is being done already: does it work? If we are to create a sustainable future, what targeted strategies do we need to develop? In this session we plan to measure the impact of what has been done already towards climate resilience and water cooperation and gather success stories that took steps ahead in achieving the SDGs.
Water and Finance
With its research infrastructure, Europe is among the absolute world leaders and the public sector is one of the largest de facto end-users of innovations. But too little research is commercialized and therefore taken up by the market, just a few start-ups get through the financially very complex initial phase of a new company in which there is still little income. Impact Investment, Crowd funding and Innovative Procurement (Pre Commercial Procurement, PCP and Public Procurement or Innovative Solutions, PCI) are different forms of financing innovations. In the Water and Financing session we want to explore the latest developments and successes in this area. But also how we can use these EU-based instruments in a broader international setting.
HotSpots – The Living Labs
European innovation policy started to focus on Living lab communities that have as a base the needs and aspirations of local and regional stakeholders for sustainable development. The Water-Oriented Living Labs (WoLLs) session aims at showing the involvement and commitment of multi-stakeholders (including water authorities) in existing “field labs” which develop, test, validate and integrate water-related technological solution, as well as soft innovations for the development of new models of governance and business.
Water Europe identified 105 WoLLs across Europe and based on this experience this session intends to introduce and debate around the examples and good practices of comparable LLs established beyond Europe.
17.30 – Plenary for the reports on the Roundtables
19.30 – Networking dinner
Tuesday, 21st of April
(09.00 – 16.00)
09.00 – Opening words & Day 1 report by Water Europe & UNESCO
09.15 – Keynotes – EU Water International Cooperation – EU Cooperation with countries beyond Europe – lessons learned
The EU has implemented in the past several water programmes (e.g. the EU Water Facility) and started a number of bilateral cooperation on water (e.g. with China, India, and Iran). What are the lessons learned in those programmes and instruments? What are the EC follow-up plans in the water international cooperation arena?
09.30 – Moderated Panel Discussion and Q&A
10.30 – Coffee break
11.00 – International Cooperation on Research – European Commission – Implementation challenges
EC research programmes supported many water related international activities. Were they successful in showcasing EU innovation solutions? How were international water markets influenced by their results? How does EC look at the future of international cooperation on research and innovation?
11.20 – Moderated Panel Discussion and Q&A
12.30 – Lunch break
13.30 – 4 parallel break-out sessions – Regional Clusters
1st Cluster – India
The EU and the Indian Government set up the India-EU Water Partnership in 2016 to strengthen technological, scientific and management capabilities in water management. An action-oriented work programme with 9 priority areas was developed. The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has set up CGanga as the knowledge centre for the NMCG. In addition seven EU-India research and innovation water projects have now started. In this session advances made in the current collaborations along with plans for the future will be explored.
2nd Cluster – China
The EC has shaped its dialogue in the water policy area through the China Europe Water Platform. Within the EU, the secretariat rotates between the countries participating in the platform. This strengthens the basis of the relationship with China in this area. Water Europe, in cooperation with CEWP, focuses on cooperation in the field of water technology. It does this in particular through the Living Labs instrument. The session will explore the potential for EU-China collaboration in the near future.
3rd Cluster – Middle East Central Asia
Central Asia (with countries such as Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan) and Southwest Asia (with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran) are important regions for collaboration as connecting links between the EU and the Asian continent and Africa. The session will focus on activities of the Central Asian Network for Water Science & Technology and the current EU efforts to build water policy relationships for the future with Iran.
4th Cluster – Africa
Many international cooperation initiatives on Water have taken place in the context of EU programmes. Some of them have been conducted in the framework of important political instruments like the Africa-EU Partnership. Africa is a focus region in the EU international cooperation agenda, as also mentioned in the priorities of the Commissioner-designate for International Partnerships. This session will analyse a selection of past activities and programmes, sharing lessons learned and discussing how can EU further strengthen cooperation with Africa especially concerning knowledge, innovation and capacity building.
16.00 – Plenary for the reports on the Roundtables
Wednesday, 22nd of April (09.00 – 16.00)
Water JPI Event: “IC4Water Private sector funding for water research. (Best practices)”