Jan Hofman, leader of the newly launched WG ‘Water Security’ shares his insights with us
Why is it important to have a new Working Group dedicated to the theme of ‘Water Security’?
Water Security is an umbrella for addressing the multitude of water-related challenges and issues. It is related to the capacity of a population to safeguard access to adequate quantities of water of acceptable quality, for protection against water-related disasters and for preserving ecosystems. Water Security puts water at the heart of society. So, it relates to the Agenda 2030 and SDG6. Water Security requires a holistic view which is provided by Water Europe’s Vision 2030 and SIRA. The key challenge of achieving Water Security is developing long-term pro-active approaches. The new Working Group will focus on this holistic approach and translate it to local situations. It also offers Water Europe and its members to reach out beyond Europe’s borders. Improving Water Security in Africa and Asia, areas where the population will grow unprecedented, is central for Europe’s development.
What are the main priorities of the newly launched Working Group?
The importance of Water Security is clear. However, the way it is defined makes it challenging to use and assess. The main priority now is to develop a quantitative assessment framework for Water Security. How can we measure it? What are the performance indicators? Where can we find the required reliable and open data? How the assessment framework provides action perspectives? These are important questions to be answered to develop long-term sustainable water management and governance leading to increased water security.
What are you currently working on and what are you expecting to deliver within the upcoming year?
The working group is planning a workshop at KWR Water Research Institute, to set the first steps for creating the assessment framework. In addition, we will look forward to the upcoming Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe calls with relevance to the theme. And of course, the working group will seek close collaboration with Water Europe members through other Working Groups and the Clusters.