Tomas Michel, President’s Editorial
Dear Water Europe Family,
I hope this editorial finds you all healthy and in the best spirit, as we are. We are in an excellent mood because we are getting closer to our most important annual event, which is by now official and in full swing. Registrations for our Water Innovation Europe 2021 conference ‘EU Water-Smart Society for a Global Leadership’ happening on 14-18 June 2021, are open. The agenda is almost complete, featuring an important and diverse speaker line up in all the five plenary sessions, this year`s conference will consist of.
As every year, and coinciding with WIE, we will also be welcoming your innovations to be presented and compete in our Water Innovation Awards. This year, despite the pandemia, will be no exception. The applications have started already for all the five categories of our Awards and you will be able to submit your application until the 21st of May.
Side by side with WIE2021 eight exciting side-events have been scheduled, and of course, our Working Groups meetings, will take place. In fact, WIE2021 will mark the end of the 2019-2021 Planning and Reporting Cycle (PRC) of the WE Working Groups and Vision Leadership Teams and a lot of WGs and VLTs are working hard on the finishing touch of their respective White Papers, as well as contributing to other deliverables they had foreseen or planned. The closing of PRC2019-2021 will be the opportunity for the Board to evaluate all achievements done by our very large community over the last two years as well as an opportunity and start for a renewed engagement and work plans that will kick in from this autumn onwards initiating PRC2022-2023.
This month, Water Europe’s advocacy efforts will result in the release of a Water Europe position paper on ‘Healthy Soils Strategy’. The EU’s new “Healthy Soils” Strategy is an opportunity to tackle environmental challenges applying innovative, circular solutions to the issue of soil degradation and to take advantage of the synergies between the different EU frameworks and directives (the European Green Deal but also the Water Framework Directive, the Common Agricultural policy, the Farm-to-Fork strategy, the Biodiversity strategy etc.) While the strategy considers the interdependence between the quality and resilience of soil and the management of water, wastewater, and wetland ecosystems, Water Europe reiterates some recommendations for a truly circular and sustainable soil management. To learn more download our paper.
On May 31st , 2021 the MEP Water Group is going to host the event ‘Energy neutrality in water management, a water-smart objective?’’ with Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy as a keynote speaker addressing the topic ‘EU policy related to the Water-Energy Nexus’ and a panel discussion following with Pernille Weiss, Chairman of the MEP Water Group moderating the discussion. As a strong supporter of the MEP Water Group, Water Europe’s representatives will be contributing to the discussion of the day and the WE community will be able to follow the discussion through live streaming on our social media channels.
I look forward to meeting up with most of you very soon, as well as to the exciting and interesting developments ahead. While we await in anticipation and finalize preparations do not miss out on this month’s guest editorial by Florika Fink-Hooijer, EC’s Director General for the Environment that addresses the Water Europe community in this month’s newsletter.
It would be fantastic news, and a definite start to a new normal, if this year’s edition of WIE could be the last in an only digital format. Some indicators suggest this could be the case. Until we get there and can meet up again in person, stay healthy and think,… water.