WE President editorial December 2019
Dear Water Europe family,
While we are running the last weeks of 2019 and before welcoming the new year, we would like to spare a moment and warmly thank you for being part of the Water Europe family over 2019. What we think as the best and maybe more practical way to show our gratitude is by providing you with the tangible results of what it means to be part of Water Europe. 2019 has been an intense and exciting year for us with activities on all fronts.
Three successful annual events with over 500 participants were held, more than 600 matchmaking sessions took place, three new publications saw the light and many more actions were made that may not be measurable in numbers but still count a great deal. Chief among them in 2019 was our name change. It has been already six months after the adoption of our new name, which more accurately reflects our evolution and our vision for the future. ‘Water Europe’ has been fondly embraced by the EU water sector not only as a stronger brand but also for what it brings along: A broader, more inclusive platform that represents the full water value chain and paves the way for the full transition to a Water-Smart society.
To implement our Water Vision and achieve a Water-Smart Society, the Water Oriented Living Labs are a key tool and thus, earlier this year, we did an analysis of all the existing living labs across Europe that resulted in our new publication the ‘Atlas of the EU WoLLS’ which serves as the first-ever mapping and categorisation of European WoLLs. In parallel with this and in line with our unceasing commitment to bring the water topic at the heart of the EU’s attention, we jointly developed with the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) the publication ‘Water in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: How can Europe Act’ that advocates for the role that the European Union, the European Commission and the European Water Sector actors should continue to have, to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda, in particular to SDG 6 and other water-related targets.
Achieving a Water-Smart Society and raising the water topic on the EU agenda are key pillars of our strategy but not the only ones. Providing excellent services to our members remains at the centre of our everyday operation. We want our members to get results and we are happy to see that our efforts and work successfully deliver them. According to our publication ‘Analyses & Overview of WE members’ European Projects’, 179 water-related projects have been funded under H2020 and thus far Water Europe’s membership covers 74% of all participants to these projects.
We have many reasons to be proud of but nothing of all these would have been possible, without your enthusiast participation and input, the real fuel of our success. Therefore, the final applause goes to you for one more year. We eagerly anticipate and look forward working with you and for you again in 2020.