The UNESCO has just released the UN World Water Development Report 2019: Leaving No One Behind. This new edition focuses on the possible improvement in water resources management and access to water supply and sanitation services to overcome poverty and fill in the gap of the other inequities. This report in a source of information for the decision-makers in the water community and beyond to make concrete a water smart society and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Take a look at the event agenda here
Join us to debate on this report on the 3rd of April at the European Parliament at 4.30. Places are limited, so register here
UN World Water Development Report : https://en.unesco.org/water-security/wwap/wwdr/2019#download
News on the MEP Water Group – UNESCO event at the EU Parliament: http://mepwatergroup.eu/public-session-on-the-un-world-water-development-report-2019-leaving-no-one-behind/Read More
Date: 3rd of April
Schedule: 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm,
Location: European Parliament, room JAN 6 Q 2.
The MEP Water Group and the World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO are co-organising a public session on the new UN World Water Development Report: “Leaving no one behind: sustainable water management and governance from a European perspective”. The event will take place on the 3rd of April from 16h30 to 18h30 at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The 2019 edition of the UN World Water Development Report seeks to inform policy and decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, how improved water resources management and access to safe water and sanitation for all is essential for eradicating poverty, building peaceful and prosperous societies, and ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’ on the path towards sustainable development.
Access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water and sanitation services are basic human rights, as they are indispensable to sustaining healthy livelihoods and maintaining people’s dignity. Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind.
Exclusion, discrimination, entrenched power asymmetries, poverty and material inequalities are among the main obstacles to fulfilling the human rights to water and sanitation and achieving the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The main policy messages and findings from the report will be presented during the public session, followed by a high-level panel discussion.
We have the pleasure to confirm the participation of:
- Paul Rübig, Member of the EPP Group and MEP Water Group
- Louise Haxthausen, UNESCO Representative to European Institutions
- Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator and Director, UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
- Veronica Manfredi, Director for Quality of Life (Air & Water Quality, Marine Environment, Industrial Emissions & Safety), DG Environment
- Mariëlle van der Zouwen, Manager Knowledge Management Group, KWR Water Cycle Research Institute
- Hans Goossens, CEO, De Watergroep
- Cynthia Bleu-Laine, Africa Programme Manager, Water Lex
- Raluca Anghel, Spokesperson, Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union
Download the event programme HERE
For more information, please contact Anca Popa
Download the Executive Summary of the report here
Click HERE to registerRead More
In collaboration with the EU Maltese presidency, the MEP Water Group convened a successful public session on ‘Water Reuse – an effective tool to address water scarcity‘ on the 7th of March at the European Parliament. The session was chaired by Esther de Lange, President of the MEP Water Group and hosted five high-level panellists, who presented their own perspectives on why water-reuse is a valuable solution to address water scarcity, adaptation to climate change and implement circular economy.
With Malta being the EU member state with the lowest rate of water availability and highest population density rate, Mr Azzopardi, from the office of the Malta Prime Minister and CEO of the Energy and Water Agency stressed out that water reuse, is nowadays a necessary and a key element in Malta’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan (RBMP). He, also, pointed out that advances in technologies are required to effectively develop comprehensive and cost-effective solutions, as well as that support to R&D activities for the development of marketable solutions, together with EU initiatives regulating water reuse, are key elements to ensure investments in the water reuse sector.
Ms Doeser, Head of Unit from DG ENVI indicated that the new water reuse directive will aim at preventing uneven regulations from Members States that can create barriers to the market and will introduce a minimum standard at EU level which will ensure that safety and health requirements are met.
In fact, “Water reuse is not anymore an alternative supply but the water supply”, continued Mr Gawlik from the EC Joint Research Centre JRC, showing worrying EU maps on water shortage. The water industry “is well aware of the situation and is willing to work closely together with agriculture” ensured Arjan Boogaards from Nalco Water. Mr Van Houtte from IWVA noted that water-reuse is both economically and technically feasible and a solution for water scarcity, as it grants results in sustainable groundwater management and enhances ecosystems. As the last speaker of the session, MEP Dr. Paul Rübig from the EPP Group reminded the audience the importance of fostering investments at the water reuse sector and delivering results at a European level.
Before the closure of the panel session, Esther de Lange and Arjan Boogaards emphasised that water reuse would lead to a major community impact, as minimisation of water allows minimisation of energy and waste and therefore reduction of costs. So, it is actually a win-win-win situation. The panel discussion was followed by Q&A from the audience.
On Wednesday 28th of September, the MEP Water Group in cooperation with the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) of UNESCO, UN-Water and the UNESCO Liaison Office organised a public session on ‘Water and Jobs’ at the European Parliament in Brussels. Based on the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2016 “Water and Jobs”, produced by the UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) of UNESCO, the session addressed the water jobs nexus, with a range of high-level speakers and panellists adding their voices to the discussion.
Opening the session, Ms. Esther de Lange, President of the MEP Water Group, stressed out that “the only way to tackle the European challenges linked to water resources is to turn problems into opportunities”. According to the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2016 “Water and Jobs”, ‘ three out of four jobs are water-dependent. This means, on one hand, that water scarcity and supply disruptions could limit economic growth potential and impact jobs in the future decades. On the other hand, it points out that investing in water is investing in jobs and contributing to European growth.
Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator of the UN World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO, reminded the audience that “water is not only about the environment, it is also about social development and economy”. The WWDR 2016 particularly highlights the role of water as a driver for job creation, sustainable growth and greener economy.
Dirk Van der Stede, Managing Director of the Flanders/Belgium Knowledge centre Water (Vlakwa) indicated that Belgium is 4th poorest OECD country regarding water availability. In an attempt to put the topic of water at the forefront of the EU agenda, Antoine Saintraint, Policy Officer from EU Commission (DEVCO) emphasized that “The EU should support regional and continental integration efforts through partners’ policies in areas such as(…)cross-border cooperation on water, energy and security”.
All speakers concluded that investments in water infrastructures and ‘water jobs’ can generate positive returns and have a multiplier effect on job creation across all economic sectors. A lack of urgent and united action in water investments will leave the poorest behind. To download the full UN World Water Development Report 2016, please click here.Read More
On Wednesday 6th of April, the MEP Water Group, in cooperation with the Dutch EU Presidency held a public session dedicated to the theme ‘Water in the Urban Agenda’, with a link to ‘Τhe Leeuwarden Declaration’ at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The session was chaired by Esther de Lange, in her capacity as the President of the MEP Water Group and featured Aziza Akhmouch, Head of the OECD Water Governance Programme, Mario Cerutti, Senior Water Expert, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment, Richard Elelman, Coordinator of the BlueSCities Project and Pavel Misiga, Head of the Water Unit, European Commission as speakers of the session.
Esther de Lange introduced the topic, pointing out that although 70 % of the Europeans live in urban areas, the visibility of water has been massively declined in cities and thus water-related challenges are growing.
Among other considerations put forward by the speakers were that water is key to sustainable cities and that there should be simultaneous action that links infrastructures, institutions, and information together.
One of the tasks included in the urban agenda is to influence the EU research agenda by linking urban cities and water. The DG Environment of the European Commission has expressed its commitment to support this initiative and connect water directors and regional levels of implementation. In addition to that, it was highlighted that action needs to be taken so that the urban water-related issues are included in the upcoming Horizon 2020 Work Programme.
Speakers identified as an important challenge the difficulty in linking the EU and local level implementation of policies as well as integrated water management in urban areas. Several interlinked components are quite often disconnected from each other, such as water management, landscape planning, energy, waste, etc.
Esther de Lange stated that ‘Although there are a lot of actions launched, it is difficult to link the EU level with the local level and this is a challenge we need to address together!’
Dinner event with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella
On Wednesday 18th of November, European Commissioner Karmenu VELLA for Environment, Maritime affairs, and Fisheries met with members of the European Parliament and key representatives from the European water sector to debate the role of water in the circular economy, sustainable development goals, and the mainstreaming of water in other policies such as regional policy, agricultural policy, and research and innovation policy. The meeting was hosted by MEP Esther DE LANGE in her capacity as chair of the MEP Water Group, for which WssTP is the management body. Bruno Tisserand, EurEau president was there to deliver a speech on behalf of the European water sector.
Commissioner VELLA expressed his firm support for the MEP Water Group as a forum that continuously ensures that key water issues are highlighted in the European decision-making process. Commissioner Vella emphasized the quintessential importance of closing the water loop in the circular economy. Special attention was given to the reuse and recycling of water in industrial processes and reuse of municipal waste water, as areas with greatest potential in relation to the circular economy.
In particular, Commissioner Vella added that ‘European companies are already among the global leaders in the field of reusing municipal wastewater. Our expertise in this field can become a globally recognised source for sound investments, quality jobs, and economic growth.’
Commissioner Vella pointed out that we need to address and tackle the barriers to water reuse, so that reuse becomes an obvious solution for water managers, farmers and utilities across Europe.He also clearly indicated his intention to work closely with the EIP on Water to ensure that investment in water resources plays an important role in H2020 across all relevant societal challenges. According to Commissioner Vella, water will have a central role to play in the process of transition to an efficient and sustainable economy.Read More
On Friday September 18th, KWR Watercycle Research Institute held the opening ceremony of its new offices in Nieuwegein. The event was attended by many officials, such as the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen who formally opened the new residence of KWR. The Minister noted that the opening of KWR’s new complex is indicative of the important growth in the water sector and “physically represents a desire to be more efficient, sustainable and innovative. “
The MEP Water Group chairwoman, Esther de Lange, was among the official speakers of the ceremony. The chairwoman highlighted that the Netherlands is not only a European champion in water management but also a global player in knowledge and expertise in the water sector.
She added that water still suffers too much from sectarianism on a policy level. ‘’For many years, water was seen merely as environmental issue (with eg. The Water Framework Directive) that had to be discussed within the Environment Committee. However, water is about everything: raw materials scarcity, geopolitics, energy production, urban planning, the Digital Agenda, etc.’’ Esther de Lange underlined that circular economy is an opportunity but there is the risk everyone applies circular economy on their own terms, with no one leading the way.
The chairwoman also made a reference to the MEP Water Group and its activities. The MEP Water Group met with the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation who assigned the water sector to come up with concrete suggestions for innovation. Lastly, Esther de Lange stated that as the world population is growing, Europe needs to be smart .
As a long-standing member of WssTP, KWR is known for its outstanding research in the water sector and its invaluable contributions to society. KWR’s new and flexible complex contributes to the research institute’s ambitions by meeting the latest sustainability and environmental-integration standards. A building dedicated to collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation.
To learn more about KWR activities, please visit KWR’s website.Read More
In October 2015, an invitation-only dinner between with Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and the key representatives of the water sector will be organised at the European Parliament.
Later in the year, another high-level public event will be also hosted by the MEP Water Group. We will be publishing more details along the way! Stay tuned!Read More
The European Commissioner Carlos MOEDAS for Research, Science and Innovation met with Members of the European Parliament and key representatives of the European water sector to debate water-related research and innovation challenges and opportunities in the current legislative term. The meeting took place on 20th of April 2015 and it was hosted by MEP Esther DE LANGE in her capacity as chair of the MEP Water Group, for which WssTP is the management body.
Commissioner MOEDAS expressed its firm support to the MEP Water Group as an important forum for all those interested in water to discuss the systemic solutions needed to address the challenges of the water sector.
He highlighted that he considers water, energy, food and health as the 4 sectors that are key to our future. Water stands out in particular because it is a multidisciplinary sector connected to a wide diversity of policy areas and people. As such the water sector is well placed to get the best results in terms of research and science.
Commissioner MOEDAS sees the future of water on the intersection of the physical and digital world with cities of the future connecting services, infrastructures and people; and in a circular economy requiring more efficient use of water in industry, the recovery of resources and energy, and lower levels of water pollution.
Europe needs to capitalize on these opportunities. For this purpose the Commissioner Moedas will work closely with amongst others WssTP, the EIP Water, and the JPI Water. The Commissioner also invited the water sector to exploit the new European Fund for Strategic Investment to the greatest extent.
To download the full text of Commissioner’s Moedas speech, please click here.Read More