POWER Newsletter


POWER at a glance

The Project "Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges" (POWER) is funded by the EU under the H2020-ICT10c-2015 Call. The POWER consortium comprises a total of 12 Partners, including four research institutions dealing with environmental, social and governance issues, two innovation SMEs, two European organisations and four key demonstration cities. For 48 months of activities, from December 2015 to November 2019, the project aims to set up a user-driven Digital Social Platform (DSP) for the expansion and governance of POWER existing water networks by engaging on a large scale with stakeholders in the co-creation and delivery of digital products and services to citizens involving awareness-raising, new policy initiatives and deployment.

Further information on http://www.power-h2020.eu

Source: www.milton-keynes.gov.uk, 2017-05-24

Milton Keynes on water scarcity

Milton Keynes is located in Buckinghamshire approximately 60 km north of London and was built 50 years ago deliberately located to be equidistant from Birmingham, Leicester, London, Oxford and Cambridge.
Milton Keynes is a rapidly growing city, the fastest in the UK: the population increased by 37,300 to 252,400 between 2002 and 2012, a rise of 17.3%. Milton Keynes Core Strategy forecasts the population will grow by 29,450 people between 2013 and 2020 with an average annual housing completion rate of 1,720 dwellings. The population growth increases pressure on water supply in the city and borough. Therefore the Milton Keynes Council is actively seeking ways to reduce water consumption in the municipal and community buildings, the housing stock, commerce and business sectors.
In this context, the city has already implemented many successful projects in cooperation with the water company Anglian Water, which is the organisation responsible for infrastructure and supply of mains water in the Borough of Milton Keynes and the East of England.

An excerpt of current innovative projects:

  • Investment in an innovative new Integrated Leakage and Pressure Management System designed to reduce leakage, detect them faster and improve response times,
  • Development of a robust long-term water resources strategy to increase the resilience of the supply-system and combat the anticipated reduction in supply-demand balance and
  • Initiation of Customer Awareness Campaigns with the strapline "Love every drop" to promote the value of water and encourage customers to reduce water consumption e.g. Bits and Bobs, Drop 20, Potting Shed club.

To share this knowledge interactively with Follower Cities on a Digital Social Platform (DSP), Milton Keynes is participating in the POWER project.

Source: www.networks-group.de,

netWORKS 4 – Resilient networks: how urban supply systems contribute to climate justice

Water infrastructures are playing a decisive role for the creation of climate-just towns. They have to be robust and resilient against the effects of climate change like torrential rain or periods of extreme heat. At the same time they have to promote a resource-saving use of water. In order to achieve this aim, it could be useful to combine grey, blue and green infrastructures. How could such linkages between water pipes, the sewage system and for instance creeks or green spaces look like? And thus, how could climate friendliness be improved for the urban population? These questions will be dealt with in the new research project netWORKS 4.
Urban development and water infrastructure are closely intertwined. Without adequate water supply and wastewater disposal, urban development is unimaginable. Water infrastructure on the other hand must have the opportunity to take up new developments for extension and restructuring. Obviously, water infrastructure is not just a hub for the flow of substances and resources but it also plays a mediation role between society and nature.
It must be said, though, that these important functions are hardly recognized by the citizens themselves because the subterranean water infrastructures are hardly perceivable. They only become noticeable if they are experienced as inadequate like for example in cases of flooding or after cases of heavy rainfalls both of which are generally on the rise as are other effects of climate change. Floods as well as periods of heat and drought constitute great challenges for water infrastructures and water resources management.

Resource-saving solutions for future climate-just cities
The research partners of netWORKS 4 are aiming to initiate dialogue processes among those responsible for urban and infrastructural development in order to jointly find future-orientated solutions that can withstand changing climatic conditions. To this end they will investigate approaches for an integrated planning and a linkage between grey (water supply and wastewater disposal), green (parks and green space) and blue (creeks and water bodies) infrastructures. The project’s research work on possible interlinkages of these infrastructures will initially focus on the towns of Norderstedt and Berlin.
ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research is heading the project. Research partners are the German Institute for Urban Studies gGmbH, the Competence Center Water Berlin gGmbH, and Berliner Wasserbetriebe. Associated partners are the City of Norderstedt and the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment of Berlin. The research project “Resilient networks: How urban supply systems contribute to climate justice (netWORKS 4)” is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding measure “Transformation of Urban Spaces” of the funding priority “Social-Ecological Research”

More information

Source: www.kwr.nl, 2017-05-24; from left to right: Richard Elelman (CTM)*, Berd Gawlik (JRC), Karmenu Vella (Commissioner in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union), Kees van Leeuwen (KWR)* and Stef Koop (KWR)*.

* Members in the POWER project.

The Urban Water Atlas for Europe is presented to 43 environment ministers

The European Commission has published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe edited jointly by NETWERC H2O, The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, EURECAT-CTM of Catalonia, KWR and the Horizon 2020 project, BlueSCities.
At the end of April 2017, at the Ministerial Meeting on Water in Malta, presided jointly by the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), the Urban Water Atlas for Europe was presented to Commissioner Karmenu Vella (Commissioner in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union) and to the 43 Ministers of the Environment representing the member states of the UFM.
The Atlas is a complete panorama of water management in European cities. The Urban Water Atlas for Europe aims to raise public interest and participation in water issues by combining the work of scientists, artists, politicians and municipal stakeholders with that of schoolchildren and teachers.
City Blueprints for 40 cities. The City Blueprints, developed by the Dutch Research Centre, KWR and revised during the BlueSCities project show cities’ performance in terms of overall water management in more than 40 European cities and regions, together with a number of overseas examples
Water footprint is based on food consumption. Another interesting feature of the Atlas is the fact that a lot of water is required to produce food, but very different quantities are needed for the production of different types of foods. The illustrations of the Atlas show that by shifting to healthier diets (e.g. less meat) and by reducing food spillage, a lot of water can be saved in Europe.
A new approach. The Atlas is the first demonstration of an innovative Science-Art approach to Water Diplomacy and describes in detail the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent which has led to schoolchildren in different countries contributing to the publications illustrations. This was indicated to the Ministers who heard Bernd Gawlik of the JRC and Richard Elelman, Director General of NETWERC H2O who argued for a more important role for cities in order to ensure that the objectives of the Ministerial Declaration on Water approved by the UFM are achieved. Water must be a source of international collaboration instead of a catalyst for interregional conflict and migration.
Acknowledgements. The Urban Water Atlas is the fruit of collaboration between the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities (NETWERC H2O), the Commission’s Science and Knowledge Service – the Joint Research Centre, Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic, KWR Watercycle Research Institute, the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water), Easton Consulting and all other partners of the BlueSCities project, funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation scheme.

More information

ICCG Webinar: Water, Wastewater - Center Pieces of the Circular Economy

Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator of the WWAP, UNESCO programme and Director of the Programme Office on Global Water Assessment in Perugia, gave an ICCG Webinar on Water, Wastewater – Center Pieces of the Circular Economy on 13th April 2017.
The presentation demonstrate the key role water plays for sustainable development in all its dimensions – from an economic, social and environmental perspective. The content will be based on the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2017 “Wastewater: The Untapped Resource”.

To view the webinar, click on the picture; the PDF version of the presentation can be found here.

International Events

Water Innovation Europe, Brussels

Water is critical for our economy, food security, environment, and the well-being of our citizens. Water scarcity, pollution of our fresh water sources, and the effects of more frequent and intense floods and droughts can have severe economic impacts. To prevent these risks, investments in water infrastructure, in technologies for water-efficiency in industrial and agricultural sectors, and in the restoration and maintenance of well-functioning natural water systems are necessary.
Technological and non-technological innovation will be essential to address these water challenges and to keep the cost of the solutions affordable. The WssTP Water Vision “The value of water” has introduced 4 innovation concepts that show the way to a future-proof circular water-smart society that is effectively and efficiently governed. These innovation concepts are: Multiple Waters including reuse and recycling, Digital Water including IoT and Big Data, recovering the Value IN Water, and an underpinning Hybrid Grey and Green Infrastructure. Innovation in water and Digital Water offer also unexploited and solid market opportunities within and outside Europe, which we need to tap.
This year's edition of Water Innovation Europe conference will showcase that pro-actively addressing these water challenges can create and secure jobs and strong investment and market opportunities within and outside Europe. European industries, service providers, research institutes, and consultancies will have a great chance to develop and grow in the global €650 Billion water market and contribute to Europe’s global lead in Sustainable Development.

14th - 15th June 2017, Brussels, Belgium

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World Water Week, Stockholm

The World Water Week 2017 programme features more than 200 events covering a wide range of topics concerning water and development. This year’s theme, Water and waste: Reduce and reuse, has lifted the profile of wastewater as a resource and has brought innovation and invention to the forefront of our minds. Browse through this year’s programme and be inspired by our exciting events and impressive speakers. Start planning your visit to World Water Week 2017!

27th August - 1st September 2017, Stockholm, Sweden

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EIP Water Conference 2017 - Water Innovation: Bridging Gaps, Creating Opportunities, Porto

Autumn will see 7 days of excitement as Porto hosts the 4th EIP Water conference as part of the Porto Water Innovation Week (PWIW). From September 24 - 30, some 800 water innovators from all over Europe converge on the "Invicta City", which was also recently named Best European Destination 2017 for the third-time.

There are three headline events:

  1. EIP Water Conference 2017 (Sep 27-28) -  bridging gaps in European water innovation
  2. Mayors & Water conference (Sep 29) - furthering the Urban Water Agenda
  3. Water Innovation Lab (Sep 24-29) - shaping the new water leaders

This year’s theme is “Water Innovation: Bridging Gaps, Creating Opportunities”. Innovative solutions to address major European and global water challenges will be on the table. At the same time, other issues to be explored will include market opportunities for these innovations, both within and outside Europe, and how to remove barriers by advancing and leveraging existing solutions. To round up the conference, the programme will also include “WaterMatch” matchmaking, TechTalks, technical tours of Porto’s most innovative water facilities and networking receptions.

24th - 30th September 2017, Porto, Portugal

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POWER - A social response to global water issues


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Learn more about our POWER consortium

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687809.

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