POWER Newsletter

30.01.2018

POWER at a glance

The project "Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges" (POWER) is funded by the European Union under Horizon 2020 programme. The POWER consortium comprises a total of 12 partners, including four research institutions dealing with environmental, social and governance issues, two innovative SMEs, two European organisations and four key demonstration cities. The project runs for 48 months, from December 2015 to November 2019, during which user-driven platforms for the expansion of POWER water networks will be set up. By engaging on a large scale with stakeholders, the project will deliver digital products and services to citizens involving awareness-raising and new policy initiatives.

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

Contents

  • 4 new Water Communities for water challenges faced by cities
  • Watch a short movie about the benefits of urban wetlands
  • Read new publications about governance and water management in cities
  • Discover how towns can prepare for heavy rains with the project "Regen // Sicher" in the city of Worms
  • Learn more about restoring floodplains and wetlands as a good value solution to river flooding
  • Events to come

Now online: 4 new Water Communities for water challenges faced by cities!

Do you want to improve the water management in your local authority? If the drinking water in your municipality is scarce or if your population is endangered by surface water floods, you should have a look at the Water Communities. These interactive platforms are filled with information from experts about water related issues and can be used to communicate with decision makers, key stakeholders and the public in order to increase awareness.

These platforms are now activated so everyone can join in and benefit from the experience of the four local authorities involved in the POWER project:

- Join Jerusalem Water Community, promoting water conservation behaviours, quantifiable water savings and improved awareness regarding water quality

- Join Milton Keynes Water Community where water is also scarce and social awareness incentives are used to reduce total consumption

- Join Leicester Water Community, strengthening the awareness of extreme weather events, as it is endangered by surface water floods

- Join Sabadell Water Community, where the water is delivered in two qualities, as drinking and non-drinking water

Do you want to share your own best practices with other municipal employees around the world? Then use the POWER best practices platform to explore and share experiences with other users of the wide network of POWER cities. Here you can learn from them and discuss the actions they took to tackle water-related challenges.

Watch a short movie about the benefits of urban wetlands!

The city of Leicester has published a short movie featuring the City Mayor to showcase Ellis Meadows, the urban wetlands implemented to minimize flood risks. This initiative is the result of collaboration between the City Council and the Environment Agency.

A creative vision led them to reconnect the river with its flood space, complemented by embankments that protect the residential areas behind it. The outcome of this cheaper alternative is a lower flood risk for residents, an extensive green space used as a recreation area, and multiple other benefits. Watch the film to see it with your own eyes!

The movie is hosted on High Water Films, a platform that offers valuable insights into the field of flooding and flood risk management, alongside a series of other videos about Natural Flood Management.

New publications about governance and water management in cities!

A partner in the POWER project, the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, has recently contributed to two new scientific publications. Using the City Blueprint indicator assessment, these papers offer insight on how to address the increasing water challenges brought by climate change.

In The City Blueprint Approach: Urban Water Management and Governance in Cities in the U.S, the authors assess these challenges in six cities: New York City, Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland and Los Angeles. Beyond these examples, this approach has potential to assist all cities in their strategic planning and exchange of knowledge, experiences and lessons.

City Blueprint of New York City

The city of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands is the focus of Assessing governance capacity to address water challenges in cities. In this publication, the authors acknowledge that today, “societies are facing major challenges such as freshwater shortage, rising sea levels, extreme weather events and depletion of natural resources”. In order to tackle these challenges, the governance capacity of cities is not to be neglected. City Blueprint is a useful tool to diagnose the ability of cities to cope with them, and highlight where the efforts should focus to improve governance in cities.

Discover how towns can prepare for heavy rains with the project "Regen // Sicher" in the city of Worms

"Rain // Safe // Worms" is the slogan of the pilot project that takes place in the city of Worms since June 2017 and will last for three and a half years. The project shows how adaptation to climate change can be achieved through an innovative and informal process of citizens' participation.

First, experts from various institutions and citizens of Worms were invited to a workshop aiming at developing activities to prepare for heavy rains. With the support of two agencies for ecological communication, the outcome was a detailed action plan composed of interactive advisory packages and counselling services.

A public information event organized in cooperation with the waste disposal company of Worms was an opportunity for the city to present a project unique in Germany: detailed storm water maps showing rain runoffs on the ground during a defined rain event. Residents and owners in Worms could inform themselves about their own risks and possible effects of heavy rainfall on their properties. Counselling was also provided to citizens about how to prepare themselves, their communities and their neighbourhoods to handle heavy rains. Further projects, such as district workshops in the most affected urban areas, are being planned.

“Regen // Sicher // Worms” is part of a project on behalf of the Competence Centre for Climate Impact and Adaptation (KomPass) at the Federal Environment Agency. Further model municipalities are the cities of Lübeck and Bad Liebenwerda/Elsterwerda. More information here: Regen Sicher Worms

Learn more about restoring floodplains and wetlands as a good value solution to river flooding

The European Environment Agency recently published a report showing that ‘green infrastructure’ like restoring floodplains or wetlands as part of flood prevention efforts generates environmental and socio-economic benefits, as well as lowers the amount of financial investment needed to defend against damaging floods. If you want to learn more about the green options available in building climate resilience in the face of river flooding risks, you can find the report here: EEA report.

Events to come

POWER project workshops

Interested in learning more and contributing to the management of the water challenges in your city? The 4 demonstration cities of the POWER project are hosting workshops for local stakeholders:

  • Leicester - 2nd March 2018
  • Milton Keynes - 16th March 2018
  • Sabadell - 19th April 2018
  • Jerusalem - 25th April 2018

More information about the workshops’ programmes and how to register will be published in the coming weeks on the POWER website as well as on the Water Communities of each city (Jerusalem, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Sabadell).

8th World Water Forum

To bring together the world's leading water experts to discuss the Forum themes and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

18th – 23rd March 2018, Brasilia, Brasil

More information

19th UK-IWA Young Water Professionals Conference - Towards a Resilient Water Future

For young professionals working on water to network, share skills, ideas and opportunities, and learn from each other.

16th – 18th April 2018, Cranfield, United Kingdom

More information

POWER - A social response to global water issues

http://www.power-h2020.eu

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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.

This newsletters content licence is a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 DE.