POWER Newsletter

May 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. It aims to support the local level in realising its full potential concerning water management and in implementing a better communication with its residents, in order to change behaviours and attitudes towards water. To reach that goal, it has set up social platforms for 4 cities (Jerusalem, Leicester, Milton Keynes and Sabadell). The platforms engage with the public, raise awareness about water challenges and give the opportunity to support new water policy initiatives. Another feature is a collaborative best practices platform, presenting solutions from cities worldwide to overcome water-related challenges and allowing discussion and exchange on this topic.

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

12 World Leaders Issue Clarion Call for Accelerated Action on Water

High Level Panel on Water consisting of 11 Heads of State has issued a New Agenda for Water Action entitled “Making Every Drop Count” calling for a fundamental shift in the way the world manages water. The Panel’s report sets forth a new approach to catalyze change and build partnerships and cooperation, outlining why an integrated and inclusive approach is needed. The report makes the case that ways of working between, for example, governments, communities, the private sector and researchers, are essential, which shows that the approach of the POWER project is both relevant and exemplary.

Water Deficits Warning for England

The Environment Agency warns in a new report that there will be water supply shortages by 2050 unless water efficiency measures are taken now. The report acknowledges that "even low population growth and modest climate change scenarios suggest significant water supply deficits by the 2050's, particularly in the south-east”, where Milton Keynes is already facing a limit to population growth because of potential water scarcity. The Environment Agency suggest a major impact would be to reduce leaks in the water supply infrastructure as 20 million people’s needs could be met by the 3 billion litres of water lost every day through leakage. The report also calls for water efficiency measures so we use water more wisely. The Milton Keynes platform has more information on scarcity at a local, regional and global scale and ideas for how everyone can be more efficient with water every day.

POWER in France

At the Energy cities annual conference in Rennes, the POWER team met many interested municipalities that could develop their own digital platform to start a direct communication with the locals. Moreover the team took part in a discussion about the governance of the Commons (cultural and natural resources belonging to a whole community) where concrete examples of successful experiences were given, “from the many projects implemented by the citizens of Ghent and its City Commons Lab, to the Commons General Assembly in Lille and the water referendum in Italy, where Commons are part of the Constitution”.

New study highlights the potential of wastewater as a valuable resource

The results of a recent study on waste water in the Netherlands demonstrate that municipalities can not only reuse wastewater, they can derive energy and raw materials from it. The study, conducted within the framework of the POWER project by the KWR Watercycle Research Institute, shows how municipal sewage treatment plants can be transformed into resource factories for phosphate, cellulose, energy and more. This change in perspective may demand significant investments but the potential financial and environmental returns are high. Circular economy applied to water stands as one more solution to the global challenge of water security municipalities will increasingly face in the years to come.

POWER identified as "key innovation" by the European Commission

During Digital Day 2018 in Brussels, attended by Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission has publicly launched the EU's Innovation Radar platform. In the category "Commitment", the POWER project has been identified as a key innovation under the title "Social Platform to engage communities to solve Water Challenges". Moreover, the project partners DMU, CUBIT and BASEFORM have been identified as 'key innovators'.

Rainwater harvesting, the future of water?

Worldwide, rainwater will represent a resource that can’t be ignored through the climate challenges of the 21st century. In Kenya for example, “if captured and managed, the [rain]water is enough to support a population of 233 million people or close to five times the current population of [the country]”. To do so, many options are at hand, as pointed out in this straight-to-the-point guide by the Global Water Partnership Mediterranean, a partner of the POWER project.

Local Government Flood Forum in London

The Local Government Flood Forum, an independent voice representing Lead Local Flood Authorities, met in the City of London on 20 April. The Forum listened to a range of presentations on the challenges and successes in supporting local natural flood management projects and how advanced technology can play in natural flood management in developing robust long-term integrated catchment water strategies. A joint presentation by Leicester City Council and De Montfort University examined the POWER project that looks to engage citizens from the ground up in improving community engagement in a flood risk management context. And finally, the Chair of LGFF gave an update on FloodCitiSense, an EU funded social science project using urban living lab methodology, which is working with Birmingham City Council to develop an early warning flood alert service for citizens.

Local Government Information Unit – the local democracy think tank in the UK

The POWER project is now cooperating with the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), a not-for-profit membership organisation and think tank. They provide unrivalled practical support to their member councils and an uncompromising advocacy for local government and services that are designed and delivered in the communities that need them. They work for local authorities and with local authorities helping them to serve their citizens more effectively. Finally, they provide the information and support that officers and councillors need every day and work to turn the best new innovative ideas into the real solutions needed to provide sustainable services in the future.

Sabadell, active for better water management

Cassa, the water management company of the city of Sabadell organized in May a successful workshop for local citizens. It was a great opportunity to present the social platform of Sabadell, which aims to share knowledge and good practices with the local population. Participants explored the reuse of water and water quality as well as Educassa, the educational program and also took part in some online activities on the platform.

Events to come

Leicester Riverside Festival

2 - 3 June 2018 in Leicester, UK

A lively weekend of activities for the whole family!

More information

EU Sustainable Energy Week

4 - 8 June 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

To bring together public authorities, private companies, NGOs and consumers to promote initiatives to save energy and move towards renewables for clean, secure and efficient power. Come and meet the POWER team!

More information

Conference on Improving Water Quality: Tackling the Causes of Pollution and Promoting Sustainable Solutions

7 June 2018 - 10:00 — 16:30 in Brussels, Belgium

More information

Climate Alliance International Conference: Connecting Cities - Local Solutions for Global Challenges

1 - 3 October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain  

Connecting Cities strengthens network-based approaches to global challenges by connecting local and regional authorities from across Europe. Together, we can transform challenges into solutions!

More information

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.

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