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4th Edition of EIP Water Goes to Porto

Sep 28th, 2017 |

This year’s edition of the EIP Water was organized in Porto during a time when the country faces one of the worst droughts in 20 yerars, where some have implied that a ban on irrigation of farmlands might be necessary to help address the situatuon. Some 600-700 water innovators from all over Europe converged to discuss how to bridge gaps in European water innovation wiith solutions to major European and global water challenges. Circular economy was a central topic of the two day event, where presenters shared their innovative solutions respective to challenges faced by utilities, industrial water users like mining, textile and agriculture. The number of solutions proposed touched on addressing both water scarcity and water quality issues.

Changing mindsets to water as a recycleable good was a clear trend at this year’s EIP, where reuse and recovery was hot on the heels of the new legal instrument being developed by the European Commission. The technologies presented also demonstrate an increasing capacity to not only the recovery of water, but energy and other by products where wastewater is considered less and less as a waste and more as a potential resource.

The topic of urban areas and utilities and their role in driving sustainable water management was another key element of the conference; and while monitoring and seting priorities for action are clearly important to make improvements; being more proactive about citizen, end user and stakeholder engagement have emerged as even more challenging and urgent to solve. Another gap, as highlighted in the concluding statements, is that innovation still needs to bridge the gap between technology and governance if it will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.

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