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EU Prize for Women Innovators

World Water Day: EU Water-related Research

Water research has been a major component of EU research since the late 1980s, covering a wide spectrum of water-related topics and evolving over the years in close correlation to EU water policy. Over the last 10 years, the EU - via the Framework Programme for research - has contributed an average of €130 million per year to water-related research.

Today, economic development, growing populations and increasing degradation of the environment all make sustainable exploitation of resources a priority, and no resource is more fundamental to our well-being than water.

Climate change will have a direct impact on human society, affecting the quality and availability of fresh water, increasing the frequency and severity of droughts and flooding, and posing a serious threat to the functioning of our economies and ecosystems.

With global population growth, urbanisation, pollution, over-exploitation and climate change all placing pressure on our water resources, especially in developing countries, it is more important than ever to recognise the interconnectedness of the world’s water systems.

Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded water-related research projects:

Photo of tomato proccessing plant

Liquid assets: how to test recycled water on the cheap

With water shortages a growing problem around the world recycling waste water has become increasingly important. European researchers have come up with a cheap and efficient tool to control the safety standards of waste water in a development that should boost the recycling effort.

Photo of liquid mercury

A global approach to effective mercury reduction strategies

EU-funded scientists are pioneering the development of a coordinated, global mercury observation system. It will help policy makers and researchers from around the world to monitor the presence of mercury in ecosystems and food chains and assess the effectiveness of emission reduction measures.

 

For more information:

European Commission's Environmental research related to natural resources including water

Research projects in the area of natural resources

European Innovation Partnership on Water