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16 October 2014 is World Food Day

Find out about EU-funded research related to food, agriculture and the bioeconomy

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 Ganges river

Topping up India's water supply-the natural way

Although home to 18% of the global population-around 1.15 billion people-India only has around 4% of the world's fresh water resources. With climate change and urbanisation increasing the pressure on a scarce resource, an EU-funded project's improvement of natural water treatment systems couldn't come at a better time.

Photo of a water tap

Doing away with bacteria in water systems

Harmful bacteria can be removed from water sources through the addition of copper and silver ions. The SILCO project has developed an innovative monitoring device that senses the elimination process of complex bacterial communities known as biofilm and unsafe bacteria from drinking water systems.

 

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