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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 a man with the empty water bags

Bags of water

A waterbag is a flexible container system for freshwater transport. The Refresh project consortium chose to test their water bag prototype in Crete. The technology is not new, but the team have developed a new approach.

Designing new ways to protect water quality

Europe's Water Framework Directive states that water is a heritage we must protect and defend. The potential threat of water contamination and the spread of waterborne diseases are becoming more serious than ever before. This is the result of a number of factors, including the increase in population, globalisation and the movement of more people across borders and between continents, and the effects of global warming.

 

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