Navigation path

Outcome of the referendum in the United Kingdom

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 the bag

The big bag theory: a cheap and innovative way to transport fresh water

An innovative and inexpensive method of transporting fresh water to areas of drought or disaster, such as earthquakes: Fresh water is abundant in some areas of our planet, and scarce in others. Of course we can transport fresh water by sea, but that's expensive. Can we make it affordable? In Spain, engineers from a European research project are getting ready to test their solution.

Photo of irrigated fields

Achieving a sustainable future for African farming

Sustainable rural development can only be accomplished by empowering local people to participate in the development of new techniques themselves. In understanding the importance of irrigation for smallholder farmers, the EU-funded EAU4FOOD project has integrated locals within the innovation process.

 

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