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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:

Image of flue gas

Tapping into a new source of water-flue gas

An earthquake, a terrorist attack, a fire in a tunnel – it takes a special kind of person to rescue survivors from large-scale emergencies. But first response teams don’t rely just on their outstanding courage and skill to operate effectively. They also need information and coordination, and a way to communicate. EU-funded research is improving the ICT systems at their disposal.

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.

 

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