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European research in action

European knowhow:
a global asset

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Graphic elementThe facts

World spending on equipment and services connected to the water sector rose from ECU 12 to 20 billion between 1990 and 1995. This figure is set to more than double over the next fifteen years.
In the water sector, Europe is at the forefront in terms of technological and industrial expertise. Major private companies are operating on all continents and are leaders in many markets, particularly in the construction and management of treatment plants for large conurbation. Paradoxically, although the market on our continent present sizeable economic opportunities, European water management is not at the cutting edge. The rate of recycling in industry is, for example, two to four times higher in the United States and Japan.

Graphic elementAction

The European Commission has adopted an integrated approach to the water sector to improve the coordination and targeting of Community research projects, regional, national and international programmes and private research. This approach takes account of the links between these various projects and other actions affecting water policy in economic, social, environmental and industrial terms. The fields covered by this work include:

  • development of technological innovations;
  • improved tools for the management of resources and networks;
  • management of crisis situations;
  • international cooperation.

European knowhow

Cost-effective measures that work
In 2005 every European locality with more than 2000 inhabitants will have to have a plant for the treatment of waste water. Many small reprocessing plants will therefore have to be equipped with instruments to measure the quality of the water entering and leaving the plant. It is to this end that the European WATER QUALITY MONITOR project has developed a compact and reasonably priced spectrometer capable of monitoring accurately the treatment of waste water.

Monitoring and prevention
Headed by a French undertaking, the WATERNET project has developed a computer aid making it possible, thanks to a network of sensors, to constantly monitor the quality of the water sampled, predicting changes and detect causes of pollution.

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