The Water4All Partnership released its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) in September 2022. The document lays out water topics for which research and innovation activities are recommended to address the grand challenge of securing water for all. The SRIA is structured around seven main themes, two of which are cross-cutting. As shown in the figure below, the agenda also lists key drivers and enablers influencing the strategic orientations of the Partnership.
Although water topics are presented within a given theme, partners of Water4All are perfectly aware of the need to break scientific silos; as such, the SRIA identifies links between topics.
The publication of the SRIA is a key milestone for the Water4All Partnership as it is meant to guide all other activities, by establishing the scientific direction of the programme and the priorities to be addressed in the different pillars. The SRIA also offers a preliminary analysis of thematic synergies with other European initiatives – in particular with other Horizon Europe Partnerships and Missions, the potential contribution of Water4All to international frameworks (Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations) and European policies (e.g. Green Deal, Water Framework Directive), as well as a list of indicators for monitoring the progress of Water4All in all its different dimensions.
The development of the SRIA started almost three years ago and it is the result of an analysis of strategic documents on water research and innovation (e.g. strategic agendas of the Water JPI, PRIMA programme, EurAqua network, Water Europe) and a participatory process in which different types of stakeholders, and society in general, have been invited to contribute. The recommendations made by experts in water research, and water management and planning during targeted interviews have been included in the document.
Partners are very attentive to future developments in water policy and emerging water challenges. An updated version of the SRIA is due in 2025. As part of the update process, partners will organise two stakeholder consultative workshops (the first one in February 2023 and the second one in 2024), a foresight exercise, an analysis of strategic documents of partner initiatives, and a new public consultation.