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Cofunded by the European Union

Session: Water4All Green Week Partner Event 2024

A session in the frame of the Green Water Week Partner Event is organised (Water4All  and WaterCampus).

Session on May 30, Save the date! .

Update 23 May - Registrations are closed.

For exceptional registration request: please send an e-mail to:



Programme details

13h00 Welcome and coffee

13h30 European Partnership Water4All

Opening Keynote by:

John Bell, Director “Healthy Planet” in DG RTD

Ariane Blum, CEO European Partnership Water4All, Update of Water4All current state of play and outcomes of 1st transnational call


14h00 - Water Resilient Smart Cities

This session will showcase how city districts can transform into smart factories for resources, energy and clean water. Maximising water and energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions, by: recovering waste heat; producing biogas; reusing nutrients in agriculture, producing clean water for industrial and urban uses.

These examples show how districts act as living labs engaging their citizens, increasing social acceptance and achieve behavioural change. The increased awareness leads to lower water consumption and less pollution of wastewater.

Session chaired by Martijn Bijmans, Wetsus

Hamse Kjerstadius, NSVA, Helsingborg, Sweden. Presenting Recolab and ANCHOR project. Recolab is IWA Wastewater Project of the Year 2022. Source separated sanitation applying vacuum toilets and kitchen grinders for organic waste become corner stones for sustainable urban districts. The high-quality effluent reduces pressures on precious drinking water sources.

Roundtable of municipalities and civil organisations:

  • Luzette Kroon dijkgraaf Wetterskip, Regional Water Authority of Friesland. Developing a new city district with citizen engagement, limiting energy and water dependencies, by applying decentralised water treatment, energy production and storage.  Spoordok is an integral part of Water Living Lab WaterCampus Leeuwarden.
  • Maria Jose Chesa Marro, Municipality of Barcelona, sharing how the emergency drought situation triggered new legislation for water savings. Water resilience is boosted by using greywater, rainwater and reclaimed water.
  • Thorjørn Larssen, Deputy Managing Director at NIVA. The ecological status of the Oslo fjord has been severely affected by nitrogen excess from agriculture runoff and pollution from wastewater and drainage. Oslo region initiating improvements within all municipalities along the Fjord.

15h00 Coffee Break


15h15 - Water Resilience using Nature Based Solutions at Catchment Scale

Many efforts are focused on more efficient use of water. This intervention is focused on generating creating more water through Nature Based Solutions. Creating green corridors connecting inland regions with the sea.

Building forward on valuable work on Nature Based Solutions builds forward on prior work of former Emeritus Professor Millan Millan (Spain) (Link here to learn more on the story of the mystery of the missing Mediterranean storms) and Dr. John D. Lui (China) (Link here to learn more on the story of Regrowing China's Loess Plateau).  Both have investigated the key role of natural ecosystems and the presence of vegetation in boosting regional water resilience, water availability, nature restoration and regional prosperity.

Session chaired by Nikolai Friberg, Aarhus University

Cees Buisman, Executive Board Member, Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology. Presenting how Healthy Soils and Natural Water Production can boost European water resilience and combat Desertification in Mediterranean climate zones.

Claire Baffert, WWF, Senior Water Policy Officer, increasing water retention through nature-based solutions.


16h00 Water-resilient industries in Europe

Industry is one of Europe’s main water users. In Northern Europe the manufacturing industry is even the largest one.

Microchips manufacturing, data centres, hydrogen production… Many technologies that will be key to Europe’s digital and green transition require a large quantity of high-quality water. However, this growing demand takes place within a context of drought and water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change and raises the essential issue of prioritisation of water uses.

This session will explore how to maintain Europe’s competitiveness and sovereignty in a rapidly changing world while guaranteeing access to water for households and agriculture.

Session chaired by Bertrand Vallet, DG Research & Innovation

Introductory remarks:

Bernard Van Nuffel, President of Aqua Publica Europea and Deputy Mayor of Jette (one of Brussels’ municipalities).

Preventing water conflicts in a context of water scarcity: The role of local authorities and water operators in reconciling competing needs.

Innovative solutions for water-resilient industries:

  • Michel Saakes, Applied Research Professor at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences. Applying direct seawater electrolysis to improve sustainability of Green Hydrogen production, minimising the use of chemicals, preventing brine formation and preventing enhanced water stress.
  • Guillermo Zaragoza, Plataforma Solar de Almeria, Sustainable Desalination Living Lab in H2020 WaterMining


17h00 - European Policy supporting Water Resilience

Reflections by European Commission and Belgian Presidency to improve water resilience through EU initiatives such as European Partnership Water4All.

  • Bernard De Potter, head of agency and water director for the Flemish Region
  • Joachim D’Eugenio, Adviser for Zero Pollution, DG Environment

Conclusion by Ariane Blum

17h30 - Networking drinks

18h30 - End of Event

Other news

The Water4All Partnership - Water Security for the Planet - is a funding programme for scientific research in freshwater. It aims to tackle water challenges to face climate change, help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

It is co-funded by the European Union within the frame of the Horizon Europe programme (a key funding programme for research and innovation). The Partnership duration is for seven years from 2022.

The Water4All objective is to enable water security at a large scale and in the long term. Its goal is also to tackle water issues in a holistic frame. 

All forms of life on earth need water. All human activities operate with this resource. Water is part of our everyday life. It is also integrated within urban and countryside landscapes. It is one of the most valuable elements we share with plants and animals.

These simple facts must be kept in mind to understand the Water4All ambition.

This resource is weakened in many places due to climate changes, and human habits. We know that we can improve the way we use water. Everyone has a role to play and especially the scientific research community.

Scientific research is the heart of the Partnership as It is a powerful tool to improve knowledge on preserving, restoring, and managing this essential resource. 

International cooperation is also needed as water has no borders on Earth and runs from one country to another.

Water4All brings together a broad and cohesive group of 90 partners from 33 countries in the European Union and beyond. This consortium gathers partners from the whole water Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) chain.