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Water Management Value Chain Cooperations for Water Management

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry SusChem announced a series of partnerships on value chain cooperations for water management. The scarcity of clean drinking water due to a lack of infrastructure or effects by climate change are regarded as a serious challenge by the WHO.

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The Walk for Water, held in Capetown, South Africa, this year. The WHO identified the lack of clean water due to insufficient infrastructure and climate change as a serious threat to children's health. (Picture: UN Water)
The Walk for Water, held in Capetown, South Africa, this year. The WHO identified the lack of clean water due to insufficient infrastructure and climate change as a serious threat to children's health. (Picture: UN Water)

Brussels/Belgium – With the chemical industry being a supplier and key industry for all sectors in the value chain it is uniquely positioned to contribute to the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) programme. This part of the EU's Innovation Strategy, and includes a proposed "Water Efficient Europe" partnership.

SusChem has also been cooperating succesfully with the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WSSTP) for the last few years. Both platforms have taken the initiative to revalue water as a precious raw material rather than a utility product. The cooperation set out a roadmap for sustainable water use in an integrated water management system between the chemical industry, urban water and value chain partners last year.

A WHO ministerial meeting on Environment and Health held in Parma last year identified the lack of clean water due to insufficient infrastructure and climate change as a serious threat to children’s health, which it plans to address.

Rethinking Water Management

The approach to water management proposed by SusChem could help to ensure that water for public use and water used in industry would no longer need to compete for the same resources. The integrated water management system put forward by SusChem and the WSSTP includes water reuse, complementary water streams, and reduced water consumption.

"SusChem’s cooperation with the value chain shows how working in a complementary way is far superior to competing for resources. It reflects SusChem’s strategic agenda which is to harness innovation to respond to societal challenges," said Cefic Innovation Manager Ger Spork. "Rethinking the traditional will help industry tackle water use in a world where the resource is already under pressure and should be treated as a valuable raw material instead of a simple utility."

Efficient and ecologically sound water management systems are a prominent theme for the European Union’s 2020 Agenda for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Therefore the reception of the cooperations plans by the European Commission has been very positive so far. A project proposal, within the EU’s FP7 2010 programme for funding of coordination efforts, has gotten a positive evaluation response in 2010. SusChem and the WSSTP are now looking for a demonstration project to evaluate the effects of the new water efficiency strategy.

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