This month Water Europe released its new position paper A Water Smart Society for a successful post COVID19 recovery plan to stress out the importance of water as key enabler to reboot and accelerate the recovery towards a resilient and united Europe.
Europe needs to be ambitious in its reply and adopt a comprehensive approach towards a Water Smart society to prevent future expensive crises. We, therefore, need a new paradigm towards a Water-Smart Society, from crisis management to risk management and prevention in Europe and beyond. Water Europe welcomes the first replies provided by the European Union, particularly to promote water diplomacy but we need to go further than this. The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, stated last week some important principles in this regard: Solidarity, cohesion and convergence.
Water knows no borders and it is an asset for Europe. We can use water as the enabler to create green jobs and sustainable growth with a high return on investments in every sector of our society. Furthermore, the European Union has already several solutions that need simply to be up-scaled, but additional ones require new collective efforts. It means that some results can be visible quickly for citizens.
Based on different discussions with our ambassadors and different external stakeholders, particularly the members of the EU Water Alliance, Water Europe hereby presents recommendations to contribute to the post COVID-19 strategy:
- Achieve a Water Smart Society to reboot and build a resilient Europe.
- Support digitalisation for a water-driven sustainable growth.
- Encourage an inclusive Water Smart society for our citizens
- Reinforce European leadership to improve international solidarity.
Young professional and people are key to build a sustainable, resilient water society. Europe should support initiatives to recruit and retain young professionals in the water sector.
Encouraging disclosure and consideration of water risk management in our businesses are of key importance, too. Private companies receiving public money during the Covid-19 crisis should spend this money in line with the Green Deal and the UN Sustainable Development Goals and finance projects which bring social benefits, such as water security projects, biodiversity and restoration projects.
Download the position paper here.