Enhance knowledge and overcome current barriers to tackle water scarcity in Southern Europe
Water Scarcity in South
Innovative solutions to water scarcity
Boosting innovation in Italy, Greece and Spain
Water is a precondition to life on Earth and essential for a sustainable socioeconomic development, food security and healthy ecosystems. The growing population, the demographic changes, massive urbanisation trends and climate change, among other factors, are increasing pressure over the available water resources.
The objective of the project “Water scarcity in South” is to enhance knowledge and overcome current barriers to tackle water scarcity in Southern Europe through innovation, entrepreneurship, education and communication.
This programme carries out a series of activities, from research to innovation and education, to joint efforts and effectively find the appropriate solutions to water shortages in Southern regions, for Europe to lead the way towards a more sustainable future. The long-term objective of the Water Scarcity programme is to ease the transition to a water saving economy across Southern Europe and contribute to reducing Europe’s water consumption and wastage by:
- Fostering Innovation & Entrepreneurship by supporting scaleups and SMEs offering solutions to tackle specific water-related challenges faced by several stakeholders in their daily operations (i.e. improved irrigation methods and infrastructures; resilient crops and crop management techniques; leakage reduction; usage prediction; pollutants detection and monitoring, etc.).
- Creating a strong experts’ community to progress on the key challenges to tackle water scarcity, with a special focus on Water Governance, Financial Schemes and Legal Enforcement and establishing solid partnerships with relevant stakeholders.
- Sharing knowledge to build capabilities to business and individuals to ensure the environmental sustainability of any business and of our daily activities (i.e. industrial players, farmers, citizens), fostering the adoption of a water saving culture among final users in Europe.
Overall, the programme will strengthen local innovations and will contribute to the economic and social progress in modest and moderated innovation countries as sufficient and good-quality water supply is a prerequisite for socioeconomic development.
In 2020, the programme gathered 16 top-class experts, supported 26 startups, promoted education through several activities in Italy, Greece and Spain.
– Contribute to the economic and social progress in modest and moderated innovation countries (RIS regions) targeted, as sufficient and good-quality water supply is a prerequisite, by strengthening collaboration between KICs and widen stakeholder’s participation from RIS and non-RIS countries, enabling cross-learning and best practices transfer.
– Strengthen local innovation in RIS regions by tackling water scarcity as a common threat. Cross-KIC activities will work through different parts of the value chain to find innovative solutions for water scarcity and drought risk prevention, while increasing the innovativeness of targeted RIS regions by exploring the integration / implementation of such solutions on testbeds to ensure long-term sustainability.
– Consolidate the cross-KIC activity as a relevant initiative in the water arena, as a unique and multidisciplinary programme. It will increase relevance and visibility of the KICs community and joint work regarding water scarcity as a thematic field from agri-food to manufacturing.
Overall, it is estimated that Europe could reduce water consumption by 40%. Addressing the challenges defined as part of the Water Scarcity programme will contribute to the following impact indicators:
- Savings of up to 40% in the agricultural and industrial sectors, by supporting and promoting new technologies, improved irrigation management, drought resistant crops and water recycling in factories
- Savings of up to 50% in cities by monitoring and repairing leaks in public supply networks.
- Reduction of about 19% of the public water consumption by extending the Eco-design Directive to domestic water-saving devices.