On 9 March 2021 from 10:00 to 11:30 AM (CET), the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform is organising a webinar to showcase the central role of the water management sector in the shift to a circular economy and the achievement of EU environmental objectives. 

In recent years, a growing number of regions in Europe, even at northern latitudes, is experiencing water stress because of more frequent droughts exacerbated by the negative effects of climate change on weather events. In light of these developments, the biggest challenge for the Water Reuse Regulation in the years to come will be to drive the deployment of water reuse in agriculture which is responsible for 59% of total water use (2017) in Europe. Taking action in this sector will help reversing the decline in the availability of renewable freshwater resources per capita, which has been steadily occurring since 1990, due to high rates of total water abstraction from rivers (64%) and groundwater (24%) as well as to climate change.

The vital role of water management is widely reflected in the new EU rules on water reuse in agriculture, which are expected to lead to an increase in the safe use of reclaimed wastewater for agricultural irrigation purposes, thereby alleviating the huge farming-related pressure on European water bodies. Moreover, the initiatives kicked-off lately by the new Circular Economy Action Plan to align urban wastewater legislation with the ambition of the European Green Deal are also likely to require the water management sector to step up its efforts to fully exploit its sustainability and circularity potential.

This webinar offers local and regional policy makers as well as water service operators insights into the EU latest policy developments on water at the crossroads between circular economy, climate adaptation and nature protection. It will also explore successful regional policies to overcome barriers to water reuse in agriculture and incentivize reuse in industrial processes. 

What you can expect

  • Keynote speech by Valentina Bastino, Policy Officer for Clean Water, DG Environment, European Commission on recent EU water policy developments and the circular economy.
  • Manuel Boluda Fernandez, Project Coordinator at the Directorate for Water at the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture (Murcia Regional Government), will present strategies to make reclaimed water available for reuse in agriculture (AQUARES project).
  • Daniele Cencioni, EU project manager, Metropolitan City of Bologna will present the wastewater treatment by an Italian leader in the dairy industry (CESME project).
  • Mirella Di Stefano, Environmental Manager, Granarolo S.p.A on water reuse in the dairy sector: the case of the Granarolo plant in Bologna (CESME project).