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Water: a trigger for innovative partnership

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This presentation was a contribution to the European Systemics Seminars 2013 - Knowledge for the future of the knowledge society that took place in Charleroi (Belgium) on September 20, 2013,

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Water: a trigger for innovative partnership

  1. 1. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P European Systemic Seminars2013 Knowledge for the future of the knowledge society September 20, 2013, Charleroi, Belgium WATER: A TRIGGER FOR INNOVATIVE PARTNERSHIP Frédéric de Hemptinne The Sustainable Synergies Group fdh@sustainable-synergies.eu 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 1
  2. 2. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Generally abundant on earth but unevenly distributed (only 3% is freshwater of which surface water represents less than 1%) • Unique set of physico-chemical properties due to high electric polarity of H2O molecule • Oceans (71% surface) regulate Earth’s climate • Solvent role that makes it a prerequisite for life. It is generally not consumed. • There is no substitute to water Water: the bloodstream of the biosphere 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 2
  3. 3. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Water is generally not transported and is not a commodity that can be traded on markets • Water is typically a local issue that it is managed according to geographical situation (resources, topography, economic activities, etc) and man-made infrastructure (borehole, dams, dike, distribution network, treatment facility, …) • Since early time, humanity has dealt with many water issues (water supply, floods protection, transportation, energy, public heath, …) • Access to the resource it self was taken for granted Water in human history 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 3
  4. 4. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • 1972 Stockholm declaration under the UN aegis • 1973: 1st environmental action programme (water and waste as priorities) • 1975-80: 1st wave of EU water directives aimed at setting up standards (bottom-up approach) • 1986: European Single Act which introduced the first environmental considerations into the treaties. • 1987: Brundtland report « our common future » • 1990-95: 2nd wave of EU water directives aimed at fixing pollution problems (sectoral approach) EU Legal Framework (1) 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 4
  5. 5. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • 2000: The Water Framework Directive revolution (integrated management of water resources) – Restoration to a good ecological water quality – Adaptative planning cycle (4 steps) – All bodies (groundwater, lake, river, coastal water) – Transboundary cooperation – Role of economic instruments – Hazardous substances – Strengthened reporting processes – Public participation EU Legal Framework (2) 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 5
  6. 6. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P EU Legal Framework (3) 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 6 SETTING-UP THE FRAMEWORK Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC SECTORAL DIRECTIVES Sludge Directive 86/278/EEC UWWT Directive 91/271/EEC Nitrate Directive 91/676/EEC Barthing Water Directive 2006/7/EC COMPLETING Groundwater Directive 2006/118/EC Priority Substances 2008/105/EC Intercalibration Decision 2008/915/EC Chemical Analysis Directive 2009/90/EC EXPANDING Floods Directive 2007/60/EC Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EC NON LEGAL INITIATIVES Water Scarcity & Drought Climate change adaptation
  7. 7. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P Main hurdles experimented with the WFD: • Full enforcement of sectoral directives • Qualitative aspects over quantitative aspects • River morphology • Diffuse pollution and micropollutants • Administrative burden • Planning cycle ≠ investment cycle EU Legal Framework (4) 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 7
  8. 8. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P A review of EU water policy occurred in 2012: • River Basin Management plans • Water scarcity & droughts • Climate Change adaptation Conclusions: • No need to revise the WFD fundamentals • Valuable achievements but it is too slow • Pressures are increasing How can we make it deliver? The 2012 Blueprint 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 8
  9. 9. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Water as a common patrimony • Implementation is the master word • Water is a highly transversal issue and connects many sectors (energy, agriculture, navigation, etc) • Integrated planning works across traditional boundaries and lines of responsibilities (role of water authorities, position of water utilities) Why partnership is needed 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 9
  10. 10. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Allocation of water resources (gouvernance) – Monitoring – Risks assessment and management – Regulation of water uses • Investment in infrastructures (China, India) – Planning – Operating – Costs recovery (tariffs, taxes, transfer) • Learning loops to empower sectoral actors and elaborate context specific solutions Which innovation is needed? 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 10
  11. 11. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Scientific knowledge – Understanding the pressures – Linking pressures and solutions – Collecting data • Technological innovation – smart systems, – membrane treatment, – remote sensing • Organizational innovation – Ecosystem services (multifonctionality) – Economic valuation of water resources. Progress that can help 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 11
  12. 12. T H E S U S T A I N A B L E S Y N E R G I E S G R O U P • Do people understand what is at stake? • Can we restore water ecosystems? At which cost? • How to build a resilience capacity? • Can market economy deal adequately with environmental patrimonies? How to balance individual and collective benefits? • Are there other instruments than legislation to regulate the use of water resources? Economy? Open questions 20 September 2013 European Systemic Seminar 2013 12

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