Europe needs a dedicated water strategy to tackle water scarcity while saving energy and reducing emissions

The next EU institutional framework must work on a European Water Strategy – a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity, focusing on the synergies between water & energy use: the Water-Energy Nexus. 

Water scarcity is a growing concern in Europe, driven by climate change, population growth, urbanization, and inefficient water management practices. To combat this crisis effectively, an integrated approach is essential, leveraging the water-energy nexus to optimize water supply, treatment and use, while promoting energy savings, emission reductions and overall sustainability.

The next European institution framework must work on a European Water Strategy, a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity focusing on the synergies between water and energy use.

To do so, for the next institutional term 2024-2029, the European Alliance to Save Energy urges policymakers to:

  • Complete and strengthen the EU and national policy and regulatory framework
  • Facilitate public-private partnerships
  • Provide finance for innovation, research and implementation
  • Forge responsibility to instigate change

 

Read the full European Water Strategy document here.

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Meet the Water-Energy Nexus

We are thrilled to share our latest publication, an informative infographic highlighting the Water-Energy Nexus. In today’s climate and energy crisis, understanding the water-energy nexus is crucial for driving substantial savings in both resources while reducing emissions and enhancing European industry competitiveness.

Meet the Water-Energy Nexus infographic, developed by The European Alliance to Save Energy with the support of our members.

Understanding the interdependent relationship between water and energy is crucial as we strive for sustainability and to combat the challenges of climate change. In these times of multiple crises, Europe is currently facing both energy and water crises. It is imperative that we join forces to address these challenges collectively. Recognizing the significance of the water-energy nexus, it is crucial for Europe to take decisive action and prioritize these issues without delay.

The infographic highlights:

– the connection between water consumption and produce energy 
– the energy used to abstract and treat water
– the interlink between energy and water in sectors such as buildings and industry

This visual is a great tool to raise awareness about the water-energy nexus in relation to upcoming key moments of the ordinary legislative procedure related to:

Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)
Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD)
Nature Restoration Law (NRL)

View the full infographic here

View section 1 in detail
View section 2 in detail
View section 3 in detail

 

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Saving Water and Energy By Restoring Nature In Urban Areas: Statement on Nature Restoration Law

European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a Nature Restoration Law and supports the ambition presented by the ENVI rapporteur in the European Parliament to increase the restoration objective and set higher targets for the restoration of terrestrial, coastal, freshwater, marine, and urban ecosystems.

Nature restoration, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss are critical issues for the European Union due to their impact on the environment, human health, and the economy. It poses a significant challenge to the EU`s sustainability goals, promotion of green growth, and achievement of a climate-neutral society.

The proposal includes some provisions that can promote the realisation of the water-energy nexus i.e. the ability to simultaneously save water and energy.

EU-ASE supports Article 6 on the restoration of urban ecosystems. We also support Article 11 which proposes the introduction of National Restoration Plans.

Green urban infrastructure and permeable surfaces in cities, such as urban parks, green roofs, and green walls, can contribute to saving energy and restoring nature in cities while supporting biodiversity, improving air and water quality, and providing recreational opportunities for urban dwellers, especially in densely populated areas.

The Nature Restoration Law has a significant importance in achieving Union climate goals and should be considered as another element of the package of legislation aiming to promote the deployment of energy efficiency technologies.

Read our full statement on Nature Restoration Law here.

 

About us
The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

 

 

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Doing more with less: Increase energy efficiency & reduce carbon intensity of wastewater treatment plants

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a recast of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD). This document gathers our inputs to the co-legislators that are due to negotiate and finalise the draft proposal in the next months.

The UWWTD played a substantial role in improving water quality and tackling high pollution levels in water bodies throughout decades. In 2021, we called for an update of the over 30 years old UWWTD because we were convinced it could be improved to better address some of today’s most pressing challenges such climate change, resource scarcity, increased energy prices and population growth.

The recast proposal of the European Commission is the right step towards a more comprehensive, efficient and sustainable wastewater treatment. Nonetheless, we see room for improvement to further enhance energy efficiency, the recovery and use of excess heat, digitalisation, data analytics and water reuse.

Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE states: “In the current water and energy crisis, we must take all the possible actions to drive substantial water and energy savings, reduce emissions and increase the competitiveness of European industry. The revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive is key in this perspective. We call policymakers to apply the energy efficiency first principle. We have the technologies to reduce waste water treatment plants’ energy consumption, recover and use excess heat, reuse water and gradually make water treatment plants energy positive.”

Read the full paper here.

 

 

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Water efficiency could help Europe drive decarbonisation and boost industrial competitiveness

As water scarcity becomes a bigger issue, industry must become more resilient by reducing pressure on available freshwater resources. Strong policy frameworks are required to support more efficient water usage, says Emilio Tenuta from Ecolab on Foresight Climate & Energy ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day. 

While the risks of a climate crisis loom ever – nearer, global leaders gathered a few weeks ago for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to argue once again for the need for swift climate action.

Even before this, in January 2021, the new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for an determined approach, saying: “We will no longer wait for the slowest and least ambitious. We’ll turn climate from a cost factor to competitive advantage”. It is encouraging to see leaders finally rising to the climate challenge.

The message is clear: We need more than ever to move faster and act collectively to address the climate emergency. To accelerate decarbonisation in industry and successfully achieve the goals set under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, we will have to work together. Governments, businesses, investors and civil society will need to partner to turn this commitment into concrete actions.

Water efficiency is part of the solution to decarbonisation.

Read the full article here

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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