Current status of EU vs global challenges and solutions
On 15 November 2018 AIWW Summit took place at the SS Rotterdam in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Theme of the programme was Implementation of Integrated solutions by Cities, Industries, Utilities and Financiers. The outcomes of the AIWW Summit 2018 are the roadmap for AIWW 2019. A line up of priorities, positioning and focus areas for the AIWW conference in 2019. The session Report Financing Implementation of SDG’s’ was one of the AIWW Summit morning sessions.
An AIWW Summit session dedicated to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe and the implementation of the Agenda 2030 targets via innovative and well financed solutions. What is the current status of Europe’s SDG policies, implementation and monitoring in European sanitation efforts, water quality, and water use efficiency? And what about ‘water beyond Europe’. European consumption contributes to a global water footprint. EU priority setting is needed given that planetary boundaries are exceeded and the EU is playing a crucial role in the Agenda 2030.
10.00 – 10.05 Moderator Introduction Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Dutch SDG Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
This session discussed the importance of integration between diverse benchmarks, parameters and indicators. Integration is important to support comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues, policy formulation and assessment of trade-offs.
10.05 – 10.15 SDG Scan Europe Kees van Leeuwen, Principal Scientist, KWR Indicative monitoring of water-related SDGs
With an indicative monitoring of the water related SDG’s in Europe the gap will be defined between the goals and present situation on country level. Results will be presented at AIWW 2019, while the gaps will shape the global agenda. Help cities to become water-wise, ready for climate change and make use of the knowledge and best practices that is already out there and applied in a few cities that can be considered front runners.
- Proposal for a National Blueprint performance Framework
- Work done: City Blueprint Framework:
(a) baseline assessment of cities,
(b) Trends and Pressures Framework and
(c) Governance Capacity Framework
(d) Scores of 74 cities available (https://www.eip-water.eu/City_Blueprints)
(e) Deliverable: Urban Water Atlas for Europe ; https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Books-Arts/Geoscientist-book-r
- Bias to NW Europe; needed more assessment of cities in E Europe, Africa and Latin America
- Challenges for Europe: Nutrient recovery, sewer age, circular economy wastewater, stormwater separation, maintenance sewer system, leakage (> 40%) in some cities, need for green space, no regular process to monitor water in Europe
- Develop national level blueprint for water-related SDGs in Europe> research gap
- Policy goals>assessment endpoints >measurement endpoints >data quality and availability
- Water infrastructure is the most expensive infrastructure in cities (UNEP 2013; https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10668-016-9760-4)
- Water is not a high political priority in Europe
- Data availability and quality is both a bottleneck and a challenge
- Baseline urban investment planning is critical (UNEP 2013)
- The National Blueprint Framework is work in progress.
- Water is not a political priority in Europe, whereas it is our most expensive infrastructure
- City Blueprints and National Blueprints may facilitate the monitoring of progress on resilience management of water, waste and climate change in municipalities, regions and countries
- Data collection is both a bottleneck and challenge….Potential collaboration between WssTP, European Commission, OECD, WWF, IWA, national authorities is needed.
Some recommendations by Kees van Leeuwen: “Plan or waste your money! Sooner or later, the money needed to modernise and expand the world’s urban infrastructure will have to be spent. The demand and need are too great to ignore. The solutions may be applied in a reactive, ad hoc, and ineffective fashion, as they have been in the past, and in that case the price tag will probably be higher than USD 40 trillion. After all, infrastructure projects are notorious for cost overruns. But perhaps the money can be spent proactively and innovatively, with a pragmatic hand, a responsive ear, and a visionary eye. The potential payoff is not simply the survival of urban populations, but the next generation of great cities.” (UNEP 2013) “Regrettable transitions! Cities in developing countries may be able to engage in large-scale investments in alternative urban infrastructure technologies to leap frog towards more sustainable solutions rather than wasting valuable resources to implement what must later on be dismantled” (UNEP 2013)
10.15 – 10.25: 2020 Europe next 8 years – strong focus on water Pavel Misiga, head of unit, DG RTD, European Commission SDG Financing Europe
Pavel Misiga elaborated on the main SDG challenges in EU including the related investments within the EU. The main current EU water challenges are:
- Emerging pollutants
- Nutrients overload
- Water scarcity
- Unexploited Circular Economy potential
- Energy consumption of water systems
- Economic sustainability of water infrastructure
- Water governance
EU invest> financing tools for innovative water projects
The EU has initiated EU Invest. The InvestEU Programme will bring together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the EU, making EU funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. Also to move integrated solutions in water management to operational level Current indicators show that water bodies in the EU are not in good ecological status generally. This ‘bad’ performance is instigated by many different sectors. Currently the EU needs to mobilize private investments to cover for public shortfalls. Typical water challenges are: untapping the economic potential for resource recovery. Who will benefit from distributions and savings? How to reconsider that the polluter pays a circular economy. The answer to this could be a new source of investment for the sector. Currently the EU is already planning for new program with a strong water component. Innovation can reduce costs! The EU Call is: “Greening the economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. EU Horizon 2021-2027 5 thematic clusters (50% of funds) of which several are relevant for water:
- Food and Natural Resources
- Circular use of water resources, including reduction of water demand, prevention of losses, water reuse, recycling and valorisation of wastewater and governance models for smart water allocation, addressing sources of pollution and tackling other pressures on water resources.
- Digital and Industry
- Climate, Energy and Mobility
- Inclusive and Secure Society
Sustainability indexation could support new financial instruments and systems that help address policies, business models and institutional arrangements in ‘valuing water’.
10.25 – 10.35 Investment needs and financing capacities in EU water management Xavier Leflaive, Principal Administrator, OECD
Xafier Leflaive presented the challenge to match financing needs with the financing capacity in the EU. One of the related issues is the need for monitoring. The rationale behind this in general terms was to get a solid basis and exchange of best practices to support implementation of water management practices and/or raise awareness. More specifically the objective is to have a common approach to investments needs and comparison of financing strategies while facilitating a pro-active dialogue with selected Member States. Other objectives:
- Contaminants of emerging concern as one goal
- Monitoring affordability for raising tariffs
- Avoid risks in future design
- Value water high on other agenda’s
To check the performance and start programming future support we investigated which countries needed what kind of support in 2 stages: 1) project finance needs 2) visiting these countries – assessment of the challenges Overall: Which countries need support and in what ways. Per capita estimated expenditures on water supply and sanitation comparison, NE highest and Balkans lowest. Balkan countries will have to more than double their current investments Drivers of investment needs:
- Business as usual
- Urban population growth
- Drinking Water Directive
- Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive
- Water Framework Directive
- Access & Efficiency
- Emerging issues
Recommendations and options to close the gap:
- Make the best of existing resources
- Operate and maintain existing assets
- Plan and prioritise
- Minimise future costs
- Avoid building future liabilities
- Look for low cost options
- Value flexibility (nature-based solutions)
- Raise additional sources of finance
- Make polluters and beneficiaries pay
- Use public finance as a lever
- Consider setting up intermediaries
10.35 – 10.45 ‘Water beyond Europe’ publication on water & SDG’s Gaetano Casale, Manager Liaison Office, IHE Delft – International Relations, WssTP
Background for SDG Publication Purpose: Water Beyond Europe SDG Publication Purpose: advocate the importance of Water in the overall SDG Agenda and how the EU can contribute to the water challenges Beyond Europe. More specifically to contribute to the Policy Dialogue in response to the publication of recent policy documents of the EU and to contribute to current consultation processes within the EU Water sector. SDG Policy Dialogue will be a discussion about ‘water beyond Europe’. European consumption contributes to a global water footprint. EU priority setting is needed given that planetary boundaries are exceeded, and the EU is playing a crucial role in the Agenda 2030. Water is still a fragmented topic. There is a lot of data and a broad range of water mgmt issues. But how do we use it and for what aspect of governance? Challenge of internationalization and adoption of SDGs within the water sector as a whole. Advocacy and promotion activities> connecting SDGs and Water in Europe. More education and citizen science to increase engagement at the community level. Therefore: WssTP (Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform) is promoting water-related RTD and innovation in Europe. WssTP is recognized by the EC as industry-led European Technology Platform for the Water Sector Mission: Improve coordination and enhance performance in the water sector and water using sectors; Contribute to solving societal challenges through RD&I.
WssTP Innovation Concept “The Value of Water. How to Value Water – Different levels
- Societal functions: Water is key to all our societal functions, from industry (so all our products we use daily), agriculture (so all our food and increasingly fuels and materials), our daily life at home and for all services we enjoy, including the function that nature has for our wellbeing (eco-services). This is the true value of water
- Increased water re-use and recycling: In order to make sure good quality water remains available for all these societal functions, and reduce our pressure on fresh water sources Europe (and the world) have multiple opportunities. First we need to drastically increase water re-use and recycling
- Alternative water sources: secondly we can significantly increase the use of alternative water sources such as brackish, saline, brines and rain-water. Leading to one of the key Innovation Concepts underlying the WssTP water vision: “the Multiple waters concept”. We also have new opportunities to better manage and govern our water system and allocation, by implementing the second Innovation Concept of the WssTP vision, called “Digital Water”.
- Digitalised – deploying large number of sensors throughout the water network: In line with the Internet of Things, or Internet of Everything concept also the water sector may be expected to be digitalised to a much higher extent, by deploying large number of sensors throughout the water network, up to the individual user. Large amounts of data about how, when and what quality of water may come available for utilities and water governing bodies, as well as individual users, to be used to optimise the allocation of “multiple waters, for multiple purposes and users”.
- Exploiting the Value IN water, e.g. nutrients, minerals, metals and energy in waste water. The Value of Water can be further boosted by capturing and exploiting the Value IN water, e.g. nutrients, minerals, metals and energy in waste water, which currently remains unexploited. E.g. if only 10% of phosphates in WW could be captured at competitive costs, we’d be talking about a 13 BEURO market. Clearly to capture these opportunities innovations will be needed in the water market. And last but not least, the fourth innovation concept on which the WssTP vision has been built, is an enabling underpinning hybrid grey and green water infrastructure. WssTP has hence developed a 4-layer model for a future-proof water-smart society, which sets the basis for our upcoming SIRA and outlines the research, development and moreover INNOVATIONS needed to realise the required Impacts.
10.45 – 10.55 Stuart Orr, Practice Lead, Water at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Institutional arrangements in valuing water
Institutional arrangements in valuing water What institutions? Who does this include? What’s wrong with them now? “The topic nobody wanted to touch on” There are 480 freshwater experts around the world. They all have different visualisation of the SDGs, with natural resources at the bottom, and human systems at the top. Lenders are also failing at how they lend i.e. they lend in silos and not landscapes. Some facts about world’s freshwater:
- We got beat by the cryosphere (Earth’s surface where water is in solid form) … “think about that”.
- 83% loss of freshwater species since the 1980’s
- River systems capture hidden values
- 10% of fish supply is inland fisheries
Any institution must consider the following Measure: Water management is plagued by a lack of measurement of key attributes
- The ‘hidden’ values of rivers are even less well monitored
- Embrace 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution), tech and data
- What are our 2020 SDG indicators? Otherwise they won’t be prioritized
- Address the fundamental flaw!
Value: Our financial system fails water. There are tools out there The role of insurance, finance, and public sector: they provide conditional as loans, with real values and losses
- Valuation tools, frameworks exist
- Incentives and pressure are non-existent
- Role of Insurance, finance and PS?
Trade Offs: Even with improved information, decision-making will require navigating difficult trade-offs, often across market and non-market values. Again, we have the tools to make better decisions Governance: Governance includes, but must go far beyond, government agencies and policies
- System-scale planning for energy and water infrastructure
- Context based targets
- Bankable water solutions
10:55 – 11:35 Panel discussion on ‘valuing water and sustainability’
During the panel discussion the ability to finance water-related investment needs and potential instruments and institutional arrangements to ‘value and finance water’ was discussed. The importance of integration between diverse benchmarks, parameters and indicators was mentioned as well as that integration is important to support comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues, policy formulation and assessment of trade- offs. Last but not least, sustainability indexation should support new financial instruments and systems that help address policies, business models and institutional arrangements in ‘valuing water’. Panelists:
- Christopher Gasson, Owner Global Water Intelligence (GWI)
- Lydia Whyatt, Managing Director, Water Investments, Resonance Asset Management
- Piet Klop, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM
- Aaron Vermeulen, Global Lead Finance & Freshwater, World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)
- Kees Ouboter, Responsible Investment Officer, Actiam
Christopher Gasson, Owner Global Water Intelligence (GWI) – Are we beating around the bush that we want people to pay more for water? The value of water should be more about: “money you can spend”. People want money they can spend, not just feel good services. How can we get the financial institutions to see water differently?
Lydia Whyatt, Managing Director, Water Investments, Resonance Asset Management – We need to look from a different perspective: We will have too much water in some places, specifically in coastal cities, hence need to engage real estate owners on the longer term perspectives. Because of the investments that where made upfront. Not recovering the value of the infrastructure in many municipal utilities, hence need to increase price to reflect the value of water – nothing can be sustainable otherwise as it will always lose money Pension funds are their clients, have to return 5%+ overall, more from illiquid investments (8-10%). Also: the attitude of youngsters to sustainability is promising – need to engage them more. For example: I do believe in community initiatives on River Basement improvement and generating projects. I do not belief in crowd funding as it is prone to fraud. However: blockchain technology is promising.
Piet Klop, Senior Advisor Responsible Investment, PGGM – Support for water investments is failing in the financial sector. It is hard to come up with a sizeable investment. A lot of work needs to be done in understanding risks in investing water services and clear business cases. Money comes with strings attached: impact with market rate financial return. I do belief in the power of “Blended finance”. We could lower the costs through learning and scale.
Aaron Vermeulen, Global Lead Finance & Freshwater, World Wildlife Foundation – There is no lack of capital: it is a matter of language? “Blended finance” should be at the transaction level and development of finance is just the “mouse” to trigger investment from the private sector. We should be inclusive in investment in infrastructure to reduce pressures on ecosystems. Ecosystems help brake silos – look how private sector is related to risk but also to the opportunities. Watch risk outside the boundry of project level. There is no lack of finance but there is a lack of (bankable) projects. To my opinion blended finance is old fashioned!
Kees Ouboter, Responsible Investment Officer, Actiam On the longer term: water is a physical risk, price must increase to adjust for this. We should address the planetary boundaries which are interconnected more and more. Indeed money comes with strings attached – but we are all for impact – the conditions of ROI – small is expensive – with learning we can standardize and then we can scale One day we can secure our investments in water by allocation return to different partners in the chain – we just learn on small scale right now. Rules and regulation should improve the price of water. We should follow the energy market with water – it has become an interesting market. A good example is the FMO development bank agreement that recently was signed: they can accept some higher risks than normal.
Key Take aways Christopher: I was triggered by the EU presentation on addressing sources of pollution and tackling other pressures on water resources Aaron: Think beyond water – local engagement and investment Piet: private money comes with strings attached – a strong case to have government to serve private investment Kees: there is a systematic risk – we should more address planetary boundaries – changes in the connections Lydia: communications will be more important than ever – increasing prices of water will be a disruptive – governments have failed in putting money in allocation of
11.35 – 11.45 Reflection
- Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs
- Hugo von Meijenfeldt, Dutch SDG Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Henk Ovink: “This session was about the full complexity of water. I got lost in the end and at the beg inning. I was hoping for more solutions. I liked the Gaetano slide: How to Value Water at different levels. The discussion about ‘no pipelines’ for finance to me is not actual anymore. My take away: Europe is off track – The world is off track!! What should we do to get back on track – how can you work around the world as there is money, governance and less silos. Pricing and value are together. We not to work on defragmenting the international world. “Looking in the mirror”. Can’t preach collaboration if you aren’t collaborative yourself Making use of shared language.
AIWW Summit 2018: Rotterdam Recommendations The Amsterdam International Water Week Summit 2018 was a high-profile landmark event to help accelerate the practical progress of the established AIWW initiative towards its global goal of a sustainable water environment. The AIWW Summit 2018 shaped the agenda for the 5th (lustrum) edition of the AIWW in 2019. The outcomes were reviewed and the output of the Summit became the roadmap for AIWW 2019: setting the priorities and focus areas for the AIWW Conference in 2019. Most important results: The AIWW Summit 2018 provided practical solutions and identified area’s for immediate improvement in order to accelerate the implementation of inclusive, integrated and bankable solutions to mitigate and adapt the immediate impact of climate change and help achieve the sustainable development goals. The circular economy provides the logical platform and unique opportunity to combine innovative, smart and nature-based solutions to help delta’s, cities, utilities, industries, financial institutions and insurance companies and appeals to a much stronger dialogue and social cooperation with water consumers, citizens and all other stakeholders. The global cooperation of the AIWW with the Singapore Water Week, IWA and Global Center of Adaptation provides a unique opportunity to share the Amsterdam Agreements and Rotterdam Recommendations with the world. Important conclusions at AIWW 2017 The Amsterdam International Water Week Conference in 2017 acted as platform to define and implement a ‘roadmap of change’ in resiliency, optimal resource efficiency and transition to circular economies defined by global leaders, managers, young professionals and new-tech innovators. The conclusions of AIWW Conference 2017 emphasized the importance of collaboration and inclusion in future requirements to implement integrated solutions. Applicable to as well abstract topics – like ‘valuing water’ not only to be seen as a monetary value but collaboratively consider transparency and pricing mechanisms being key to reflect true value – or concrete topics – like water operator partnerships, benchmarking and fact-based analysis like appropriate sustainability Indexing. The future provides a key role for regulation in driving progress, innovation driven by investors and ultimately a global World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty for water. AIWW made a practical and innovative start by facilitating Amsterdam Agreements (9 agreements in 2017). Powerful public commitments made by partnerships willing to work together on real-world examples to connect city, water utility and industry case owners to implement solutions. While the Resilient Cities Leaders Forum in 2015 focused on developing guidance to help make water cities more resilient against disasters, the 2017 Forum discussed the challenges that cities are facing based on concrete cases presented by mayors and deputy mayors and linked these with possible measures and solutions provided by global networks, private sector and financial institutes. Value of Water: conclusions related to this topic where the emerging economic opportunities, such as those around resource recovery of resources from used waters and a wider contribution to the energy transition needed by cities. The need for ‘value resilience’ in supply chains of commodities and the need to finance decentralized water service projects. Water management and resilience: climate change adaptation measures can be taken at the utility, industry and city level, especially the combined catchment-wide, green-blue measures. To be deployed in the concept of Water Sensitive Cities that combine flood protection, water quality, and environmental flow measures across river basins facilitating cooperation around trans-boundary waters. Improved groundwater management by aquifer storage offering a potential means of balancing the collection and use of alternative water sources. Governance and institutional transformation: as mentioned in the overall conclusion, AIWW Conference 2017 emphasized the importance of collaboration and inclusion in future requirements to implement integrated solutions. Progress needs to be made in water operator partnerships, such as the Dutch WaterWorX initiative with the ultimate result to stimulate innovation and scale up promising solutions. Innovation in water solutions: focus on innovation needs an eye on wastewater-based epidemiology, the use of deep tunnels to address sewage and storm water issues, beneficial use of wastewater streams and the infinite opportunities of IT and big data features in integrated solutions. Next stop: AIWW Conference 4-5 November 2019