Water JPI - Water challenges for a changing world
Launched in 2010, the Joint Programming Initiative “Water challenges for a changing world”, the Water JPI, tackles the ambitious challenge of achieving sustainable water systems for a sustainable economy in Europe and abroad. It supports the European research cooperation in the water area and is closely coordinated with the EU Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020.
The Water JPI consists of the EU-Member States as partners, the European Commission (EC) and associated countries. To date, the Water JPI has 23 partner countries and three observer countries, plus the European Commission. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is a member of the Governing Board and participates in the development and implementation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). Two assisting Advisory Boards – the Scientific and Technological Board (STB) and the Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG) – ensure the inclusion of the scientific community and relevant stakeholders on a European level.
The SRIA (SRIA 2.0, updated in 2016) is the backbone of the Water JPI, being the reference document for the implementation of joint activities. It establishes Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) priority actions in the water sector to address the challenges as far as freshwater, groundwater and transitional and coastal waters are concerned. Thus, the SRIA is the overarching reference base, highlighting the range and direction of all Water JPI activities, which will in time be realised through the Water JPI Implementation Plan and various EU and national funding mechanisms. The following themes have been identified as SRIA research priorities:
1. Maintaining Ecosystem Sustainability
2. Developing Safe Water Systems for Citizens
3. Promoting Competitiveness in the Water Industry
4. Implementing a Water-wise Biobased Economy
5. Closing the Water Cycle Gap
The Water JPI is currently updating its SRIA. Over 90 attendees from all over Europe met and discussed the proposed structure and research priorities of the new Water JPI Vision 2030 and SRIA 2025 at an Experts Workshop held in Dublin, Ireland, on 22 – 23October 2019. The workshop was one of the steps in a sequence of six consultative processes, with each step helping to inform and shape the direction of the SRIA 2025 and Vision 2030.
The implementation of the SRIA research priorities is carried out, amongst others, via competitive Joint Calls for transnational collaborative water RDI projects. To date, five Joint Calls have been launched (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). The BMBF has participated in the 2013 Pilot Call and the 2017 Joint Call.
2013 Pilot Call: Emerging Water Contaminants – Anhropogenic Pollutants and Pathogens
Seven transnational collaborative research projects in the field of water quality were funded by the Water JPI Pilot Call, with a total budget of € 9 million. To build on the results of the Pilot Call and to promote institutional networking a Knowledge Hub on Emerging Pollutants has been initiated. Germany is being represented by the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) in the Knowledge Hub. The aim of the Water JPI Knowledge Hub is to promote knowledge exchange, provide R&D infrastructure and to foster networking between stakeholders and the scientific community. A Policy Brief, developed by the seven Pilot Call projects, presents recommendations for policymakers and practitioners to deal with the problem of emerging water contaminants.
2017 Joint Call: Water resource management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
The projects funded by the 2017 Joint Call have started in the first quarter of 2019. Eight transnational research projects dealing with the implementation of water-related UN SDGs have been selected. German partners are participating in five projects, with two projects being implemented under German coordination.