Newsletter #1 - December 18th 2017
WaterProtect and FAIRWAY present new solutions to protect our drinking water resources at Launch Event in Brussels

The European Commission is investing almost 10 million euros from its research and innovation budget (under the Horizon 2020 programme) in two projects, WaterProtect and FAIRWAY. Both projects deliver new solutions, proven good practices and innovative governance models to protect drinking water resources from nutrient and pesticide pollution. WaterProtect and FAIRWAY held their launch event on December 6th 2017 in Brussels together with the key European stakeholders and Commission services.

The launch event was introduced by Lara Passante from the Commission’s Research Executive Agency (REA) highlighting the important impact of both projects in bringing together research, stakeholders, farmers and citizens to have a positive impact on drinking water sources. The Water Task force, a joint initiative of DGAgri and DGEnv, was represented by Claudia Muresan, and has the task to improve the economic and environmental performance of farms and the long-term availability of water.

Both projects will deliver important contributions and experience from their case studies and action labs to the Task Force, and will connect to activities of the EIP Water action groups and EIP Agri operational groups. The projects will also be very important for the drinking water producers according to Arjen Frentz from Eureau, referring to the Water Framework Directive and the ambition to reduce costs for water treatment.
The WaterProtect Action Labs are getting up to speed
In each of our 7 action labs, WaterProtect is working with local actors and stakeholders to develop a good working participatory monitoring and to set up new governance and financing models.
The ultimate aim is to achieve the effective implementation of best management practices to reduce water pollution and protect drinking water resources. In the coming year, we will report about the activities and the progress made in our seven actionlabs.
End of November, farmers from the Irish Action Lab went on a two-day catchment trip in the 'wet' region of Ireland and were at this occasion informed about WaterProtect and its goals. The project was well received by a large majority of the involved farmers.
Mid-November, the Belgian Action Lab organized its first farmers meeting with discussion groups. Although the majority of the farmers was not aware of the pressure that plant protection products put on the local drinking water resources, their attitude towards the project is positive.
WaterProtect has received funding from the
European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No. 727450.

Disclaimer: this publication only reflects the authors’ views and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.