Governance innovations for a transition to sustainable and equitable water use in Europe GOVAQUA

Europe is facing water challenges ranging from water scarcity to degradation of the freshwater ecosystems. These challenges are expected to be exacerbated by climate change, growing development needs, and structural changes in sectors such as agriculture and energy. Overuse and depletion of water resources causes ecological debt, threatens livelihoods, and weakens the European economy.

Reconciling water uses and environmental needs in Europe requires a transition towards sustainable and equitable water use. This transition is also needed to reach the aims of the EU Water Framework Directive, the European Green Deal, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Horizon Europe project GOVAQUA aims to accelerate this transition by better water governance. The GOVAQUA project will – for the first time – define what sustainability transition means in water governance and create criteria and indicators for its assessment.

GOVAQUA takes a close look at the most innovative water governance solutions to find out how they could help Europe to meet its water challenges. The project identifies the good practices related to legislation and regulation, multi-stakeholder participation and collaboration, economic and financial instruments, and digital solutions for information sharing.

These practices are systematically reviewed, analysed, and compared – and further co-developed, assessed and validated with key stakeholders in six real-world living labs in France, Finland, Spain, the UK, and Romania, and transnationally between Finland and Sweden.

The project results will be shared with EU and Member State policy makers and officials, European river basin management community, water sector, NGOs, water governance expert organisations and sectors using water.

GOVAQUA will build a toolbox of new knowledge, participatory tools and good practice guidelines that can make all the difference and lead Europe towards sustainable and equitable water future.

GOVAQUA is part of the WaterGovernance2027 Cluster

GOVAQUA partners in a cluster of three research and innovation projects funded under the Horizon Europe programme by the European Commission. The other two projects in the WaterGovernance2027 Cluster are Innwater and RETOUCH NEXUS. The cluster seeks to tackle Europe’s water challenges through the development, assessment, and validation of good practices. In this cluster the innovative mechanisms and approaches to enhance water governance are put into test in 17 different locations across the continent in 13 EU Member States, ranging from agricultural regions to urban areas and local catchments to national level experience sharing.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission (Horizon Europe). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
Published 2023-03-17 at 17:33, updated 2024-05-23 at 13:29