The future of water: how can Europe tackle the climate crisis?

Water is life, but climate change poses a major threat to this precious resource in Europe and beyond.

And as global temperatures rise, more severe droughts are expected to further impact the supply and access to clean water.

Worldwide, one in ten people do not have access to a source of drinking water close to their homes, which threatens their health and plunges communities into poverty. And with the projected increase in world population in the second half of the century, competition for water resources will only get worse.

More extreme weather events, including flooding, are also predicted in the future, while contaminants such as fertilizers could also enter waterways, affecting nature and sources of supply for humans.

The impact of water scarcity on business

The impact of water scarcity on infrastructure and industry is also enormous. For sectors like agriculture, which according to the World Bank Group uses around 70% of the world’s fresh water, the stakes are high.

But all businesses are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that they take sustainability, including responsible water use and management, seriously.

This pressure comes not only from governments and industries, but also from increasingly environmentally conscious consumers who are not afraid to call the so-called “green-washers”.

Water security in Europe

So what does all this mean for future water security in Europe and beyond? And how can the demand for water be balanced with the supply?

As part of Euronews Green Week, we’ll be asking these important questions and more to a panel of experts in a special live virtual debate.

Our panel will explore what European governments and industry bodies are doing to mitigate their impacts and how innovation and technology can help build resilience to water scarcity.

They will also discuss where investment flows and support will come from, and how governments can work together to change deeply rooted mindsets and behaviors around water use.

The role of business will also be explored, including how organizations can meet the growing demands and expectations for sustainability demanded by their increasingly environmentally conscious customers.

Join us for the live debate on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (CEST). As part of the debate, there will be a live Q&A session. If you would like to ask one of our panelists a question, please submit it via the box below.

Meet the panelists:

Sol Oyuela – Global Director of Policy and Campaigns, WaterAid

Sol Oyuela joined WaterAid in 2019 and launched the nonprofit’s first global water and climate campaign. She advocates for putting hygiene and access to clean water at the center of the global response to COVID-19.

Sol previously worked as advocacy director at Unicef ​​UK and will be speaking from Buenos Aires.

Juan Pardo Martinez, Director of the Research & Development Department, Novagric

Juan Pardo Martinez is an agricultural engineer at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT). Since 2005, his work has been part of the technical department of Novagric, a company supplying equipment for intensive agriculture.

Juan is involved in more than 10 national and European technological projects related to intensive agriculture and will speak from Spain.

Assita Kanko, Belgian MEP and member of the parliamentary group on water

Assita has been an MEP for Belgium since 2019. Assita is also vice-president of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, member of the parliamentary group on water and shadow rapporteur for a draft report entitled Access to Water as a Human Right – the External dimension.

She is a published author, newspaper columnist and women’s rights advocate. Assita will speak from Brussels.

Professor Justin Sheffield, Head of the School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

Justin Sheffield is Professor of Hydrology and Remote Sensing at the University of Southampton, UK. His research focuses on large-scale hydrology and its interactions with climate variability and change.

Justin has advanced hydrologically consistent analyzes of drought and done pioneering work in developing integrated drought monitoring tools for food insecure countries. He will speak from the UK.