Report: Insights in the future “water smart society”

As part of our “roadmapping” service, PNO supported Water Europe to develop and document strategic insights into the  future “Water Smart Society” in Europe, taking account major societal and technological trends. This 64-page report ‘The Value of Water’, shows the routes towards a better exploitation and stewardship of our water sources by society and businesses while developing resilient and sustainable solutions for our key global water challenges.

Connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The vision imagines a future, where water scarcity and pollution of ground- and surface water in Europe are avoided, water, energy and resource loops are closed to a large extent to realise a circular economy, the water system is resilient against climate change events and European water-related business thrives as a result of forward-looking research and innovation.The Water Europe Vision is focussing on European water challenges, trends and required developments, but it also indicates how this is connected to Europe’s role in solving global water challenges, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while confirming and strengthening Europe’s position in the global waterrelated economy valued at 63 Trillion Euro.

Four key impact parameters

In order to make the water-smart society emerge, Water Europe proposes to focus research, development and innovation investments in Europe on four key impact parameters:

  • reducing the impact of Europe’s society on our natural water resources by 50%;
  • realising the true value of water for our society, the economy, and the environment;
  • boosting the European water market as well as global competitiveness of the European water industries;
  • securing long term resilience, stability, sustainability, and security of the society with regard to water.

To realise these objectives, Europe will need to develop innovative water-technologies, digital solutions, economic, business and governance models that contribute to solving water challenges in Europe and for the world at large. Moreover, it will need to enhance cross sectorial challenges in implementing the EU Water policy (in particular WFD) at various levels and supporting regional development.

Living document

The Water Europe SIRA is a living document that has initially been developed in the first half of 2016 to promote a balanced mix of research and innovation measures that contribute to overcoming the main bottlenecks towards the realization of the Water Europe Vision as described in “Water Europe Vision: towards a future-proof model for a European water-smart society”.


If you are interested, download the report or contact one of our R&D Innovation specialists.