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World Water Day – EU research on water

22 March marks the annual celebration of World Water Day. Together with ministerial delegations from more than 100 countries, the European Union endorsed a Ministerial Declaration on Water at last week's World Water Forum. Action is needed to balance the difficult water supply and demand equation, handle water stress or water scarcity in times of changing climate and sustain our water ecosystems. The European Commission supports research to help to manage our water resources sustainably and achieve the shift towards an internationally competitive, water-efficient economy in Europe.

EU Research under the Framework Programmes

Since the 1980s, water research has accounted for growing numbers of projects and an increasing budget in the EU's Research Framework Programmes (FPs). The total EU contribution to projects funded over the last 10 years under the successive EU Framework Programmes exceeded €1.3 billion. In the first four calls under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7, 2007-2013), up to 90 water projects were selected, representing an EU investment of more than €300 million. This includes research into nanotechnologies for water treatment as well as several projects and actions to improve the use of water in agriculture, food and biomass production. Water issues have also been covered in other areas including ICT, Space, Security, Energy, Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities.

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