Water is vital for human health. A minimum amount of water is required for consumption daily for the survival of humans and all other forms of life, and access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene is the most basic human need for health and well-being. In addition, water plays a central role in many spheres of human life which have direct and indirect repercussions on health. Agriculture, fish farming, industrial production and energy generation require large amounts of water. Last but not least, water is a fundamental component of ecosystems, on which our health and well-being depend.
Water, however, is a finite resource increasingly stretched by rising demand due to rapid population growth, urbanization, increasing water needs from agriculture, industry, and energy sectors, misuse, poor management, over-extraction of groundwater and contamination of freshwater supplies. According to the UN, a 40 per cent shortfall in freshwater resources by 2030 coupled with a rising world population has the world careening towards a global water crisis.
Climate change exacerbates this already alarming picture, jeopardizing the quantity and quality of our water. As the earth's temperature rises, warmer weather causes more water to evaporate, allowing the air to hold more water. This sets the stage for heavier rainfall and flooding, which decreases the quality of our water and increases health risks by contaminating the water we drink along with crops and other food we eat. In addition, the rising temperature of lakes and oceans creates a more hospitable environment for some harmful algae and other microbes to grow, with further negative impacts on water and food safety.
Access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. Ensuring public health requires addressing the multiple challenges climate change poses through a holistic, integrated approach and a systemic point of view. Having this in mind, Water Europe commits to facilitating knowledge transfer and exploitation by promoting discussion to build a stronger and clearer vision of future actions on available technologies and reinforced decision-making processes, including the social, environmental, and economic dimensions.
Having this in mind, Water Europe - under ARSINOE's umbrella - will facilitate knowledge transfer and exploitation by organising a series of seminars on common topics to discuss gaps and synergies with the purpose of leading the discussion towards building a stronger and clearer vision of future actions on available technologies and reinforced decision-making processes, including the social, environmental, and economic dimensions. The scope of these events is to create a critical mass of exchanged knowledge, intelligence, and experience and capitalise, disseminate, and exploit this critical mass for different or combined purposes for policy development, further R&I collaboration, and market uptake of innovations.
This third seminar is about "Climate Change and its Impact on Water and Public Health" and will be chaired by the Water Europe Working Group on Water & Public Health led by Cristian Carboni. A panel of experts from the sister projects ARSINOE, TRANSFORMAR, IMPETUS and REGILIENCE will be also participating.
Working Groups are the operational level for members' collaboration and coordination in WE. They are fully member-driven, the backbone of our WE community that provides technical and scientific inputs on a series of themes that voice the water-related challenges, needs and opportunities of each respective field at a European level. The scope of the Working Group on Water & Public Health is to make health an important element in EU water-related policies and boost the R&I methodology to contribute to the achievement of a Water Smart Society in which the value of water is recognized and protected as a precious resource for human health and well-being. The WG will analyse and provide clear advice to the water value chain on selected areas of interest that need further policy and R&I coordination and support. The purpose is to translate the concept of water quality and safety/the importance of water for public health to the European context and contribute to achieving a water-smart society that ensures access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for all.
This seminar will build a discussion arena about the perspectives and the opportunities given by the water & public health nexus to contribute to addressing the water management and climate change challenges from a systemic vision.
Welcome speech: Introduction to the Arsinoe Seminars Series and clustering activities
Keynote speech: Climate Change and its Impact on Water and Public Health, Irina Calancea, Cristian Carboni, Claudia Topalli
Regilience. Reducing risks of maladaptation : Examples from public health, Teresa Geidel
Arsinoe. Climate Change Challenges in a Transboundary Setting, Chrysi Laspidou
TransformAr: Accelerating and upscaling transformational adaptation in Europe: demonstration of water-related innovation packages, Antonio Trabucco, Fred Hattermann
Panel discussion and Q/A
Wrap up and take aways
Senior Regulatory and Government Affairs Manager at IDEXX Laboratories Inc.
Market Development Manager Innovative Disinfection systems at Industrie
European Innovation Officer at VEOLIA
Director of Operations at Water Europe
Researcher at Fresh Thoughts Consulting
Technical Assistant at Water Europe
Professor at University of Thessaly