Berlin, 9 November 2021.
Having established a process whereby in the town of Great Torrington, the FIWARE4WATER project demonstrated the viability of engaging citizens and other representatives of the Quintuple Helix in furthering the effectiveness of the technical advances demonstrated by the European-funded project, the systemic approach of creating Local Water Forums, developed before and during the initiative was simultaneously adopted in 2020 by the World Water Quality Alliance under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme to form the basis of its Social Engagement Workflow, under the direction of FIWARE4WATER partners such as EURECAT, Business Development Group and the University of Exeter.
The objective to enhance the co-creation of local policies which would answer the needs of supranational strategies such as the Twin Transition to a Green Economy and a Digital Economy, promoted by the European Commission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations requires the engagement of all sectors of society which collectively are known as the Quintuple Helix. This includes the public sector, researchers, the private sector, cultural entities and above all, citizens who earnestly wish to participate in environmental initiatives. Citizens are attracted to such actions when there exists a raising of a broad public awareness which leads to interest and concern and which in turn becomes a desire to be engaged. Full inclusion of all socio-political sectors at a municipal level can ensure a stronger capacity for policy continuity based on consensus.
Local Water Forums are created in answer to a variety of local and/or global water-based concerns. Those which have been established within the FIWARE4WATER project have aimed at a) creating awareness regarding the global issue of water at a local community scale and b) contributing to and disseminating the progress of more technical aspects of the project such as the enhanced use of smart meters. Under the WWQA, Local Water Forums are tackling a wider range of water-based issues including water quality, water scarcity, the recovery of green spaces and a more open form of water administration.
One of the key aspects of the work of both FIWARE4WATER and the WWQA is the desire to ensure that Local Water Forums from different regions, countries and continents establish a strong relationship between each other, exchanging knowledge, experience and perspectives. The purpose of this event is to bring Local Water Forums together for the first time and permit them the opportunity to discuss amongst themselves what really concerns them. It will not be a training session. It will be a meeting of representatives of local communities from a broad range of backgrounds coming together in a common cause, the improvement of water quality around the World and the enhancement of digital technology within water administration.
Representatives of the WWQA and Fiware4water (Nina Raasakka – Unep and Natacha Amorsi – Oieau)
14:10-14:20 The Importance of the Citizen in the Administration of Water
Representative of the European Commission (Dr. Bernd Gawlik – Joint Research Centre of the European Commision)
14:20-15:05 Introduction to the Local Water Forums
Discussion led by two key questions:
What role does the community have in addressing local and global water challenges?
What support do you (water forums) need?
15:05-15:15 Coffee Break
15:15-16:00 How to Create an Effective Water Awareness Campaign
Barbara Hale, Head of Water Efficiency Engagement at WaterWise to introduce the topic which will be followed by an open discussion
16:00-16:15 The Signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent
Representative of the European Commission (Violeta Kuzmickaite, Project Officer – Fiware4water)
The Follower Cities Workshop is taking place on November 25th, 2021 between 14.00 and 17.00 hrs. CET, (connection time starting 13.45 CET)