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Yaiza Tejido

Yaiza Tejido

Senior Consultant in European Projects and expert in the LIFE Programme

This could be, or should be, an article on how to finance your project that deals with water, in any of its variants (treatment, use, reuse, management…). And one of the answers can be found in the title of this article: LIFE is water and WATER is LIFE.

We are 60% water, the earth is 70% water and in the European Commission’s LIFE Programme we can find one of the main sources of funding for the water sector. However, in order to answer the question ‘How do I finance my project?’, we face with a first difficulty, which is to talk and write about something so concrete, but at the same time present everywhere: WATER.

Not only is it necessary to implement more sustainable systems of use and even treatment in order to avoid the current degradation of water bodies, but it is also necessary to have a new conception of the efficient use of this precious resource. This is why the European Commission is clearly committed to innovation in the field of water.

A day without water

What are we looking for when financing a project in this sector? For which application or use of water? Perhaps it is its treatment after its use in an industry that we want to address? Or do we expect an improvement of the biodiversity of the area thanks to the improvement of the water quality? We use water at every moment of our lives, and even if we do not see it directly as a part or ingredient of what we hold in our hands (be it material or food) it is always there and has been involved in its manufacture to a greater or lesser extent.

Just think of a day without water, with absolutely nothing in which water has been involved: the first thing we think of is that we cannot cook with water, drink, shower or wash ourselves, but the reality is that we would not be able to carry out practically any activity. The manufacture of the products we use every day, the transport of goods by sea and river, the food industry, or the chemical industry, are just a few examples of water-intensive sectors. An empty day. An impossible day.

As you can see, the simple task of writing an article on EU funding of water-themed projects becomes somewhat complicated with the possibility of turning into a lengthy analysis. This not only highlights the fact that water is everywhere, but also that we should be aware of the need to pay more attention to this precious commodity, which often goes unnoticed.

Funding possibilities for the water sector

To remedy the use, disuse and misinformation surrounding water, here is an overview of themes and funding opportunities for “water” projects.

EU research and innovation activities in the field of water cover a wide range of topics, according to the European Commission itself:

  • Water quantity and availability.
  • Water quality and pollution.
  • Protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems.
  • Water management and governance, including circular water use.

Therefore, topics such as water quality, water treatment and management, circular economy in the water cycle, optimisation of water use, etc. will be addressed from different perspectives (private sector, industry, research, public sector…).

In our innovation platform Kaila you can find multiple funding opportunities, as well as in this downloadable that collects the themes that address water in Horizon Europe, PRIMA, INTERREG, EUROSTARS and LIFE. Don’t miss it!




Expert person

Yaiza Tejido
Yaiza Tejido

Bilbao Office

Senior Consultant in European Projects and expert in the LIFE Programme

It's not about the sector, it's the about project

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