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EU Green Week
Conferences and summits

Cascading water: Creating a water-smart EU economy

This session centres on how to put the EU on a path towards using water in a more intelligent and economical way to the benefit of us all.

© Old Man Stocker via Adobe Stock

See the recording of this session

Water is a public good that is an essential input for businesses, whilst also being a human right and an intrinsic part of our environment. Food and energy production as well as most manufacturing are intense consumers of water, and the ongoing green and digital transitions come with significant water bills attached. But such competing demands from different economic sectors, from households as well as from ecosystems can negatively impact the competitiveness and strategic autonomy of the EU economy.  

A water-smart economy offers to reconcile the different water needs of a society, while preserving the environment and increasing our resilience and ability to withstand future water challenges.

It also operates on circular economy principles throughout the water cycle. As with other natural resources, water should be used optimally, applying the “water efficiency first principle” and should be retained and kept in functional use for as long as possible – the “cascading principle”, then reused or recycled when it becomes wastewater.

This session discusses how to put the EU on a path to a water-smart economy. What are the priorities, choices and trade-offs? What are the low-hanging fruits, and how do we establish and pursue the long-term vision as a society? 

  • water | water protection | water pollution | environmental protection
  • Thursday 30 May 2024, 11:30 - 12:30 (CEST)
  • Belgium
  • Belgium


Practical information

Thursday 30 May 2024, 11:30 - 12:30 (CEST)
Charlemagne building, Gasperi room