This week, RETOUCH NEXUS partners, along with the Water Governance 2027 synergy group, were thrilled to attend the 20th anniversary edition of the Europe-International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO/RIOB) conferences for the Implementation of the European Union water directives, taking place in the marvelous city of Valencia, in Spain.

Adrià Rubio Martín, representing Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), and Maria Vrachioli from Technical University of Munich, both RETOUCH NEXUS partners, had a great time presenting our project and one of its case studies, the Jucar River Basin. It was an excellent opportunity to share and learn from other Water Governance 2027 experts from GOVAQUA project and InnWater .

About the Water Governance 2027 synergy group

It gathers three Horizon Europe projects (GOVAQUA, Retouch Nexus & InnWater) to set synergies and complementarities in terms of development, research and communication and to join efforts and share experiences on innovative water governance schemes across a variety of European settings.

About the workshop: “A joint process from the WaterGovernance2027 Synergy Group”

The synergy group will organise dedicated modules in the EURO-INBO annual conferences in 2023-2026, providing an opportunity for the participants to learn about innovative water governance practices and to provide their feedback. In addition, the projects will disseminate factsheets and policy briefs on topical issues.

The aim of the modules is to support basin managers and other stakeholders in finding new ways to tackle water governance challenges.

The workshop will offer and facilitate exchanges of experiences, practices and inputs and benefit from feedbacks in different water governance contexts, for instance at the basin level. It will also allow exchanges on the challenges faced by the governance due to climate change impact and societal issues

Context of the workshop

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in force now for over 20 years has had limited success in reaching its objectives of water protection and restoration, sustainable water use, and good status of waters. The main problem has been concluded to not be in the EU legislation itself, but in obstacles to its implementation linked to water governance problems, lack of finance, delays in planning and insufficient integration of environmental objectives in sectoral policies. The European Green Deal strategies (such as Farm to Fork, Biodiversity Strategy, Climate Adaptation Strategy) aim to enhance innovative governance models at national and subnational level, which can enable systemic transitions to more sustainable and resilient water management. Such a systemic transition requires large-scale and cross-sectoral changes in water, food, and energy management as well as governance instruments that reconcile water uses and environmental needs.