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Rethinking water: SusChem works on sustainable roadmap

On World Water Day, the EU Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) is pleased to announce its partnership with the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WSSTP). The cooperation has set out a high-level roadmap for sustainable water use in an integrated water management system between the chemical industry, urban water and value chain partners.

The WHO ministerial meeting in Parma on Environment and Health earlier this month identified a lack of clean water due to insufficient infrastructure and climate change as a serious threat to children’s health, one which it plans to address. The new SusChem approach to water management will mean water for public use and water used in industry would no longer need to compete for the same resources. The integrated water management system put forward by SusChem and the WSSTP will include water reuse, complementary water streams, and reduced water consumption. Future materials and processes like renewable feedstocks and biotechnology which are water intensive will also be addressed by the project which aims to provide a new framework for water use. The overall collaboration has been very positively received by the European Commission and a project proposal, within the EU’s FP7 2010 programme for funding of coordination efforts, has received a positive evaluation response. In the next stage, we hope to be able to present a demonstration project. “SusChem’s cooperation with the value chain shows how working in a complementary way is far superior to competing for resources. It reflects SusChem’s strategic agenda which is to harness innovation to respond to societal challenges” said SusChem Innovation Manager Ger Spork. “Rethinking the traditional will help industry tackle water use in a world where the resource is already under pressure and should be treated as a valuable raw material instead of a simple utility.” SusChem’s value chain cooperation responds to the European Commission’s recommendations in the Expert Group on Technology Platforms in October 2009 and the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Chemical Industry.