The conference, organised by the Marie Curie Fellowship Association, in cooperation with the University of East Anglia and ETNET 21 Environment-Water, will focus on how science can contribute to policy, along the lines of the water framework directive, i.e. all aspects of water management from groundwater to surface water, from freshwater ecosystems to estuaries and coastal waters. It will bring together young scientists from all disciplines to interact with senior scientists and present their work on water research, with the objective of: (i) training them to expose their approaches to scientists from other disciplines and (ii) encouraging them to think about the policy consequences of their research.
The conference will be organised over three days. In the first two days, the morning will be dedicated to keynote speeches from key actors in the European water sector (European Commission, NGOs, Industry, National Governments). In the afternoon, a selected number of young scientists will have the opportunity to present their research in parallel sessions dedicated to the main areas of the Water Framework Directive (surface and groundwater ecology, surface and groundwater chemistry, economics of water use). Papers will be selected by the conference organising committee, after a call for abstracts open to young researchers from all backgrounds. Criteria for selection will include: degree of innovation, policy relevance, geographical representation and gender balance. Sessions will be chaired by senior scientists, who will first give an overview of the state of the art in their field of research, and preliminary thoughts on the implications of the Water Framework Directive in their research field. For young scientists who could not present their research in parallel sessions, a poster session will be organised, with a prize offered to the best poster.
On the last day, reporters will give a short summary of each session, and participants will have the opportunity to discuss issues relating to implementation of the Water Framework Directive and new research needs, in the context of a round table with representatives from the main interest groups (EC, NGO, government, industry). The main outcome of the conference will be to identify areas where further research is needed for effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive.