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The European Water Stewardship is being launched on 24 November in Brussels.


18 Nov 2011


Sustainable Dev.
Climate & Environment

Water shortages, droughts and floods in a variety of European regions are raising public awareness and increasing demand for effective responses and strategies towards ensuring sustainable water management. Open discussion on the impacts of climate change, the EU policy on “resource efficiency” and Blueprint 2012 are also enhancing public debate on these key issues.

With that, water consumers in industry and agriculture are recognising the need to include sustainable water governance in their business strategies. These have to go beyond simple water-use efficiency and be based on an exhaustive understanding of operational and supply chain water risks.

Only complementary efforts of the private sector and an enforced implementation of European legal requirements can provide long-term solutions for water management on a river basin scale. European Water Stewardship (EWS) provides the tools to put this aim into daily business practice.

It is with great pleasure that we prepare to share with you, in Brussels on 24 November, the official launch of the system that we have been testing for the past two years, and that could not be a reality today without the tireless support of our partners.

The EWS Launch will provide a platform for representatives from civil society, business, agriculture and the European institutions to discuss and identify common opportunities or challenges in order to take concrete steps towards sustainable water management.

The European Water Stewardship (EWS) is the integrative system for business and agriculture to assess, verify and communicate sustainable water management practices. It embodies the collective effort and know-how of water users in agriculture and industry. The EWS follows on the Water Vision for Europe, by defining a system of clear steps towards sustainable water management at operational and river basin level.

The EWS includes a standard and an evaluation system that makes “business sense” for adherents; mitigating physical, regulatory and reputational risks; and offering tried-and-tested steps to secure water availability in future.

European Water Stewardship provides an applicable system to change the behavior and practices of all water users towards sustainable water management. The EWS:

 Initiates private actions with independent guidance

 Provides positive incentives for sustainable water management

 Helps companies to communicate its successful implementation

 Achievements at operational level, and

 Supports existing legal processes in the European Union.

EWS applies four basic principles, provides expert guidance for their application and concludes with an evaluation by an independent body in order to gain one of three levels of compliance: Gold, Silver and Copper.

During our launch event, political figures of the European Union will stand side by side with the pioneering EWS adherents, and renew their support to the efforts of the EWS to facilitate the implementation of the EU’s global Climate engagements.

We initiated the EWP in 2006, and only a few years later, thanks to the high quality team that supports us we are able to see this vision become a reality. Thank you all, this EWS is yours.

For more information, please visit our website, or contact Lisa Strübbe, Communications Officer at +32 735 06 81,


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