Water struggles and climate change

6th Foundational Economy Conference, Vienna

(15 September 2023) Water is a public good and European water policy must be orientated towards this. A European Water Strategy must be based on recognising the human rights to water and sanitation based on publicly owned water services. If a European Water Strategy is a pretext to open European water services and to commercialise this common good, it will not be supported by people in Europe. They will not have trust in such a strategy. These were some of the points raised in a debate on water and climate change, organised in the context of a Conference on the so-called Foundational Economy. The EPSU General Secretary was speaking on the lessons learned from the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water, its impact on national and EU policies and referred to the discussion in the European Economic and Social Committee on the European Blue Deal.

The working group was organised by the ArbeitKammer and Younion. Other speakers included Iris Strutzmann Arbeitkammer Wien, Durmus Ȕnlȕ, Allianz der offentlichen Wasserwirtschaft, Roman Neunteufel, Universitat fur Bodenkultur and Bettina Urbanek, WWF

The impact of climate change on water is huge. National and European water strategies are necessary to prevent that conflict about the use of water become unmanageable. Speakers agreed that our eco-systems will need more protection against the over-use of water in particular by agriculture and the use of water for food and clothing. The so-called water foot print is enormous and much of this is outsourced from wealthy countries to countries in less wealthy economies.

The conference took place 14-15 September 2023 Vienna.

More on the concept of the Foundational Economy and on how Foundational Economy views the cost of living crisis  For more on the Vienna Conference on the Foundational Economy and Climate Change Foundational Economy Conference 2023; FECC 2023; FECC Vienna; FECC Wien | TU Wien

On the European Blue Deal and the related opinions including on water poverty and on infrastructures. For EPSU contribution to the Blue Deal

For an analysis of the ECI Right to Water