Sustainable water supply and sanitation is fundamental to the food security, health, survival, societal well-being and economic growth of developing countries, especially in Africa. Developing countries are also particularly vulnerable to water-related problems which are expected to be exacerbated in the future by more frequent and severe floods and droughts due to climate change.
The consequences of water scarcity and poor water quality are very relevant in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. In a region where a 47% increase in water demand is projected for the 2015-2035 period due to population and economic growth, the World Economic Forum is expecting the water crisis to reach dramatic proportions in the next 20-30 years. Within the MENA region, Mediterranean African Countries (MACs) are especially at risk, as they are already characterized by very high levels of water stress. In MACs, agriculture accounts for 80-85% of freshwater consumption. As agriculture is highly sensitive to water availability and quality, MACs will be severely affected by the increasingly significant water crisis.
Acknowledging these challenges, in 2015 the EU launched the WATER-5c-2015 “Development of water supply and sanitation technology, systems and tools, and/or methodologies” call for action, as part of the Horizon 2020 program. The aim of the call is to improve the state of water resources, both in terms of quantity and quality, through the development and application of water supply and sanitation approaches and solutions adapted to local conditions in non-EU Mediterranean countries and Africa. Furthermore, by positioning Europe as a global market leader in water related innovative solutions, new market opportunities will be triggered resulting in economic benefits. The MADFORWATER research and innovation project addresses the objectives of the WATER-5c-2015 call topic.
The MADFORWATER research and innovation project addresses the objectives of the WATER-5c-2015 call topic.