Closing the Water Cycle Gap: Achievements of WaterWorks2017

The WaterWorks2017 project came to an end in December 2023. This project, initiated by Water JPI partners and co-funded by the European Commission, addressed the challenge of “Closing the Water Cycle Gap – Sustainable Management of Water Resources” (Theme 5 of the Water JPI’ SRIA 2.0) in order to identify innovative solutions to manage imbalances between water demands and the supply capacity of the natural system. Amongst other activities, WaterWorks2017 pooled resources from participating funding agencies to implement a joint call for proposals. Eighteen projects were selected for funding. These projects cover different areas including the management of surface and groundwater in urban and agricultural areas, pollution removal approaches in drinking water, governance and economics.


The Water JPI’s team will offer in successive articles detailed information on the main results achieved by funded projects. This month we wish to focus on the political relevance of WaterWorks2017.


Through the implementation of different activities and the funding of research and innovation, WaterWorks2017 has strived to contribute to the overall objective of European water policy: “To ensure access to good quality water in sufficient quantity for all Europeans, economic sectors and the environment, and to ensure the good status of all water bodies across Europe. The priority is to move towards a water-efficient and water-saving economy” (Water scarcity and droughts, European Commission). More specifically, the work performed by WaterWorks2017 should support the following pieces of legislation/ frameworks:


  • The Water Framework Directive, which promotes sustainable water use through the protection of water resources and the mitigation of the effects of droughts.
  • The 8th Environment Action Programme, which calls for the transition towards a climate-neutral and resource-efficient economy.
  • The European Green Deal.  
  • The 2021 European Strategy on Adaptation to climate change.
  • The 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan.
  • The European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.
  • The European Drinking Water Directive.
  • The European Floods Directive (25/2018).
  • The Regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse for agricultural irrigation.
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs).


The Water JPI is fully engaged to the wide dissemination and valorisation of project results. To this end, partners will implement an action plan leading ultimately to a full consideration of research findings by the policy community and the market. Amongst others, a new Water JPI Conference is planned in 2025 (more information on this and other activities will be soon communicated).

Read Other articles:

Water JPI: Sharing a Decade of Expertise for Sustainable Futures

Water4All & Water JPI: what is the difference?

A brief overview of the different WaterJPI calls

The main water subjects treated by Water JPI

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