Water JPI glossary

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Access rights

Rights to use results or background under the terms and conditions laid down in accordance with the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Ref.: Regulation(EU) No 1290/2013 (Horizon 2020)


a subsurface layer or layers of rock or other geological strata of sufficient porosity and permeability to allow either a significant flow of groundwater or the abstraction of significant quantities of groundwater

Ref.: Water Framework directive

Article 185
(of the European Treaty)

Article 185 of the European Treaty (TFEU) foresees the participation of the EU in research and development programmes undertaken jointly by several Member States.
See European Commission/Reseach and Innovation:


Bathing Water Directive European environmental legislation: the Bathing Water Directive 2006/7/EC. Bathing Water Quality will be monitored and tested in order to protect bathers from health risks and to preserve the environment from pollution.
See European Commission/Environment:
Biodiversity The variability among living organisms within species and populations, between species, and between ecosystems. Including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystem and the ecological complexes of which they are part.
Ref.: Ecosystem Services: A Guide for Decision Makers, World Resources Institute
Bioeconomy Strategy Europe's Bioeconomy Strategy (adopted 2012) addresses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into vital products and bio-energy.
See European Commission/Reseach and Innovation:
Biomimetics Biomimetics is an interdisciplinary field in which principles from engineering, chemistry and biology are applied to the synthesis of materials, synthetic systems or machines that have functions that mimic biological processes.
See at Nature:


Capacity Building  "Specifically, capacity building encompasses the country’s human, scientific, technological, organizational, institutional and resource capabilities. A fundamental goal of capacity building is to enhance the ability to evaluate and address the crucial questions related to policy choices and modes of implementation among development options, based on an understanding of environment potentials and limits and of needs perceived by the people of the country concerned". Capacity Building - Agenda 21’s definition (Chapter 37, UNCED, 1992.)See Global Development Research Center:
Circular Economy An industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair reuse, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models.
Ref. : Towards a circular economy, Vol. 1, 2013, Ellen McArthur foundation
Climate Services Climate services are the dissemination of climate information to the public or a specific user.
See World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
See the European Research and Innovation Roadmap for Climate Services:
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) This is the set of legislation and practices adopted by the European Union to provide a common, unified policy on agriculture. The initial measures were introduced in 1962. Since then, the policy has been adapted and developed and has undergone a number of reforms.
See European Commission/Agriculture and Rural Development:
Common Implementation Strategy In May 2001, the Member States, Norway and the Commission agreed on a Common Implementation Strategy (CIS) for the Water Framework Directive. In order to achieve a common understanding and approach for effective implementation of the Directive.
See European Commission/Environment:
Contaminants of Emerging Concern  (explanation in SRIA)

Contaminants of Emerging Concern are defined as compounds that are not currently covered by existing water-quality regulations, have not been studied before, and are thought to be potential threats to environmental ecosystems and human health and safety1. They are currently not included in routine monitoring programmes at the European level and which may be candidates for future regulation, depending on research on their (eco)toxicity, potential health effects and public perception and on monitoring data regarding their occurrence in the various environmental compartments.
See the NORMAN Network:


1Farré la M., Pérez S., Kantiani L., Barceló D. (2008): Fate and toxicity of emerging pollutants, their metabolites and transformation products in the aquatic environment. Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 27, No. 11.

Coordination and Support Action An action

consisting primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructure and may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries.
Ref. : Regulation(EU) No 1290/2013 (Horizon 2020)


Decision support system Decision Support Systems (DSS) are a class of computerized information system that support decision-making activities.
See Global Development Research Center:
Disinfection by-product A chemical compound formed by the reaction of a water disinfectant (e.g. chlorine) with a precursor (e.g. natural organic matter) in a water supply.
See Green Facts:
Drinking Water Directive European environmental legislation: the Drinking Water Directive 98/83/EC concerns the quality of water intended for human consumption.
See European Commission/Environment:


Early warning system The set of capacities needed to generate and disseminate timely and meaningful warning information to enable individuals, communities and organizations threatened by a hazard to prepare and to act appropriately and in sufficient time to reduce the possibility of harm or loss.
See The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR):
Ecohydrology(explanation in SRIA) Ecohydrology uses the understanding of relationships between hydrological and biological processes at different scales to improve water security, enhance biodiversity and further opportunities for sustainable development by lessening ecological threats and maximizing greater harmony within catchment processes.
See United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Ecological status an expression of the quality of the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems associated with surface waters, classified in accordance with Annex V of the Water Framework Directive.
Ecosystem A dynamic complex of plant, animal, and micro-organism communities and the non-living environment interacting as a functional unit
Ref. : Ecosystem Services: A Guide for Decision Makers, World Resources Institute
Ecosystem Services Benefits people derive from ecosystems. These can be divided into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services, or supporting services.
See Millennium Ecosystem Assessment:
Emerging Risks Lloyd’s defines an emerging risk as an issue that is perceived to be potentially significant but which may not be fully understood or allowed for in insurance terms and conditions, pricing, reserving or capital setting.
See Lloyd’s:
ERA-NET Instrument using grants to support the European Research Area (ERA) by public-public partnerships in their preparation, establishment of networking structures, design, implementation and coordination of joint activities as well as topping up of single joint calls and of actions of a transnational nature
See European Commission/Reseach and Innovation:
ERA-NET Cofund An action funding the implementation of a single joint call for proposals for trans-national research and/or innovation projects and additional joint activities related to the coordination of national/regional research and innovation programmes.
Ref. : Regulation(EU) No 1290/2013 (Horizon 2020)
Established Pollutants (explanation in SRIA)
EUREKA EUREKA is an intergovernmental network, involving over 40 countries. EUREKA’s aim is to enhance European competitiveness by setting up calls for projects. Selected projects will be labelled by EUREKA and supported by the public administrations that represent EUREKA.
See EUREKA Network:
European Research Area (ERA) Launched in March 2000, the European Research Area (ERA) has become one of the key objectives of the Union. The ERA is defined as a unified research area open to the world based on the Internal market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely.
See European Commission/Reseach and Innovation:
EU Biodiversity Strategy Europe's Biodiversity Strategy (adopted 2011) aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU and helps stop global biodiversity loss by 2020.
See European Commission/Environment:
EU Water Blueprint The Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources (adopted 2012) aims to support the implementation of better water practices into the European and regional legislation.
See European Commission/Environment:
EU Water Scarcity and Droughts Strategy Europe’s Scarcity and Droughts Strategy (adopted 2007) aims to ensure access to good quality water in sufficient quantity for all Europeans, and to ensure the good status of all water bodies across Europe.
See European Commission/Environment:


Floods Directive European environmental legislation: the Floods Directive 2007/60/EC aims to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity.
See European Commission/Environment:


Global Earth Observation System of Systems Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is a set of coordinated, independent Earth observation, information and processing systems that interact and provide access to diverse information for a broad range of users in both public and private sectors. It is a central part of the Group On Earth Observation’s (GEO) Mission to build GEOSS. GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations. GEO Member governments include 102 nations and the European Commission, and 103 Participating Organizations comprised of international bodies with a mandate in Earth observations. Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple areas.
See GEO homepage:
Green Infrastructure (explanation in SRIA) Green Infrastructure is addressing the spatial structure of natural and semi-natural areas but also other environmental features which enable citizens to benefit from its multiple services. The underlying principle of Green Infrastructure is that the same area of land can frequently offer multiple benefits if its ecosystems are in a healthy state. (see also Nature-based solutions)
See European Commission/ Environment:


Habitats Directive European environmental legislation: the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC ensures the conservation of a wide range of rare, threatened or endemic animal and plant species.
See European Commission/ Environment:
Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).
See European Commission/Horizon 2020:



Joint Programming Initiative
(explanation in SRIA)
European Initiative aiming at pooling national research efforts in order to make better use of Europe's precious public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges more effectively in a few key areas.
See European Commission/Reseach and Innovation:



Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) Part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" will provide dedicated support for research, development and demonstration and, where appropriate, for standardisation and certification, on information and communications technology (ICT), nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing and space.
See European Commission/Horizon 2020:


Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is a promising adaptation measure to reduce vulnerability to climate change and hydrological variability. MAR can play an important role as a measure to control over-abstraction and to restore the groundwater balance. It can be used to recharge aquifers subject to declining yields, to control saltwater intrusion or to prevent land subsidence. MAR may also be applied to sustain or improve the functioning of ecosystems and the quality of groundwater.
See IGRAC (International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre):
Micropollutants Micropollutants refer to residue from substances, use every day in modern society, including for example pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), hormones, pesticides and industrial chemicals. Residues from these can be found in water bodies everywhere.
Micropollutants are contaminants that are persistent and bioactive. This means that they are not completely biodegradable and cannot be removed with conventional wastewater treatment technologies. The continued release of micropollutants with wastewater effluent is believed to cause long-term hazards as the contaminants are bio-accumulating and even forming new mixtures in our waters. The exact effects are not yet fully known.
Millennium Development Goals At the beginning of the new millennium (2000), world leaders gathered at the United Nations to shape a broad vision to fight poverty in its many dimensions. That vision, which was translated into eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has remained the overarching development framework for the world for the past 15 years.
See Millennium Development Goals Report 2015:


Nature-based solutions Nature-based solutions are interventions which use nature and the natural functions of healthy ecosystems to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of our time. These types of solutions help to protect the environment but also provide numerous economic and social benefits.
See International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), European Regional Office:
European Commission (EC):
Natural resources All "gifts of nature"- air, land, water, forests, wildlife, topsoil, minerals- used by people for production or for direct consumption. Can be either renewable or nonrenewable. Natural resources include natural capital plus those gifts of nature that cannot be stocked (such as sunlight) or cannot be used in production (such as picturesque landscapes). It includes raw materials such as minerals, biomass and biological resources; environmental media such as air, water and soil; flow resources such as wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy; and space (land area).
Ref. : Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources (COM(2005) 670 final)
Natural water retention measure Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) are multi-functional measures that aim to protect and manage water resources and address water-related challenges by restoring or maintaining ecosystems as well as natural features and characteristics of water bodies using natural means and processes. Their main focus is to enhance, as well as preserve, the water retention capacity of aquifers, soil, and ecosystems with a view to improving their status.
See Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) Platform
New Contaminants (see “Contaminants of Emerging Concern”)
Nitrates Directive European environmental legislation: The Nitrates Directive (1991) aims to protect water quality across Europe by preventing nitrates from agricultural sources polluting ground and surface waters and by promoting the use of good farming practices. The Nitrates Directive forms an integral part of the Water Framework Directive and is one of the key instruments in the protection of waters against agricultural pressures.
See European Commission/ Environment:
Norm A principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behaviour
See Merriam Webster Dictionary:



Pollution Direct or indirect introduction, as a result of human activity, of substances or heat into the air, water or land which may be harmful to human health or the quality of aquatic ecosystems or terrestrial ecosystems directly depending on aquatic ecosystems, which result in damage to material property, or which impair or interfere with amenities and other legitimate uses of the environment.
Ref. : Water Framework Directive
Priority substances Substances identified in accordance with Article 16(2) and listed in Annex X of the Water Framework Directive. Among these substances there are "priority hazardous substances" which means substances identified in accordance with Article 16(3) and (6) for which measures have to be taken in accordance with Article 16(1) and (8).
Public – Public Partnership (P2Ps)
Public–private partnership (PPPs) Public–private partnership (PPPs) EU level public-private partnerships in research and innovation were first introduced in the current 7th research Framework Programme (FP7). A major form of implementation was through Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs), whereby the Union and industry jointly fund and implement certain areas of FP7. JTIs are implemented through dedicated legal entities – Joint Undertakings - established under what was then the equivalent of the current Article 187 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
See Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament (2013): “Public-private partnerships in Horizon 2020: a powerful tool to deliver on innovation and growth in Europe”.



Re-naturing Cities Using nature based solutions in cities and urban areas that could support climate change adaptation, ecosystem restoration, improve living standards and attract new jobs and business through eco-innovation. (see also Nature-based solutions)
See International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
Resources Efficiency Using the Earth's limited resources in a sustainable manner while minimising impacts on the environment. It allows us to create more with less and to deliver greater value with less input.
Ref. : European Commission, Resource Efficiency roadmap, COM(2011) 571
Rural Development Programs The EU’s rural development policy helps the rural areas of the EU to meet the wide range of economic, environmental and social challenges of the 21st century. The EU's rural development policy is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) worth €100 billion from 2014-2020, with each EU country receiving a financial allocation for the 7-year period. Member States and regions draw up their rural development programmes based on the needs of their territories.
See European Commission/Agriculture and Rural Development:


Smart Cities Smart cities should be regarded as systems of people interacting with and using flows of energy, materials, services and financing to catalyse sustainable economic development, resilience, and high quality of life; these flows and interactions become smart through making strategic use of information and communication infrastructure and services in a process of transparent urban planning and management that is responsive to the social and economic needs of society.
See SIP EIP Smart Cities:
Societal Challenge (in the light of H2020 framework programme) Horizon 2020 programme section; reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere.
See European Commission/Horizon 2020:
SRIA Strategic Research Innovation Agenda
Structural funds There are two Structural Funds: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) supporting the economic development across all EU countries, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy.
See European Commission/Regional Policy:
Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector and civil society.
See United Nations (UN):


Transitional waters Bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.
Ref. : Water framework directive


Urban Wastewater Directive European environmental legislation: The Council Directive 91/271/EEC concerning urban waste-water treatment was adopted on 21 May 1991. Its objective is to protect the environment from the adverse effects of urban wastewater discharges and discharges from certain industrial sectors (see Annex III of the Directive) and concerns the collection, treatment and discharge of: Domestic wastewater, Mixture of wastewater, Wastewater from certain industrial sectors.
See European Commission/ Environment:



Water Cycle Gap Water Footprint The water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use. It can be measured for a single process, such as growing rice, for a product, such as a pair of jeans, for the fuel we put in our car, or for an entire multi-national company. The water footprint can also tell us how much water is being consumed by a particular country – or globally – in a specific river basin or from an aquifer.
See Water Footprint Network:
Water Framework Directive European environmental legislation: The EU Water Framework Directive was finally adopted on 23 October 2000. It introduces a new legislative approach to managing and protecting water, based not on national or political boundaries but on natural geographical and hydrological formations: river basins. It also requires coordination of different EU policies, and sets out a precise timetable for action, with 2015 as the target date for getting all European waters into good condition.
See European Commission/ Environment:
Water stewardship Water Stewardship is an emerging paradigm which allows companies to respond to these growing challenges to protect corporate and brand reputability.
The use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site- and catchment-based actions. Good water stewards understand their own water use, catchment context and shared risk in terms of water governance, water balance, water quality and important water-related areas; and then engage in meaningful individual and collective actions that benefit people and nature.
See European Water Partnership:




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published on 2019/05/20 11:24:00 GMT+2 last modified 2019-05-20T11:41:51+02:00