The European Commission has published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe edited jointly by NETWERC H2O, The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, EURECAT-CTM of Catalonia, KWR and the Horizon 2020 project, BlueSCities.


Last week, at the Ministerial Meeting on Water in Malta, presided jointly by the European Commission and the Union for the Mediterranean, the Urban Water Atlas for Europe was presented to Commissioner Karmenu Vella (Commissioner in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union) and to the 43 Ministers of the Environment representing the member states of the UFM.


The Atlas is a complete panorama of water management in European cities. The Urban Water Atlas for Europe aims to raise public interest and participation in water issues by combining the work of scientists, artists, politicians and municipal stakeholders with that of schoolchildren and teachers.

City Blueprints for 40 cities. The City Blueprints, developed by the Dutch Research Centre, KWR and revised during the BlueSCities project show cities’ performance in terms of overall water management in more than 40 European cities and regions, together with a number of overseas examples

Water footprint is based on food consumption. Another interesting feature of the Atlas is the fact that a lot of water is required to produce food, but very different quantities are needed for the production of different types of foods. The illustrations of the Atlas show that by shifting to healthier diets (e.g. less meat) and by reducing food spillage, a lot of water can be saved in Europe.

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A new approach. The Atlas is the first demonstration of an innovative Science-Art approach to Water Diplomacy and describes in detail the Dubrovnik Declaration of Intent which has led to schoolchildren in different countries contributing to the publications illustrations. This was indicated to the Ministers who heard Bernd Gawlik of the JRC and Richard Elelman, Director General of NETWERC H2O who argued for a more important role for cities in order to ensure that the objectives of the Ministerial Declaration on Water approved by the UFM are achieved. Water must be a source of international collaboration instead of a catalyst for interregional conflict and migration.

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Acknowledgements. The Urban Water Atlas is the fruit of collaboration between the Network for Water in European Regions and Cities (NETWERC H2O), the Commission’s Science and Knowledge Service – the Joint Research Centre, Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic, KWR Watercycle Research Institute, the European Innovation Partnership on Water (EIP Water), Easton Consulting and all other partners of the BlueSCities project, funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation scheme.

Reference of the Atlas:  Gawlik BM, Easton P, Koop S, Van Leeuwen K, Elelman R (eds) 2017. Urban Water Atlas for Europe. European Commission, Publication Office of the European Union,  Luxembourg, 160 pp.

Full JRC press release and Atlas

The full press release of the Joint Research Centre can be found here The Urban Water Atlas for Europe can be downloaded from the EU Bookshop

DOWNLOAD the ATLAS on EU bookshop, at the following address:

JRC Science Hub:

Press release EN

Press release FR

Press release DE

UFM Joint Declaration:



Do you want to improve the water management in your local authority? If the drinking water in your municipality is scarce or if your population is endangered by surface water floods, then the new Digital Social Platform is the right place for you. This interactive platform is filled up with information of experts about water-related issues and used to communicate these issues to decision-makers, key stakeholders, and the public in order to increase awareness. Everyone can join in, as the platform is now activated.

The Digital Social Platform was created as part of the EU project POWER (Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges), in which among others the city network Climate Alliance, the UK cities of Leicester and Milton Keynes as well as the two water supply companies of Jerusalem (Israel) and Sabadell (Spain) are participating. Benefit from the experience of the four involved local authorities!

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Further information


Netwerc H2o