The Water supply and sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP) was initiated by the European Commission in 2004. It is led by industries in collaboration with academics, research organisations and water users to help structure the European Research Area and identify R&D needs for the water sector. In December 2008, the board of the WssTP identified the need to create a Task Force on Climate Change in order to build a working group focused on the issue and able to assist the EU Commission in the related Calls for Projects. The Task Force on Climate Change did a review on the research and technology development (RTD) needs related to each of the WssTP topics, highlighting the challenges they will face in a climate change context. This paper is based on the review carried out and presents its main conclusions. The RTD topics identified involve a broad range of expertise areas and can be divided into two main groups: mitigation and adaptation. The latter will be brought to the fore in this paper.


In the course of identifying areas of relevance for further research and development the members of the European Water Supply and Sanitation Technology (WssTP) identified Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as an important cross-cutting topic and area relevant for further research. For this reason a Task Force on MAR was initiated with 36 representatives from European research institutes and industry partners with participation of international experts. These task force members developed the basis for a report documenting the state of the art and research needs in the field of MAR that has now been published by the WssTP.

Grützmacher, G. , Kneppers, A. , Kazner, C. , Zojer, H. (2010): A European initiative to define current research needs in managed aquifer recharge.

p 7 In: 7th International Symposium on Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR). Abu Dhabi, UAE. October 9-13, 2010


The Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP) was initiated by the European commission in 2004 and developed by the European Water Industry, open to all stakeholders. The objective is to stimulate a collaborative, innovative, visionary and integrated research and technology development strategy for the European water sector. Within different pilot programmes of the WssTP Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) was identified as a topic of interest and area relevant for further research. For this reason a Task Force on MAR was initiated in 2009 with 36 representatives from European research institutes, industry partners and with participation of international experts. During a workshop conducted in Graz in June 2009 these experts developed the basis for a report that has now been submitted to the European Commission for consideration in future research calls. In this report MAR was identified as a possible countermeasure against degradation of groundwater resources in Europe, that has a history of more than 150 years of practical implementation in Europe. Although not generating “new” water resources, it enables the use of alternative resources that would not be used otherwise (e.g. storm-water, seasonal high water flow, recycled water) for drinking water and irrigation by buffering high variations in availability and demand. MAR also provides an additional purification step in the regional water cycle. Recharged water can also act as an hydraulic barrier to prevent saltwater intrusion or the spreading of contaminated groundwater and inhibit a regional decrease of groundwater tables. This is particularly important in the scope of achieving the goals of the EU water framework directive. Research needs were identified in the field of defining “Best Management Practices” and standards for MAR in Europe, modelling for transparent feasibility assessment and the investigation of MAR in karstic aquifers.

Grützmacher, G. , Wittstock, E. , Gnirß, R. , Dünnbier, U. (2009): Drinking Water Supply in Berlin - a Module within the Urban Water Cycle.

p 12 In: WssTP workshop on Managed Aquifer Recharge. Graz, Austria. 29.-30.06.2009


Rainwater Harvesting (RWH) is the process of collecting and storing rainwater for a later use. This technique could be an alternative water source in response of a climate change context. In this review, the state of this practice worldwide was studied. Some discrepancies between countries have been highlighted. First, between developed and developing countries, gaps concerning techniques and regarding the main purposes (water savings for the first ones and drinking purposes for the last ones) were reported. Then, within developed countries themselves, acceptance and standards of RWH installations are different, with precise guidelines and norms for countries leading the way on RWH practices. The scale of applications (RWH for households – up to 50 inhabitants, for large buildings and for urban area) is discussed and the state of the technique showed that there were more potential of technological development and challenges for large scale systems than for households. Finally, this report draws the attention to the needs in terms of Research and Development projects. Six main aspects were highlighted: drinking water, energy compensation, environmental impacts, economical aspects and the integration of stormwater management and rainwater harvesting. The last feature concerns hygienic aspect, but the report do not focus on this consideration.

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