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EVENT | BACK TO THE NATURE: Exploring the potential of nature-based solutions to face the effects of climate change on water - Brussels and online, 09 November 2021

9 November 2021 09:30–12:30


Aqua Publica Europea, the European Association of Public Water Operators has the pleasure to invite you to our public event

BACK TO THE NATURE: Exploring the potential of nature-based solutions to face the effects of climate change on water

In its latest report, published in August 2021, the IPCC rings the alarm on the predicted consequences of global warming of 1.5C, which is expected to be reached by 2040, including on water with the increase of extreme events, more intense rainfall and droughts. Effects have already been seen throughout the summer of 2021 with fires and floods devastating Europe.

With increasing rainfall, the question of rainwater management must be addressed. Water operators have been at the centre of discussions, as they manage sewer networks and treat works to prevent pollution of water bodies. However, as existing systems are showing their limits in the face of new challenges, it is critical to seek new long-term looking solutions.

Particularly relevant in the context of the revision of the European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, the conference will aim to discuss the consequences of climate change on the water cycle and the role that nature-based solutions can play in addressing stormwater and strengthening the resilience of cities and towns. Speakers, including policymakers, NGOs, water operators and scientists, will review the opportunities and challenges of the increased use of nature-based solutions.


The report and presentations are available here


09:30    Welcome address – Benoît Hellings, First Alderman. Alderman of Climate and Sports, City of Brussels

09:40    Keynote addressHervé Douville, Coordinating Author of Chapter 8 of the Sixth IPCC Report (Water cycle changes) - 

10:10 – 11:00 Session 1 – Water & Climate: challenges for the water sector

  • EU strategy on adaptation to climate change– Willem Jan Goossen, European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate Action – Adaptation Unit, 
  • Translating international objectives in concrete, context-based policies – Jon Rathjen, Deputy Director Water Policy & DECC Operations, Scottish Government, 
  • The role of regional authorities in the climate transition - Emilie Lavender, Brussels Region’s Environmental Authority, 
  • Recommendations for climate adaptation strategies – Jan Verheeke, European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils Network, 

Q&A session followed by a coffee break

11:10 -12:10 Session 2 – Greening solutions: potential and enabling conditions

  • Nature-based solutions in Europe: policy, knowledge and practice – Ybele Hoogeveen, European Environment Agency, 
  • Nature-based solutions for climate change: opportunities and challenges – Eva Hernandez, WWF Europe, 
  • Economic benefits of nature-based solutions: instruments to support decision-making – Sien Kok, Deltares, 
  • EIB’s experience in financing nature-based solutions for climate adaptation in the water sector - Marco Beros, Lead Engineer – Water Division, European Investment Bank, 

12:10 – 12:30 Case studies - Deploying green solutions for urban rainwater management: the importance of integrated, multi-stakeholder, long-term planning

  • Marco Callerio, CAP Holding (Milan), 
  • Maria José Chesa Marro, BCASA (Barcelona), 
  • Armando Quazzo, SMAT (Turin), 

12:30 Closing remarks