Water JPI, an international network of research organizations, has published a new policy brief on Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs). It highlights water contaminants such as antibiotic resistant bacteria travelling via irrigation waters, new mobile chemicals, and microplastics in water. The policy brief is entitled ”What is contaminating our waters next? Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) – novel ways to reduce their human and environmental risks.”
The pathways of the Contaminants of Emerging Pollutants. CECs can travel through wastewater treatment all the way to the water and food we consume. They pose potential risks to human health and the environment. Infographics: Water JPI & Ulla Eronen, Kaskas Media
The policy brief compiles results of seven high-level transnational research projects, funded by the Water JPI (2013 call, now completed). The projects addressed several topical questions in water research, such as how to identify novel ways to efficiently assess, prevent, control and remove freshwater contaminants of emerging concern. Questions of preventing risks to human health and improving the quality of life were also explored.
”Our aim is to showcase research findings and recommendations in an understandable form for the stakeholders of water management and society. Our policy brief gives key messages to policymakers and grass roots level practitioners of how to deal with the contaminants that are emerging and threatening our water systems nationally and globally,” says Harri Hautala, Science adviser and work package leader at the Academy of Finland.
”With now the finalization of the first research and innovation projects funded by the Water JPI and the launch of a Knowledge Hub on Emerging Pollutants, the Water JPI is positioning itself as a knowledge broker, informing policy-makers and other stakeholders such as the Water utilities of the science based findings, including new knowledge and innovations or validated data,” adds Dominique Darmendrail, Water JPI Coordinator from the French Research Funding Agency, ANR.
The policy brief will increase the scientific knowledge and accelerate the translation of the science to policy development both on a national level and across the EU. As the effects of these new contaminants are poorly known, more efforts should be put into EU-level legislation and other preventing actions to keep our waters clean.
The paper was produced in cooperation between the funded projects, the Water JPI community, the Water JPI Advisory Boards, and high-level stakeholders, and finalized in a workshop in Helsinki, Finland, on 5 June 2018. The key messages of the Policy brief were presented at the Water JPI International Conference on 6 June 2018 in Helsinki.
Download the Policy Brief ”What is contaminating our waters next? Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) – novel ways to reduce their human and environmental risks” from here.
Text: Aino Laine, Academy of Finland
Photo: Anita Westerback, Academy of Finland
Dominique Darmendrail from ANR, and Kata-Riina Valosaari and Laura Raaska from the Academy of Finland. Dominique Darmendrail, coordinator of Water JPI from ANR visited the Academy of Finland in March 2019.