On 11 and 12 January 2015 the kick off meeting of POWER (Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges) took place in Brussels.
POWER is an EU funded Horizon2020 user-driven project, aiming to share the knowledge and experience of water scarcity, water security, water quality and water consumption-related issues in cities. The development of Digital Social Platforms (DSP) within POWER is key to enable informed decision making and public engagement. POWER is coordinated by the De Montfort University (UK). Partners from the Watershare® community are CTM Centre Tecnològic (Spain) and KWR (The Netherlands).
The City of Milton Keynes (UK), Sabadell (Spain), Leicester (UK) and Jerusalem (Israel) are actively involved in POWER in order to ensure user-driven DSP.
POWER strongly leans on the Watershare® tool City Blueprints. The City Blueprint baseline assessments carried out so far in 45 cities shows that cities can improve strongly by exchanging information, engaging their citizens and smartly using their available information. This is also captured in the Blue City Index® (BCI), the geometric mean of 25 indicators comprising the City Blueprint®. The City Blueprint is key as first step (also within POWER) to identify and prioritize water issues, identifying cities with similar water problems and sharing best practices. The DSP tools that will be developed in POWER aim to provide important follow-up steps contributing to the effectiveness of the City Blueprint approach in enabling long-term action and city-to-city learning which are needed for cities to become water wise and climate adaptive.