22 July 2021

Medicines residue collection week during the Dutch Water Week: 16-31 October 2021

In 2021, during the ‘Week of Our Water’ attention will be paid to the collection of medicine residues. Surplus medicines can be handed in at the pharmacy all year round. During the Week of Our Water there is extra attention for this.

The collection week is an initiative of: Coalition Sustainable Pharmacy (KNMP, Vereniging Innovatieve Geneesmiddelen, Neprofarm and Bogin), Institute for Responsible Medicine Use (IVM) and MediSchoon/EWS.

In the coming weeks, collection posters will be distributed to chain partners in the care and water sectors to draw extra attention to returning unused medicines to the pharmacy. The organisation team hopes that as many chain partners as possible will participate in the distribution of the poster and social media statements that have been developed, which can be found here.


More information about the collection week and medicine residues in water can also be found on the website: www.onswater.nl/medicijnresten (in Dutch).




July 8th, 2021

Certified Water Stewardship Training Programme Graduates

Irish Water is running a water stewardship training program in partnership with the Lean & Green Skillnet and EWS partner Central Solutions. The program supports business customers with training on how to lower water consumption and reduce operating costs while also protecting the environment. The programs structure has been revised in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to enable participants complete the training via online learning modules and live


Since its launch in 2019, over 350 of Irelands leading businesses have graduated including MDLZ, Pfizer, Protecter&Gamble, Danone and many more.


More information can be found here




July 5th, 2021

Consortium ‘Antibiotics and Pharmaceutical Residues from Water’ releases White Paper

‘Removal of antibiotic and medicine residues from water is urgent’


According to the WHO, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to health and food safety. It is increasingly evident that antibiotics, resistant micro-organisms, and their resistance genes are spreading invisibly through water. It is important that we tackle AMR effectively in water too, and treat wastewater adequately, by disinfecting resistant micro-organisms and removing resistance genes as well.


The Consortium ‘Antibiotic and Pharmaceutical Residues from Water’, consisting of a ‘Coalition of the Doing’ has been active since early 2020. Together with other chain partners, this Consortium aims to deploy and, where necessary, develop the most sustainable and effective solutions. The Consortium, co-initiated by EWS, has recently released a White Paper calling for urgent action to tackle AMR. The White Paper can be found on the website of the consortium 


Through better cooperation between the pharmaceutical sector, health care and the water sector, it will be possible to significantly reduce the existing antibiotic and medicine residues in wastewater and surface water.




April 30th, 2021

Partners wanted for PPP study Antibiotic removal

A group of leading water technology companies, pharmaceutical companies, organisations from the healthcare sector and research institutions want to use a chain approach to work on reducing antibiotic and medicine residues in waste and surface water. The Dutch government has asked to prepare an application for a large-scale subsidised research and development project, for which preparations are in full swing.


The research is aimed at reducing the discharge of medicine residues and, in particular, antibiotics (residues) from sources such as hospitals and nursing homes, to zero if possible. These discharges contribute to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which according to the WHO is one of the major threats to generic health and food safety. United under the banner of the Dutch Consortium on Antibiotic and Medicinal Residues from Water, the group is working hard on this.



Interested organisations and companies can apply for more information here


November 24th , 2020

EWS contributes to new Book: Changing the Game

Sustainable Market Transformation Strategies to Understand and Tackle the Big and Complex Sustainability Challenges of Our Generation


We are at the beginning of the sustainability era. The biggest challenge of our generation is to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. For this we must be willing to understand and change the root causes that create these challenges in the first place. The system itself needs to change.


But how to do that? EWS contributed to this ground-breaking book called ‘Changing the Game’ which reveals the missing insights and strategies to actually achieve system change. The authors Lucas Simons and Andre Nijhof bring decades of real life and academic experience, and state that most of the sustainability challenges are actually caused by the same system failures, every time.


Therefore, the way to accelerate and manage system change is also similar every time - if you know where to look and how to act. The theory of sustainable market transformation and system change is described in a compelling and easy to understand eight-step approach applied to eight different sectors.


The authors, together with respected sector experts, incl. EWS describe the drivers, triggers and dominant thinking in each of these sectors as well as the strategies needed to move towards higher levels of sustainability. This book is highly accessible and engaging, and is perfect for use by professionals, leaders and students for understanding how to move markets to a more sustainable future. More information can be found here (in Dutch)

The book can be obtained here


October 1st, 2020

Dutch Consortium Antibiotics and Pharmaceutical Residues from Water


The Dutch Association Innovative Medicines (VIG), the Dutch Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (BOGIN), the European Water Stewardship (EWS) and AMR Insights have taken the initiative to establish a Dutch Public-Private Consortium with the aim to support technological solutions and innovation capacity to reduce emissions from antibiotic waste streams. The Consortium targets hospitals, wastewater treatment plants and manufacturing plants within and outside the European Union including countries such as China, India and other LMIC’s.

On the short term the action-oriented Consortium will access and provide existing technologies. On the longer term the Consortium will make available highly innovative, more affordable solutions resulting from current and newly initiated research and development work.

The Consortium will connect to and embed in existing, leading global structures. The objective of the Consortium is to reduce the antibiotic emissions with the overarching aim of adding to the global curbing of Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

More information about the consortium and opportunities to join can be found here 


September 24th, 2020

WaterProtect Project finishes


The WaterProtect project ran from June 2017 until September 2020. It developed new solutions and tools in 7 Action labs where water pollution (nutrients and/or pesticides) from intensive agriculture may affect the quality of the water for drinking water production.

The objectives, approach, activities and results of our project can be consulted in the different sections of our website.

The final conclusions of the project were also presented during a final conference webinar on 24 September 2020. The webinar video and the speakers presentations are available in the event section of the WaterProtect website where also the publications can be downloaded.




European Water Tech Week 2018; Kick off MediClean! 

Connecting Global Water Tech Hubs

September 24 – 27, 2018 Leeuwarden

The global water technology sector is increasingly organized in hubs. The European Water Tech Week 2018 (EWTW 2018) will connect these hubs in Leeuwarden, the United Nations Innovating City for water technology. At this special event, the sector will meet and inspire each other in the innovative climate of WaterCampus Leeuwarden.

In collaboration with Vitens, Wetterskyp Fryslan, various municipalities, pharmacies, the GGD, hospitals and waste processors the program MediClean has started.

We are using more and more medications. A small part of this comes directly into the sewer through the sink; another part comes into the sewer through urine and feces. After partial purification the medicines are entering the rivers and ditches. This affects the water life, and makes it more difficult to prepare the drinking water. It is essential that the medications get returned to the pharmacies or a local collection point. MediClean helps with:

  • Stimulating the local gathering of unused medication at pharmacies
  • Communicating about the impact of the remains of medication in water, and how everyone can contribute because of proper usage, gathering, and less wastage. This is done towards the health care and the inhabitants of the province and inform through package leaflets. These leaflets explain that medication should not be flushed, but that they, when unused, need to be hand in at the pharmacies.

Save the Date! Kick off MediClean

27th September 2018 from 09:00 – 11:00 in Sneek

SAVE THE DATE | Kick off MediClean |

Improved gathering of medicine remains, for the preservation of clean and healthy water, for now and in the future. In collaboration with Vitens, Wetterskyp Fryslan, various municipalities, pharmacies, the GGD, hospitals and waste processors the main goals is to make Friesland medicine waste-free in 2018. With this kick off the MediClean campaign officially starts, where we will make the inhabitants aware of their roll in the medicine chain. Following up there is the opportunity to visit the demo site of the Antonius hospital.

You can join us!

The kick off will start at 09:00 until 11:00. The demo site tour will be from 11:00 until 15:00h.

Thursday 27th September 2018


Antonius Hospital | Bolswarderbaan 1 | 8601 ZK | Sneek

 You can participate in this event by booking a ticket here

(Free entrance)




On May 30th 2018, EWS Italian Partner 'Eticae' (www.eticae.it) organised an event in Rome on sustainable water use in the food chain, in cooperation with (amongst others) Legacoop, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). EWS Director Tom Vereijken explained in his contribution the need for a chain approach to effectively fight 'diffuse pollution' of surface waters in Europe by residuals of pesticides, nutrients and other pollutants. He explained for example how the EU-project 'WaterProtect' (https://water-protect.eu/) is currently studying best practices of multi-sectorial cooperation to protect drinking water sources, using 7 action labs throughout Europe. Waterprotect is finalising a public report with 15+ examples of cooperation schemes. For more information: click here


EWS is close to 100 implementations in 23 countries!






EWS recently completed the annual evaluation of implementation sites. EWS is now applied on 91 sites in 23 countries. Since 2017 EWS has also grown its implementation network in Europe and cooperates with 14 implementation partners. 


NSF new EWS partner

EWS welcomes a new partner: NSF! 

Manufacturers, regulators and consumers look to NSF International for the development of public health standards and certification programs that help protect the world’s food, water, consumer products and environment.

NSF is an independent, accredited organization. They develop standards, and test and certify products and systems. NSF provides auditing, education and risk management solutions for public health and the environment.

Find more information about NSF on their website. 



ECO-OS and EWS launch platform for data management and audit processes

The European Water Stewardship initiative joined forces with ECO-OS, an online operating system for corporate sustainability management, to develop a digital platform for the data management and audit processes behind the EWS Standard. The Platform will be presented to accredited EWS implementation partners in the coming weeks.

Follow this link to find more information.



ECO-OS new EWS partner

EWS welcomes a new partner: ECO-OS!

ECO-OS is a cutting-edge sustainability software company on a mission to transform sustainability programs from mere compliance and reporting exercises to significant contributors in strategic business decisions. 

With a rigorous focus on performance metrics, market-context and user experience, ECO-OS provides unprecedented visibility, context and tools for companies to realize the value of sustainability leadership.

Find more information about ECO-OS on their website.



EWS and AWS Identify Key Areas to Improve Global Water Stewardship System

Stakeholders from both AWS and EWS discussed the path forward towards alignment of the two standards. A number of key areas were identified where improvement will need to be made in the new standard and its certification system, for publication at the end of 2018. One important emerging topic from the discussion during the workshop was the need for better tools, guidance and support to help water stewards engage with their stakeholders in the surrounding catchment which is the crux of water stewardship. Stakeholders also identified the need for a new and improved indicator for addressing water in the supply chain, an equally important element and for some water users a difficult one to tackle.

The conversation also centered around the need to incorporate learnings from EWS implementation and Europe-specific references and applications into a regional specific Guideline for the global system. The EWS Secretariat will work together with the Standard Development Committee going forward in 2018 to refine this guidance along the basis of the step-wise approach of the International Water Stewardship standard.



Brewers and Maltsters Engage in Water Stewardship

Without exception, all brewers and maltsters are passionate about water. Under water stewardship framework breweries commit to using water resources sustainably in both their supply chains as well as their breweries.

Water stewardship principles were well received at the 2017 yearly convention of Euromalt, trade association representing the malting industry in the European Union. EWS has been recognised as useful framework that brewers and maltsters can use to understand and manage their water risk exposure, address catchment challenges and collaborate with communities, governments and other businesses to adress water scarity, pollution, ecosystem services and water governance.

See the Water Stewardship for Breweries Fact Sheet to learn more about the water risks and opportunities for breweries.


EWS Network expanding further!

EWS welcomes two new implementation partners: Hydrobusiness and Hydroscope. These companies are both ventures of 'Brabant Water'. 

Brabant Water is a Dutch drinking water company that supplies 2.5 million inhabitants and companies in North Brabant drinking water. 800 employees ensure that their customers can count on clean and safe drinking water anywhere in Brabant (NL).

Brabant Water also offers custom water and specialized services and advice in addition to drinking water. These customized products and services have been housed in independent subsidiaries:

- Hydroscope is the largest consultancy in the Netherlands for water quality in buildings.

- Hydrobusiness supplies industrial waters and treats wastewater, incl. design, build, finance and operating schemes.

Both companies are accredited to implement the EWS standard at their clients.



Public consultation on EWS Standard is launched!

On the basis of the feedback received from the EWS Standard implementers, the EWS Standard Development Committee proposes a number of changes to the EWS Standard. The proposed changes refer to specific criteria and indicators of the EWS Standard version 4.8 which can be found here

Complete the survey here



NEW Nuts and Bolts of Water Stewardship Training | 22nd of June

EWS will host a new training Nuts and Bolts on the 22nd of June in the EWP headquarters in Brussels. This training provides participants from the public and private sector with profound knowledge on Water Stewardship: from the Water Stewardship concept and principles up to its implementation in every-day business. You can register for the training here.

Find more information  and a preliminary agenda see here.



Save the Date for EWS-AWS Standard Review Workshop on September 5th

The EWS and AWS, are pleased to invite you to save the date for the EWS-AWS Standard Review Workshop. The stakeholder consultation workshop will take place on September 5th at the Complutense University in Madrid. External stakeholders are invited to participate in the discussion on the review of the EWS and AWS standards and contribute their feedback to the global water stewardship standard expected at the end of 2018. The workshop will focus on elements specific for water stewards certifying their performance in Europe; from EU legislation and tools available to stakeholders in European river basins. AWS and EWS are currently working together with the EWS Standard Development Committee and the AWS Technical Committee to align not only the standards but also the Certification and Accreditation requirements of the two systems.



Participants of the Training Take a Deep Dive into Water Stewardship

EWS and AWS held their first joint training from the 21st-23rd of March in the EWP offices in Brussels. The Foundations of Water Stewardship module were introduced on the first day, as well as the general concept of water stewardship and the context for it in Europe. During the following two days training participants immersed themselves in water stewardship, by looking at a specific case study in Europe. On the basis of this example, the group came to understand the risks presented by local water challenges and how those risks could be transformed into opportunities by engaging with other stakeholders in their catchment.

Additionally, participants tried their hand at developing a water stewardship action plan addressing the various priorities, timelines and resources which should be allocated in order to implement a long-term water stewardship strategy on-site. The Advanced and Specialist Training is final step for organizations to become Accredited Service Providers.

EWS Approved Specialists will work towards becoming approved by both systems by the end of this year and EWS will offer another Foundations of Water Stewardship training in September.



EWS opens Call for Qualified EWS-Implementors

EWP and EWS has launched a call for expressions of interest (EOI) from organizations and individuals qualified and interested in becoming formally involved in the implementation of the European Water Stewardship system and standard in Europe.

In order to have a broader representation of sectors and regions, this EOI intends to gather experienced organizations and individuals who are interested in the topic of sustainable water management. These individuals can represent control and verification bodies, research institutions, consultancy organizations and others, and will be asked to provide capacity to implement EWS in Europe.

Interested applicants should submit the following information to (or alternatively request additional information from) the EWS secretariat: contact@ews.info

  1. Your area of interest: Consulting services, certification services or other.
  2. General information organization’s expertise in the field of water or in a specific sector
  3. Background about the individual’s expertise in the field of water or in a specific sector

More information 'HERE'



Joint EWS - AWS Training to take place in March

EWP has teamed up with its global partner, the Alliance for Water Stewardship, to deliver a three-day Water Stewardship training programme on March 21st to the 23rd. The training aims to raise awareness and build the capacity of sustainability and water management professionals, specialist service providers and government officials in Europe to implement Water Stewardship.

More information 'HERE'



Do you need help developing a water management strategy? CDP and EWS announce new web seminar on the most straightforward path for water users towards sustainability

Disclosure and risk mitigation are increasingly becoming central aspects to a businesses’ sustainability strategy, particularly when it comes to water. The European Water Stewardship (EWS) team, a leader in developing water stewardship frameworks, has teamed up with CDP, representing the interests of investment valued at over $100 trillion, to deliver a short web seminar on the tools available for companies to develop a holistic water management strategy.

During this live, interactive session, participants will learn about how mitigating risks via the process of water stewardship certification can contribute to the CDP Water Disclosure process and vice versa.

Register here to participate in this free session on March 9th at 15:00 CET/14:00 GMT and get a first look at how your own water management strategy measures up and get some great ideas for next steps. The recording of the webinar wil be available on demand within 1-2 business days.

For more information, contact Cristina Brabyn: c.brabyn@ewp.eu or James Lott at james.lott@cdp.net.



AWS and EWP agree pathway for alignment of Water Stewardship systems

Since 2009, the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) and the European Water Partnership (EWP) have been collaborating to promote good water stewardship. Both AWS and EWP have led the development of water stewardship standards: the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (the AWS Standard) is globally-applicable while the European Water Stewardship Standard is specific to the EU regulatory context.

Both Standards are scheduled for revision and review, with the two processes expected to commence in late 2016. AWS and EWP both recognize the need for a coherent global water stewardship system to engage major water users with interests in multiple regions. In pursuit of this objective, and without pre-empting the results of the forthcoming revision and review processes, AWS and EWP have agreed to work together to achieve a single global water stewardship standard system compliant with ISEAL codes of good practice1.

Provided forthcoming revision and review processes support this alignment, both systems will be integrated into one global water stewardship system including integration of governance and business models to ensure consistency for organizations engaged in water stewardship efforts in Europe and globally.

For more information, please visit www.ewp.eu



Coca-Cola Company meeting water replenishment goal five years ahead of schedule

At the recent Stockholm World Water Week, the Coca-Cola Company announced that their water stewardship activities met the goal of replenishing all the water Coca-Cola uses back to communities and nature five years ahead of schedule. The text of the press release of Coca-Cola is quoted below.

“It is with a great sense of pride that today in Stockholm during World Water Week we announced The Coca-Cola Company and our global bottling partners have met our 2020 water replenishment goal, five years ahead of schedule. This makes Coca-Cola the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish all the water we use back to communities and nature— with an estimated 337.7 billion liters replenished in 2015.

In 2015, through 248 community water partnership projects in 71 countries across about 2,000 communities, the Coca-Cola system balanced the equivalent of an estimated 115 percent of the water used in our finished beverages based on 2015 sales volume, totaling 191.9 billion liters of water returned to nature and communities through these projects. The replenish projects we engage in typically center on safe water access and sanitation, watershed protection, and water for productive use.