Monday, 08 March 2021 14:18

BSR Water platform takes projects' results further to address water related challenges

Written by  Agnieszka Ilola & Let's Communicate!

Project platform is a relatively new concept: the first platforms started in 2018. As the first platforms are about to finalise, it is a good time to look back and think about lessons learnt. Agnieszka Ilola from BSR Water platform shared her experiences.


What has been your experience in working with a project platform compared to a “normal” project?

We have very positive experience of working in the BSR WATER project platform. In regular projects where I have been participating, the focus was mainly on developing, testing and piloting of new solutions and technologies. Meanwhile, in the BSR WATER platform we already have very concrete results from seven water related projects, and our partners have accumulated experience and lessons learned. This allows us to start the collaboration on a more advanced level, with the partnership being well-equipped with knowledge about the sector as well as experience of cooperating in transnational projects. Platform cooperation is very much about educating and creating conditions that would enable further uptake of most successful project outputs, matching local needs of various target groups with take-up potential, and identification of critical bottlenecks to the scaling up of these results.


In your opinion, what are advantages of project platforms in solving challenges in the Baltic Sea region?

The important challenges we are facing now on the regional level, such as climate-induced emergencies, water pollution, marine ecosystem losses or overconsumption of resources, can only be solved by working together across the borders. Over the past years of intensive development and implementation of various transnational projects we have produced concrete tools and solutions that could be applied in the whole region. Project platforms provide an excellent framework for better uptake of core project results by end-users and transfer of knowledge beyond a single project’s lifetime. In addition to increasing the replication potential of existing solutions and accelerating adaptive capacity to regional challenges, platforms have strengthened the cooperation across various sectors e.g. wastewater, agriculture, energy or food by connecting thematically related projects, their partnerships and results. This cooperation resulted in a more comprehensive approach in solving certain challenges e.g unsustainable management of nutrients and Baltic Sea pollution.


Could you give some examples of policy impact making in your platform?

The BSR WATER platform facilitates the development of policy recommendations on nutrient recycling, hazardous substances and stormwater management based on the common experiences of seven participating projects (BEST, IWAMA, iWater, Manure Standards, CliPLivE, RBR, VillageWaters), which has a great transnational value, as such recommendations are inclusive, coherent, yet unified in their approach and based on sound practical results of cross-border cooperation work. This in turn enables the long-term development of aligned marco-regional and national environmental policies, further promoting implementation of advanced water protection measures resulting in clean and resilient Baltic Sea Region.  

Currently, we are in the process of finalising the report “Regional palette of solutions to recycle nutrients and other valuable components” illustrating measures suitable for various wastewater management systems aiming to increase recovery of phosphorus contained by sewage. This would be a supporting document for the upcoming HELCOM Nutrient Recycling Strategy and EUSBSR Policy Area Nutri Action 3: Develop and promote safe and sustainable nutrient recycling.


How have you cooperated with relevant EUSBSR Policy Area Coordinators?

The BSR WATER platform activities directly contribute to the EUSBSR Policy Area Hazards (Action 1: Prevent pollution and reduce the use of hazardous substances), and Policy Area Nutri (Action 2: Reduce nutrient emissions from urban areas and other point sources and Action 3: Develop and promote safe and sustainable nutrient recycling), as well as the former horizontal actions of Climate and Neighbours.

In that regard, the platform is in regular contact with respective PA Coordinators for joint development and implementation of various initiatives supporting the EUSBSR, such as new project ideas, promotion of on-going project results, organisation of workshops, trainings and awareness raising events. However, the most important aspect of cooperation is the facilitation of joint development of policy recommendations on sustainable stormwater management, nutrient recycling and hazardous substances reduction, deriving as signals from seven BSR WATER platform projects (BEST, IWAMA, iWater, Manure Standards, CliPLivE, RBR, VillageWaters) and HELCOM working groups. 


Get to know the recommendations and outputs of the platform:

  • We have just finalised the “Regional and national recommendations for integrated stormwater management” document promoting adaptation of integrated approach to stormwater management in the Baltic Sea Region, addressing climate change related pressures on local and national levels. The recommendations are available on platform website:
  • In addition to policy work, we have collected practical water-related tools, good practices and innovations in an open portal called “Baltic Smart Water Hub” ( supporting on a practical level the implementation of the new EUSBSR Action Plan. The Hub is not only a database of best practices in the region, but also a meeting point for regional experts willing to develop joint initiatives, share expertise and consult on different aspects of the water sector. We are therefore open to new knowledge, expertise, and cooperation in building smarter and cleaner Baltic Sea Region.


The BSR Water platform cooperation is based on achievements and results of seven projects addressing unprecedented water management challenges: water pollution from households, industry and agriculture; eutrophication, climate change, excessive water and energy use. The platform is funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme.


Read 867 times Last modified on Tuesday, 09 March 2021 10:37