A letter to Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas

EPA/LAURENT DUBRULE

European Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

A letter to Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas


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Dear Commissioner,

How much does the average European family, especially one living in certain big cities, spend on drinking water? Probably more than what they spend for fuel!

Water is essential for life and, theoretically, should be given to citizens for free, like the air we breathe. But as water distribution implies certain costs (pipes, maintenance etc.), municipalities are charging a small fee. However, in various big cities in Europe, the water delivered to households is not of good drinking quality. Indeed, there are cities where if you continuously drink tap water, after a few years, you will have kidney stones. And if you continue, you could end up with kidney failure. This is not common because most citizens in these cities drink bottled water, but it could happen.

There are only few companies trading bottled water all over Europe. Some citizens claim that some companies are making certain that local administration officials in big cities are happy to let their water distribution network go without maintenance. Sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I report it just for the records.

When water supply networks are not maintained, if for any reason a crack occurs in a pipe, microorganisms leaking from sewage networks enter the water network. A fluid dynamics engineer can better explain why.

Now we will take on a different subject and bring these two subjects together.

Over the last two decades, the EU has financed an incredible amount of “scientific projects” worth trillions of Euros and all these projects were “successfully implemented” and then passed through history only to end up in the bottom of a filing cabinet where nobody will look for them. With no added value or any usefulness for society at all. For each of these projects, there are a few usual beneficiaries, the concerned who get the project, some subcontractors and the consultants who work with the Commission services involved with the project awards. But this is history; it is what you have inherited.

Now it is time for a big change, and you can do that. Make citizens the beneficiaries of the trillions spent for financing scientific projects. The starting idea is simple. To give citizens clean water for free. You cannot imagine, dear Commissioner how many millions of families will benefit in Europe and will glorify the Commission every day.

Ask your services to finance universities to design a simple model for a small water purifying refinery. Chose the best, produce a large number and give them for free to municipalities in numbers proportional to their population. Then, ask them to install these in public squares with free parking. Municipalities will purify the water and will make it available to citizens for free. You can also ask the municipalities to distribute five litre plastic containers with the EU flag on them – for free.

It is obvious that you will have to fight a dual battle. One with the Commission services, which have their own agenda, and another with the big lobbyists, which are well-connected with some services.

Good luck!

Basil A. Coronakis

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