Project concept and approach

AquaNES pursues the concept of integrating nature-based elements into solutions for water management challenges. These solutions are inspired and supported by nature, while maintaining and enhancing natural capital. They are sustainable measures that simultaneously meet environmental and socio-economic objectives. We will focus on soil aquifer treatment coupled to managed aquifer recharge (MAR/SAT), constructed wetlands (CW) and bank filtration (BF) and their combinations with engineered pre- or post-treatments.

What we want to achieve

In demonstrating the impacts and benefits of combined natural and engineered water treatment trains we will promote more sustainable adaptations to issues such as water scarcity, excess water in cities and micropollutants in the water cycle as well as make a number of substantive contributions to Europe’s transi-tion to a Green Economy.

The AquaNES consortium will deliver on the following specific objectives:

  • improve the confidence with which water service providers are able to specify, design, and implement com-bined natural and engineered water treatment systems (cNES),
  • advance the technology readiness levels of a range of innovative cNES technologies from typically 5-6 to 7-8
  • evidence reductions in operating costs of 10%-30% and in energy consumption per m3 treated of up to 50% compared to current established solely engineered solutions,
  • evidence the relative environmental impact of cNES compared to fully engineered conventional solutions,
  • aid water governance by addressing the unclear responsibilities of the various stakeholders in order to alleviate barriers for the widespread implementation of such systems throughout Europe,
  • provide decision support by delivering a sound basis for water managers and governments for proper process assessment and selection,
  • prove the transferability of tested technical approaches across contexts and water quality challenges,
  • deliver new market opportunities in Europe and overseas for innovative cNES.
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