The European Parliament has set a new climate target for 2030 – to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels, up 40% on previous targets. Some industry groups criticise the new targets as being overambitious and too expensive while across Europe scientists and engineers have already joined forces ready to take on the new challenge. A key aspect is to develop new technologies to reduce the need of resources in the energy intensive industries.
The new EU-funded water recovery project – iWAYS – was given the go-ahead with a budget of €10,596,775. Coordinated by the Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, and with 18 other partners on board, the project focuses on increasing water efficiency through three main solutions: exhaust condensation, water treatment and waste valorisation.
The project will develop a set of technologies to recover water and energy from exhaust gases in industrial processes, to meet water quality requirements and to reduce primary energy consumption. It is also expected to reduce freshwater consumption by 30% to 64%; and to recover water and heat from humid gases by 30%. Additional materials from flue gas such as valuable acids or particulates will be recovered, thus improving the raw material efficiency in production and reducing emissions detrimental to the environment. Such projects have taken on greater importance in the light of the EU’s biggest green stimulus package in history: the European Green Deal. It’s a package that puts the fight against climate change at the epicentre of the economic recovery needed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Green Deal relies on transforming industry in order to help it cut exhaust gases and recover water and energy as much as possible.
iWAYS was officially launched last week on the 3rd and 4th of December 2020. “The project intends to transform white plumes from industry’s chimneys –starting with ceramics, chemicals and steel– in a source of water and energy as these gas emissions represent one of the main streams that discharge used water,” explains Prof. Luca Montorsi from Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia.
The project, funded under the EU H2020 programme, will last four years and will also consider alternative freshwater sources –such as surface run-off– to meet sustainable water supply goals. It will also develop robust technologies to reduce brine volumes and to recycle product water back to the manufacturing process. Please click here for more information.Read More
In our previous newsletter, Water Europe announced that we joined a coalition on access to sanitation. The month of November was an opportunity not only to release WE position to achieve a circular green and smart wastewater directive but also to send a reminder on the importance of access to sanitation. Water Europe encourages the European Union along several areas of improvements to break the silo-approach and build a modernised legislation for wastewater management. Our five recommendations are:
– A holistic management of wastewater treatment plants must be considered for water and energy savings, particularly through the exploitation of the Value in Water.
– Specific measures are needed to address contaminants of emerging concern and antimicrobial resistance.
– Digitisation needs to be encouraged to a much higher extent.
– A better legal framework should be incorporated for better storm and small agglomeration water management.
– A water-friendly legislation needs to be built by and for European citizens.
Water Europe will continue the dialogue with key stakeholders and the EU institutions, particularly on the importance of Hybrid Green-grey infrastructure during Water Knowledge Europe 2020.Read More
Water Europe welcomes its new Executive Committee & the five Vice Presidents are sharing their thoughts on their new roles
Water Europe warmly welcomes its new Executive Committee elected on the 29th of October during the virtual meeting of the Water Europe Board members.
The Executive Committee’s role is to support and guide the Water Europe President and the Executive Director in the execution of their tasks. According to the new governance adopted at the general meeting in June 2020, the Water Europe Executive Committee consists of the Water Europe President, the Executive Director and five Vice-Presidents who are in charge of different portfolios according to the main priorities of Water Europe.
The five appointed Vice-Presidents are Hans Goossens as first Vice-President (VP), Marie-Renée de Roubin as VP for Finance, Chrysi Laspidou as VP for Technology and Research, Wim van Vierssen as VP for Innovation and David Martin as VP for Advocacy. The five Vice-Presidents shared with us their thoughts on their new roles.
Hans Goossens, first Vice President “I am very happy and honored to be elected as 1st vice-president of Water Europe. Water is of vital importance for all, literally – for the individual as well as for the society. In the awakening from the global pandemic and in the middle of a climate storm, our mission to build a Water-Smart Society is relevant now more than ever. I look forward to further strengthening Water Europe as an inclusive organization of committed members covering the whole spectrum of the water ecosystem in order to make our vision come true!”
David Martin, Vice President for Advocacy “Water is Life – Together, we will create a Water-Smart Society where water scarcity and pollution are avoided. Together, we will recognize the true value of water. Our ecosystems will thrive contributing to biodiversity and climate resilience. We are determined and enthusiast as Water is Life.”
Marie-Renée de Roubin, Vice President for Finance “I am very happy to pursue my task as a treasurer for Water Europe. The association has done well in spite of the sanitary crisis. Diversifying the sources of income by offering more services to our members and other stakeholders, will allow our financial stability to be pursued. ”
Wim van Vierssen, Vice President for Innovation “As Vice President Innovation I intend to focus on the vertical cluster with Water-oriented Living Labs (WoLLs) as the preferred operational knowledge management model. In addition, I am responsible for the International Water Dialogues (IWDs) that will be conducted with countries and regions outside of Europe based on this model. I foresee a focus on Europe’s neighboring countries in North Africa and the Middle East, specific markets from a commercial point of view and space for developing relationships with parties that show us how water sustainability can be successfully implemented. ”Read More
This article is contributed by Carlos Tejedor, Technical Leader of Smart Metering at Idrica.
Over 10 years ago, the reading of water meters located outside homes was a major breakthrough. However, this achievement has been already superseded by technologies providing a reading frequency of less than one hour, and progress is being made to read water consumption in real time.
In this process, the evolution of communication technologies has played a key role. At the beginning of this century, proprietary protocols constrained the options of instrumentation and connectivity that could be chosen, when one of the two elements had already been implemented.
Fortunately, protocol standards such as OPC, ModBus and MQTT have become the norm over time, as well as new LPWAN communication technologies (Lora, SigFox, NB-IoT), compatible with any manufacturer. As a result, we can now select the instrumentation and communications independently, making it possible to choose the most appropriate option for each project. Our motto is that technology is not bad or good, but suitable or unsuitable, depending on the client’s needs.
During this process, connectivity operators have become more relevant, and collaboration between companies and operators has become essential for each digitization project. With this in mind, at Idrica we have established strong partnerships with leading companies in IoT, for the commercialization of our technology, providing turnkey solutions. The first worldwide communication test for NB-IoT was conducted from one of our water meters in Valencia (Spain), which shows our strong commitment to this evolution.
When we talk about connectivity, it is necessary to put into context the importance of transforming data into information. Yes, we cannot talk about connectivity without talking about IoT, but neither does it make sense to talk about IoT without considering Big Data or Cloud Computing.
Currently 90% of companies collect data from their sensors and business processes, but only 10% of them use it properly. In order to transform information into knowledge, and finally into business intelligence, it is necessary to implement a system of data intake and processing, regardless of suppliers or communication protocols.
Thanks to its agnostic approach, our GoAigua platform is scalable with future communication technologies or protocols (5G), anticipating trends in connectivity. In addition, it connects with the rest of the business processes of the entire water cycle, transversally. After all, there is no point in having state-of-the-art connectivity if the architecture of the technological solution in place is not capable of ingesting and processing all those millions of data with sufficient speed.
The digital transformation of processes, driven by the coronavirus pandemic, is a must. Society is increasingly demanding a better management of water, one of our most precious resources.
At Idrica we put our experience into the service of utilities, supporting them in their digitalization through innovative technological solutions. Our GoAigua platform provides a holistic view of the entire water cycle, helping companies make more efficient decisions.Read More
The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has recently released a policy paper ‘Climate change and the European water dimension –Enhancing resilience’ following the Conference held between 4 and 5 November 2020.
This policy paper results from the deliberations at the conference and provides recommendations for the European Commission and EU Member States on how to increase water-related climate resilience and initiate the transformational change required to ensure resilience in the future. Key points are:
-Climate change is already affecting people, the economy and the environment in Europe as the temperatures have repeatedly broken long-term records in recent years and are projected to further increase.
-Climate change impacts primarily manifest in changes to the water cycle, including extreme events such as droughts and floods, but also gradual, yet significant effects on water availability, quality, and water-related ecosystems
-Sustainable and climate-resilient water management is a critical building block for the overall climate-resilience of economic sectors, ecosystems and society at large. It is thus crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.
-In the face of increasing pressure on water resources, however, the incremental adaptation of water management to changing climate conditions will, in many places, not ensure resilience in the future. More systemic and transformational change will be required in the way water is managed, used by various sectors, and valued by society.
-European institutions play a key role in establishing the framework conditions that enable all relevant actors in the Member States to accelerate efforts to enhance water and climate resilience.
The paper not only provides input for the current political debate but it also aims to influence targeted EU initiatives to enhance adaptation efforts at EU, Member State and transboundary levels. It builds a background analyses in more detail the observed and expected climate change impacts, adaptation measures adopted to date, required action and possible entry points for EU activities. Read the full paper here.Read More
The European Commission has just launched the second call for projects under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the deployment of innovative low-carbon technologies.
Today, this new call makes available grant funding of €100 million for small-scale projects, with a capital expenditure between €2.5 and 7.5 million for:
-Energy-intensive industries, including substitute products
-Carbon capture, use and storage.
The call is open for projects located in all EU Member States, including Iceland and Norway. The funds can be used in cooperation with other public funding initiatives, such as State aid or other EU funding programmes, as well as combined with private investments.
The projects will be evaluated according to their potential to avoid greenhouse gases emissions, innovation potential, financial and technical maturity, and potential for scaling up and cost efficiency. The application process has only one stage and the selection procedure will be simpler.
Projects can apply via the EU Funding and Tenders portal where more details on the overall procedure are available. The deadline for submission of applications is 10 March 2021. To see more details about the call visit the official EU Commission website.Read More
Ecolab, Water Europe member, has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) which tracks the leading sustainability-driven publicly listed companies globally.
Since launching in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices have benchmarked the world’s largest companies based on economic, environmental and social performance. The DJSI World Index is comprised of corporate leaders in sustainability as identified by SAM, now a part of S&P Global, and represents the top 10% of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global Broad Market Index, based on long-term economic and ESG factors. Ecolab has previously been named to the DJSI North America index six times.
“I’m proud of what Ecolab’s 45,000 associates do every day to make the world cleaner, safer and healthier,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “In 2019, we helped our customers conserve 206 billion gallons of water (equivalent to the drinking water needs of 712 million people), conserve 28 trillion Btus of energy and avoid 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. We are driven to help our customers operate more sustainably throughout the world and it is an honor to be recognized on the DJSI World Index for our commitment.”
For more information on the 2020 DJSI World Index and other Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, please click here.Read More
The purpose of this consultation is to understand the views of the citizens and stakeholders on sewage sludge and how it is managed across the EU.
The Sewage Sludge Directive was adopted to encourage the correct use of sewage sludge in agriculture and to regulate its use in order to prevent harmful effects on soil, vegetation, animals and humans. The use of sludge in agriculture is an effective alternative for chemical fertilisers, as it is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous.
Sludge also contains valuable organic matter that is useful when soils are depleted or subject to erosion. Recycling of materials, in line with circular economy principles, is high on the EU agenda .
However it is also important that what is used as a resource is not contaminated, otherwise recycling will result in increasing pollution of soil, water and/or air. The Circular Economy Action Plan adopted on 11 March 2020 commits the Commission to consider revising the Sewage Sludge Directive. To inform this reflection, this evaluation aims to see whether the law is doing what it is meant to do, whether its objectives are still relevant today, and whether the costs arising from the requirements of the law are justified.
The feedback period for the consultation is: 20 November 2020 – 05 March 2021 (midnight Brussels time). To contribute with your views please check here.Read More
The EASME side event “Building a water-smart economy and society” took place today on the 18th of November, 2020 with the purpose to raise awareness about EU funded innovation projects and clustering initiatives showcasing water circular solutions, innovative decision support and governance systems.
Andrea Rubini, Water Europe Director of Operations was amongst the panellists of the first part of the event, dedicated to policy initiatives. He contributed to the discussion, presenting the Water Europe vision, the latest policy developments and the Water Europe’s new policy papers addressing key policy initiatives.
Representatives from five new large-scale demonstration projects, financed through the Horizon 2020 Call for proposals Building a water-smart economy and society, were also there to present their projects and planned activities:
-ULTIMATE – indUstry water-utiLiTy symbIosis for a sMarter wATer society
-B-WaterSmart – Accelerating Water Smartness in Coastal Europe
-WIDER UPTAKE – Achieving wider uptake of water-smart solutions
-WATER-MINING – Next generation water-smart management systems: large scale demonstrations for a circular economy and society
-REWAISE- REsilient WAter Innovation for Smart Economy
Water Europe is glad to be participating in three out of these very promising projects: ULTIMATE, B-WaterSmart and Water Mining.
Bringing together policy makers, innovators and EU funded projects’ representatives, the event offered meaningful opportunities for participants to discuss and exchange on concrete steps for fostering the uptake of innovative solutions toward circular economy in the water sector.Read More
Online Trainings for Cluster Authorities & Companies on “Towards circularity and industrial symbiosis”
For industrial cluster managing authorities and companies, understanding water-related risks and how new business opportunities can improve organisational and international competitiveness is crucial in Europe and beyond. Circular business models where high-quality resources are recovered and reused from process water, offer a solution. As an emerging market, reclaimed minerals are interesting for industries that want to reduce their costs and work more sustainably.
In this context, two online training sessions will be organised by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology, as part of the ZEROBRINE project:
– On 1 December (9:00-12:00 CET) a training will be held for industrial cluster managing authorities, with an emphasis on six Dutch industry clusters: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Delfzijl, Zeeland, Chemelot, and Emmen. More info and registration, please click here.
– The second training session on 3 December (13:00-16:00 CET) will be held for company personnel to build symbiotic brine relationships and circular business opportunities. More info and registration, please click here.
The training sessions will utilise the Online Brine Platform, an interactive web service promoting the flow of secondary raw materials by linking brine/salt owners with the mineral/water users and technology and waste heat providers.
For more information, please contact Danielle Kutka or George Tsalidis.