Innovative water-related approaches, solutions, and technologies are an integral part of the implementation of the Water Vision 2030 and the transition to a Water-Smart Society. Water Europe is committed to bringing forward innovations with high market or high-value application potential through its Water Europe Innovation Awards and its Water Market Europe programme. Since 2016, Water Europe has been awarding the most breakthrough solutions that are here to pave the way to a Water-Smart Society. Which are the awarded solutions?
Discover the solutions
Their CFD-N2O innovation, developed by the AM Team, is an integrated hydraulic-N2O biokinetic model for generating 3D graphs of hydrodynamics and water characteristics to spot N2O production hotspots in water treatment facilities. This kinetic model is the first digital solution to analyse and minimise the carbon footprint at water treatment plants, enabling better decision-making.
The AM OZONE developed by the AM Team is a digital twin of Linköping ozonation plant (Sweden) able to remove trace of organic contaminants (TrOCs), mainly pharmaceuticals. Based on the AMOZONE simulation model, a digital copy (i.e. digital twin) of the real plant was built to test various operational strategies that are very easy to test with the model, but not with the real plant.
Deltares Nitrate App
The Deltares Nitrate App is designed for smartphones so that everyone can measure nitrate levels and share the results. The App scans and analyses nitrate strips, displays the results immediately and gives users the option to share the data. The shared results are displayed immediately in the online Delta Data Viewer. The viewer can put together specific combinations of background maps, measurement information and area properties.
GoAigua is a pioneer company in the digitalization of the water industry. Resulting from the digitalization of Global Omnium, GoAigua helps organizations in their digital transformation process by providing them personalized advice and technological solutions. The platform provides service for all stages of the integral water cycle under a common architecture such as infrastructures, leaks, smart-metering, commercial cycle, energy efficiency.
The mission of the SmartH2O project is to develop an ICT platform to understand and model the consumers’ current behaviour, based on historical and real-time water usage data; predict how the consumer behaviour can be influenced by various water demand management policies; raise the awareness of water consumers on their current water usage habits and their lifestyle implications and to stimulate them to reduce water use.
Global Omnium’s work and lines of development alongside innovation and the latest technology have established a ‘before and after’ in the sector of treatment, supply and recuperation of water. Global Omnium bases its activity on the management of the Integral Water Cycle, developing different complementary lines of business that generate the appropriate synergies to optimise hydraulic resources.
INNOVAUGAS aims to move towards an integrated management of water resources in Galicia, which addresses the protection and balance of ecosystems and natural resources in parallel with equitable economic and social welfare. The water management model has important implications for the territory in which it is developed, especially considering the expected effects of climate change on hydrometeorological patterns.
The Corporate Water Stewardship Programme introduces delegates to Water Stewardship best practice, as well as it provides them with a systematic programme approach to rolling out Water Stewardship across their sites. The Water Stewardship Programme aims at helping Facilities Managers, EHS Professionals and Corporate Executives amongst others respond to key water challenges in a sustainable and efficient manner.
De Montford University
Through its user-driven project Political and Social Awareness on Water Environmental Challenges (POWER), De Montford University demonstrated that the use of smart technologies supported by innovative engagement models plays an important role in addressing priority areas that will have a significant impact on the future of water in our society. In the long-term, the POWER approach aims to build capacity in cities to develop solutions, strategies and policies for addressing water-related sustainability challenges.
The Water Services Corporation (WSC) is the utility of Malta which strives to maintain excellence and sustainability in the provision of potable water and the safe disposal of wastewater to customers whilst safeguarding the health and the environment. WSC runs the EU supported project “Towards a Net Zero Impact Water Utility“ which aims at reducing the impact on groundwater in the island while they deliver affordable high-quality water for all by ensuring sustainability in terms of the water cycle and energy-related matters.
The “Concert’Eau” project demonstrate the feasibility of a collaborative technological platform (CTP). This could support the integrative management of agriculture and reduce its impacts on water and the related aquatic ecosystems of the Gascogne river basin in the Adour-Garonne district, in accordance with the Water Framework Directive’s (WFD) requirements. The CTP planned to deliver mitigation measures against several agricultural pressures, as well as an action programme for large-scale cropping.
DHI expertise spans all water environments – be it a river, a reservoir, an ocean, a coastline, within a city or a factory. The company develops tailor-made solutions for your water challenges using MIKE Powered by DHI technologies. Whether you need software solutions or access to online services, DHI’s flexible technologies work seamlessly together for the best user experience. DHI represents over 50 years of dedicated research and real-life experience from more than 140 countries.
The Sludge Ozonation application in Advanced Sewage Treatment, developed by Industrie De Nora, uses ozone to treat sludge resulting from secondary biological waste water treatment, minimizes excess sludge volumes; improves sludge settlement characteristics; improves effluent quality; alleviates bulking problems; increases sludge dewaterability; and reduces micropollutant concentrations. Injectors dose ozone into a side stream of the returned activated sludge(RAS). After this phase, the ozonated sludge is reintroduced into the main flow of the RAS or sent back to the aeration tank.
Developed by BIOAZUL, RichWater system is able to deliver nutrient rich reclaimed water for its use in agriculture, contributing to the sustainability of the agri-food systems. The RichWater approach is a highly promising method to save freshwater and fertilizers in agriculture by treating municipal wastewater, reusing it for irrigation purposes whilst keeping valuable nutrients in the effluent. Simultaneously, RichWater offers the possibility for WWTPOs to offer a new product (nutrient-rich/pathogen-free irrigation water) to potential customers.
Idrica has the technological solution GoAigua. GoAigua unifies all digital components of the water utility infrastructure – SCADA, GIS, ERP, AMI/AMR, CMMS, IoT Sensors – into a single utility. Using advanced AI/ML algorithms, GoAigua improves operations, maintenance, asset management, customer experience, and adaptability. The centralized intelligent management enables real-time sense and respond – prioritizing the most important activities. It can provide a new and effective tool to establish social distancing guidelines or anticipate future spikes in hospitalization.
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is an innovative global organization engaged in the development, manufacture, and distribution of products and services for water testing, dairy, the companion animal veterinary, livestock and poultry. The goal of IDEXX Laboratories is to create exceptional long-term value for its customers, employees, and shareholders by enhancing the health and well-being of pets, people, and livestock. The IDEXX Legiolert® test for Legionella pneumophila in potable and nonpotable water is a breakthrough tool for reducing cases of this disease.
TECHNI fulfilled the development of the world’s first robotic digless branch pipe connection system. The technology saves the environment, redefines how to establish and refurbish rural water systems and saves around 40 % cost. The digital controls of the drilling system and in-pipe robots cooperate in such a way that important infrastructure like landmarks, historic sights and old town center can have modernized water structure without damage to the precious sights, all while the system is being digitally recorded. Data flow back through the system to enable safe handling.
Vitens extracts, purifies and supplies drinking water – drinking water that is reliable, affordable and sustainable. As water is of vital importance, Vitens has a major responsibility as the largest drinking water company. Vitens takes its responsibility very seriously. Every day, over 1,400 Vitens employees bring their passion and skills to bear on supplying top-quality tap water. To be able to offer its customers the continuity and quality of drinking water with the proper service in the long term, Vitens improves and innovates its processes continuously.
ASALEE is a decision support tool that simulates the technical-economic performance and water consumption of cultivated areas on a farm over twenty climatic years using data describing the farm and its irrigation management. By considering climatic and economic uncertainties and water access constraints, the ASALEE tool allows farmers to compare different cropping strategies according to the technical potential of their own farms.
The KWR developed a wastewater surveillance guidance as an early warning system for SARS-CoV-2. KWR has demonstrated that genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage correlate with COVID-19 disease trends in the population and reported that the RNA concentrations could provide a 4- to 7-day advanced notice ahead of COVID-19 confirmed case data. Hence wastewater surveillance can serve as an early warning of SARS-CoV-2 community transmission.
WeCo public toilets consume only 350 L of water per year, considering 100 daily users. The wastewater produced by toilets with the flush is treated on-site via a biological process and an electrochemical reactor killing the bacteria and clarifying the water, producing drinkable water quality for flushes or watering the plants or cleaning. This innovation is the first worldwide to treat and recycle onsite the black water within two hours and a reduced size technology of 2 m3.
Hydraloop is committed to inspire people to save water & energy by offering smart and affordable water recycling products. It is a smart innovative and certified domestic greywater recycling system, that saves water and energy by recycling 85% of domestic water without the use of filters, membranes or chemicals. The system is easy to install, self-cleaning and has low maintenance. It is fully automatic & the smartphone App assists in optimising using the recycled water.
HSBC Bank Malta
To raise awareness around access and security of water supply in Malta, HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c launched a wide-ranging water conservation initiative, the HSBC Water Programme – Catch the drop in 2013. This programme is the largest ever national environmental and educational campaign of its kind in Malta and aims to forge a blueprint for progress on the sustainability of water as a resource.
Eleonora Evi from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament (Italy) has demonstrated an outstanding work as a Member of the European Parliament who has contributed to achieving a Water-Smart Society in Europe and beyond.
Simona Bonafè from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (Italy) has worked on the EU regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse.
Christophe Hansen is an MEP for Luxembourg in the European People’s Party Group (Christian Democrats), where he also serves as rapporteur for the Drinking Water Directive.
European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are undeniable carriers of out of the box innovations and breakthrough solutions and Water Europe could only recognise their important role by dedicating an exclusive award to their innovations. In its effort to support the economic opportunities for the SMEs but also the whole European water sector, Water Europe launched for the very first time the Water Innovation SME Awards in 2014. Since then, it has awarded seven SMEs, bringing them to the forefront of the water sector and welcoming them on board with a free annual membership to Water Europe.
The Sustainable water and floating farm solutions, developed by Manhat, is an innovative technology meant to produce water sustainably from open water surfaces by trapping the evaporated water mimicking the natural water cycle with zero carbon footprint and zero brine rejection. This water can be immediately used to irrigate the crops on the floating farms which will be beneficial for the coastline community and can mitigate the looming threat of rising sea levels due to climate change.
The innovative Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) developed by H2OLL boosts the health, education & equality of the poorest 10% of humanity by supplying an always-on, off-grid, robust, affordable & reliable drinking water service. Generating water from air will reduce the cost & the environmental impacts of bottled water consumption.
BLUEPHAGE is a biotechnology company launched as a spinoff in 2016 from the University of Barcelona (Spain) that specializes in providing products and services for the analysis of bacteriophages as viral indicators in water, food and biosolids. BLUEPHAGE is developing the easiest, fastest and most cost-saving viral indicators’ kits to improve water safety. The company developed the easy kits (or 1st generation kits) which provide pre-prepared material for the enumeration of coliphages according to ISO and US-EPA methods.
bNovate Technologies SA is a Swiss company that automated cells analysis and cells detection instruments for drinking water. BactoSense is the first automatic biosensor that can continuously monitor microbial parameters, dramatically reducing the current measurement time from several days to just minutes. BactoSense can be connected anywhere throughout the water supply network, providing an early warning system for the contamination of drinking water systems.
CirTec BV, formely know as BWA BV, provides solution for many environmental issues. Waste recycling, re-use of materials and recovery of low-grade energy are key solutions. Through research and collaboration, CirTec looks for new ways to solve existing problems in a more sustainable and economical way. CirTec is active in the municipal and industrial market worldwide and focus on the treatment of wastewater, drinking and process water, biosolids, sludge and gasses. Separation and thickening of solids and liquids are also part of our core activities.
Altered is a Swedish innovation company that provides low effort but high impact solutions for making life more sustainable for the many people. With its Scandinavian heritage, Altered creates simple solutions that alter things for the better. Today Altered has a team of experts that are working on developing new technologies that can have an impact for everyone. The nozzles developed by Altered save water, CO2 emissions and money without losing functionality or experience. Altered’s simple retro-fit solutions make it possible to transform your tap in minutes.
Resolute Marine has developed a technology that harnesses ocean wave energy to produce fresh water in areas where large-scale seawater desalination plants are too expensive and take too long to build and where diesel-electric systems deliver limited quantities of high-cost water and add significant costs and environmental risks. Resolute Marine’s mission is to improve access to water for coastal populations and industrial/agricultural operations in developing countries and small island developing states and to displace the diesel-electric desalination system that are currently in wide use worldwide.
SansOx’s commitment is to develop new solutions and innovative applications for water treatment needs worldwide. The company provides new technology and applications for different kinds of water. SansOx has dissolved different gases into water that can be used both industrial and potable water purification. This can also be used in plantation and fish farming in order to exceed biological growth. Its products can also separate impurities from different liquids through flotation and centrifugal separation. SansOx solutions grant better possibilities for variations than other systems.
akvola Technologies is a water technology company that provides cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions based on the proprietary MicroGas™ Fine Bubble Generator and akvoFloat™ – a flotation-filtration process– to clean hard-to-treat industrial wastewater containing high concentrations of oil (free and emulsified) and suspended solids. The only way to achieve a sustainable freshwater supply in the long-run is by making wastewater reuse affordable — a complex process that requires increasing amounts of energy.
Aqua-Q is a Swedish cleantech SME founded by two water industry professionals with extensive experience and knowledge from different pilot studies has lead to two ground-breaking stand-alone technical innovations in water sector: Online real-time optical water quality monitoring and automatic sampling process AQUATRACK®. Enables Early Warning for micro-pollutants in water. EU ETV certified. Automatic self-contained modular Ozone polishing system for online removal of micro-pollutants in water.
Arvia Technology designs, manufactures and supplies advanced water treatment equipment for chemical, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, oil & gas, pulp & paper and textiles manufacturing facilities around the world. Arvia works with municipal drinking and wastewater sites worldwide, providing advanced water technologies to improve the treatment capabilities of their existing processes. The range of Nyex™ wastewater treatment systems overcome the challenges experienced with traditional oxidation processes.
WINGS is an SME that focuses on the development of solutions (software and hardware) for various vertical sectors (namely utilities, smart / liveable cities, food, etc.) through advanced wireless networking, cloud/IoT, big data, artificial intelligence and security technologies. Our strategy is to identify new areas for leading innovative solutions in verticals, develop preliminary use cases for each new area, provide support to tenders, develop distributed products, provide and more.