REWATER: Sustainable and Safe Water Management in Agriculture: Increasing the Efficiency of Water Reuse for Crop Growth While Protecting Ecosystems, Services and Citizens’ Welfare
Water is a natural resource vital for social wellbeing and agriculture economy. Yet, during the past decades, geographic and climatic features, as well as active release of man-made chemicals, have been driving to water depletion and a loss of quality. This creates a major need for water reuse in increasingly situations, such as in agriculture. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are crucial sources for water reuse, since they promote the removal of unwanted substances. However, one of the major challenges restricting wastewater (WW) reuse is the presence of emerging contaminants (ECs), as they are usually not properly managed by conventional treatment technologies. These technologies still need urgent innovative development and integrated solutions, in order to promote sustainable water reuse and safety.
REWATER proposes to develop an innovative joint research and application of technologies producing a final integrated solution for reuse of WW for agricultural purposes, and their economic and environmental evaluation with a Life Cycle Assessment. This systematic approach, inspired in technological, organizational and bio-based economy, will minimize negative impacts of WW reuse in the environment, decreasing the undesirable introduction of ECs in agriculture and aquatic systems and reducing their spread within the food chain.
REWATER provides a unique interdisciplinary expertise of consortium scientific partners and SMEs specialized in WW treatment. Work programme will include tuned improvement or development of: 1) biosensors for in-field rapid and selective detection of micropollutants and their corresponding metabolites and/or degradation products (MMDs), 2) treatment processes for MMDs removal through integration of electrochemical and biological technologies, 3) ecotoxicological tools to evaluate treated water for reuse and develop expeditious surveillance, and 4) analytical monitoring, scaling-up and environmental/economic assessment. REWATER will provide tools and solutions contributing to WW reuse, environmental health, and economic and social welfare. Interaction among consortium partners, allied to stakeholders of water industry, will enhance collaborative research and innovation, as well as international cooperation in the water sector, during and beyond REWATER lifespan.