Innovation: Report on carbon sensitive urban water futures

Last update: 10.09.2014
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Keywords: 
carbon, carbon footprint, climate change, decision makers, energy, future, greenhouse effect, research, scientific community, technical staff, water and energy, water nexus
The European research project TRUST (Transitions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow) will produce knowledge and guidance to support the transitions to the urban water services of tomorrow, enabling communities to achieve sustainable, low-carbon water futures without compromising service quality. We deliver this ambition through close collaboration with water utilities in ten participating pilot city regions under changing and challenging conditions in Europe and Africa.

An extended understanding of the performance of contemporary urban water services will allow detailed exploration of transition pathways. Urban water cycle analysis will include use of an innovative systems metabolism model, derivation of key performance indicators, risk assessment, as well as broad stakeholder involvement and an analysis of public perceptions and governance modes.

A number of emerging technologies in water supply, waste and storm water treatment and disposal, in water demand management and in the exploitation of alternative water sources will be analysed in terms of their cost-effectiveness, performance, safety and sustainability. Cross-cutting issues include innovations in urban asset management and water-energy nexus strengthening. The most promising interventions will be demonstrated and legitimised in the urban water systems of the ten participating pilot city regions.

PROJECT GOALS:

Climate change, population growth and migration, increasing urbanisation and ageing infrastructure are all expected to impose significant strains on urban water systems in Europe and elsewhere over the coming decades. Cities across the continent will experience increasingly frequent shortfalls in the supply and demand balance, particularly during the summer months. More intense rainfall events will lead to local flooding of properties and transport systems and to pollution of receiving waters. Sustainable solutions to these challenges need to be sensitive to long-term investment needs, but also to increasing energy prices, demands for low carbon intensity solutions, and the need to reduce gas emissions from urban activities. Innovative tools, technologies and management options are needed to ensure more sustainable urban water services regimes.

Our work provides research-driven innovations in governance, modelling concepts, technologies and novel approaches to integrated water, energy, and infrastructure asset management. TRUST outcomes will be incorporated into planning guidelines and decision support tools, will be subject to life-cycle assessment and be shaped by regulatory considerations as well as potential environmental, economic and social impacts. TRUST will produce a variety of different products and outcomes, ranging from scientific reports and reviews, training material, different types of models and tools to technological and managerial innovations.

The main expected impacts of TRUST are to ensure long-term environmental safety and welfare for which the efficient use of resources is a key requisite. Research should promote the uptake of sustainable technologies, products and services through e.g. renewable energy, low carbon and resource efficient products. We believe that outputs from the project will catalyse transformatory change in both the form and management of urban water services and give water utilities increased confidence to specify innovative solutions to a range of pressing challenges.
The challenge of supplying water and energy required for food production and development while mitigating climate change and adapting to its consequences has been termed the Energy Water Nexus.

Water, energy, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are interlinked through a series of relationships. The water sector is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through several routes including embedded emissions in capital equipment, energy consumption during drinking water treatment, water distribution and wastewater treatment, and direct emissions of methane and nitrous oxide from treatment.
One effect of climate change in many parts of the world is likely to be a change in rainfall patterns, which may further restrict the supply of groundwater and surface water in areas where it is already limited and even reduce availability in comparatively water-rich countries, such as the UK.

At the same time, many countries have increasing populations and demands for water. This could create positive feedback by driving the use of other sources, such as desalination of sea water, which may have higher energy demands and greenhouse gas emissions. Within Europe and elsewhere, the aims of different pieces of environmental legislation can come into contact. For example, the Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires higher standards for water that is discharged into surface water bodies, further raising the energy intensity of wastewater treatment.

In the longer term, the WFD may result in higher quality source waters and reduce the energy requirement for drinking water treatment. However, the effectiveness of the catchment management measures currently being taken to deal with diffuse agricultural pollution is uncertain. This report will review and elaborate on these issues as they relate to municipal water supplies, and consider some of the options for sustainable water systems in the future.

Find the full report here: http://www.trust-i.net/downloads/index.php?iddesc=1

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Transitions To The Urban Water Services Of Tomorrow

Acronym: 
TRUST

Runtime: 
01.05.2011 to 30.04.2015

Status: 
on-going project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

IWW RHEINISCH WESTFALISCHES INSTITUT FUR WASSERFORSCHUNG GEMEINNUTZIGE GMBH

(Germany)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. SCHWESIG David

Phone: +49 208 40303 215

Contact

ADDITION PROJECTOS E SERVICOS DE INFORMATICA LDA

(Portugal)

Contact person: Mr. VITORINO Diogo

Website: http://ww.addition.pt

Phone: +351-213959232

Contact

ADP AGUAS DE PORTUGAL SERVICOS AMBIENTAIS SA

(Portugal)

Contact person: Mr. GASCÃO José

Website: http://www.adp.pt

Phone: +351-212469400

Contact

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM-UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA

(Italy)

Contact person: Prof. DI FEDERICO Vittorio

Website: http://www.unibo.it

Phone: +39-0512093750

Contact

APA NOVA BUCURESTI SA

(Romania)

Contact person: Mr. VALLETEAU DE MOULLIAC Arnaud

Website: http://www.apabucur.ro

Phone: +40-213199334

Contact

BREIVOLL INSPECTION TECHNOLOGIES AS

(Norway)

Contact person: Mr. VANGDAL Arne Christian

Website: http://www.breivoll.no

Phone: +47-77615412

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CANAL DE ISABEL II

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. FRANCISCO Cubillo

Website: http://www.cyii.es

Phone: +34-915451102

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CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. JEFFREY Paul

Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1234754814

Contact

FACHHOCHSCHULE NORDWESTSCHWEIZ

(Switzerland)

Contact person: Dr. BOHNACKER Arnulf

Website: http://www.fhnw.ch

Phone: +41-614674655

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HAMBURGER WASSERWERKE GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. AUGUSTIN Kim

Website: http://www.hamburgwasser.de

Phone: +49-4078882223

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HR WALLINGFORD LTD

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. KELLAGHER Richard

Website: http://www.hrwallingford.co.uk

Phone: +44-1491822419

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INGENIEURGESELLSCHAFT PROF. DR. SIEKER MBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. SIEKER Heiko

Website: http://www.sieker.de

Phone: +49-33423595-15

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INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO

(Portugal)

Contact person: Dr. MALHOA Teresa

Website: http://www.ist.utl.pt

Phone: +351-218417381

Contact

INTERNATIONAL WATER ASSOCIATION

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. ROBERTSON Keith

Website: http://www.iwahq.org

Phone: +31-703150787

Contact

IREN ACQUA GAS SPA

(Italy)

Contact person: Dr. BERTOZZI Robert

Website: http://www.irenacquagas.it

Phone: +39-0522297234

Contact

KWR WATER B.V.

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Dr. VAN DEN HOVEN Theo

Website: http://www.kwrwater.nl

Phone: +31-306069535

Contact

LABORATORIO NACIONAL DE ENGENHARIA CIVIL

(Portugal)

Contact person: Dr. ALEGRE Helena

Website: http://www.lnec.pt

Phone: +351-218443625

Contact

NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS

(Greece)

Contact person: Ms. MERTZELOU Georgia

Website: http://www.ntua.gr

Phone: +30-2107721348

Contact

NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU

(Norway)

Contact person: Dr. WALSØ Geir

Website: http://www.ntnu.no

Phone: +47-73594768

Contact

OSLO KOMMUNE

(Norway)

Contact person: Mr. KRISTIANSEN Per

Website: http://www.vav.oslo.kommune.no

Phone: +47-23437199

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S.T.E.P. RAUTENBACH YUCE GEBEL CONSULTING GMBH

(Germany)

Contact person: Dr. GEBEL Joachim

Website: http://www.stepconsulting.de

Phone: +49-2419019995

Contact

SCHIPHOL NEDERLAND B.V.

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Mr. KOELEMEIJER Ewaldus

Phone: +31-206014040

Contact

SCOTTISH WATER

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Mr. PONTON George

Website: http://www.scottishwater.co.uk

Phone: +44-1383848426

Contact

STICHTING WATERNET

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Dr. VAN DER HOEK Jan Peter

Website: http://www.waternet.nl

Phone: +31-206086030

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STIFTELSEN SINTEF

(Norway)

Contact person: Dr. DANIELSEN Svein Willy

Website: http://www.sintef.no

Phone: +47-73594555

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THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. FEKETE Robert

Website: http://www.bham.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1214158202

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THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

(United Kingdom)

Contact person: Dr. CLARKE Enda

Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk

Phone: +44-1392-263744

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UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. PEREZ GARCIA Jose Antonio

Website: http://www.upv.es

Phone: +34-963877409

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VEOLIA ENVIRONNEMENT RECHERCHE ET INNOVATION SNC

(France)

Contact person: Mr. COUTURIER Stéphane

Website: http://www.veolia.com

Phone: +33-134933131

Contact

YDREAMS - INFORMATICA S.A.

(Portugal)

Contact person: Ms. PEDRO Mónica

Phone: +351-919930573

Contact