SuWaNu: Sustainable Water treatment and Nutrient reuse options
Agricultural practices put the biggest pressure on fresh water resources for irrigation (55% of the water use in Europe) and on fertilizer usage. The European farmers face serious problems such as freshwater scarcity and nutrient availability, extreme climate conditions and the growing demand of the increasing population. This results in rising prices for mineral fertilizers and food, risky measures such as untreated wastewater applications on fields, and environmental damages from overexploitation of resources. Even though important local efforts have been made on research activities and initiatives for wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture, an integrated approach is needed among regions which are developing such research, incentivizing scientific, governmental and business collaboration within wastewater reuse in Europe and supporting the establishment of common European guidelines and parameters for water and nutrient exploitation efficiency.
In this sense, the main goal of SuWaNu is to develop technologies offering a transnational cooperation service within “research-driven clusters”, involving universities, regional authorities, research centers, technology developers, enterprises, farmers, and farmer´s associations related to wastewater treatment and to agriculture from five different countries: Germany, Spain, Greece, Malta and Bulgaria. Such service will provide and facilitate exchange of know-how on alternatives for water and nutrient resources for all project members, create business opportunities in the area of focus and further expand support to stakeholders from countries outside the consortium, concurrently providing solutions to the aforementioned problems Europe is faced with