Watershare/NextGen Webinar: Circular Water Solutions from Across the Globe (14-4-2021)

April 20, 2021

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Key messages from each speaker:

Rupali Deshmukh, IVL (Taposya) India: sponge irrigation system
An integral project, enabling women participation and applying local products and traditions, relying on capture of water from fog, dew and rain, which is further stored underground in a previously prepared soil that actually works like a… sponge!

Yanjing Zhu, IVL (Jiangsu) China concept WWTP of Yixing
The Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) of the future are being planned together with research and development hubs and eco-urban-spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Young Lee, KIST, South Korea, Advanced materials for water purification
The excellence of South Korean manufacturing at the service of water, by the production of hydrogel beads, at reasonable prices, for the removal of ammonia.

Klio Monkrousou, NTUA, Greece, Sewer mining at the Athens urban tree nursery
A solution for water scarce areas, where sewage is mined and further transformed in irrigation water, heat and compost, for the support of local agriculture, aiming to be used as mind-changer on public perception towards water reuse.

  • A total of 98 persons subscribed to the webinar, with participants joining from 20 countries. During the interactive question’s session, the audience mentioned that climate change is the main driver to adopt circular water solutions, and that the most important condition to achieve it are adaptive governance and supportive regulations.
  • Link to recording  


To Rupali Deshmukh, IVL India – Presentation Title: Sponge irrigation system  
Q1: Do you think this can be applied in Mediterranean countries?
A1: Probably yes, during spring, summer and autumn.
Q2: Very interesting system not only for potatoes I think it can be used also in Austria. Are there also use cases for fruit (trees) or special vegetables?
A2: Sponge system is good for any short root crop.

To Yanjing Zhu, IVL China – Presentation Title: Concept WWTP of Yixing
Q1: Do you have some special chemicals for the treatment?
A1: To my knowledge there are no special chemicals applied. However, the process is modified with a special kind of sand.
Q2: Biogas residue / compost from organic waste treatment centre: how do you assess whether the quality of this residue is safe for use as soil nutrient? Since organic waste may also contain harmful compounds.
A2: In China, the residues from sludge digestion/compost cannot be used as crops fertilizer for agriculture, therefore they are mainly used for gardening purposes. Furthermore, the livestock manure is treated, before being applied as fertilizer.

To Dr. Young Lee, KIST, South Korea – Presentation Title: Advanced materials for water purification
Q1: Do you have special sensors or standard for ammonium value?
A1: No, we didn’t use the sensor. You can analyse the ammonium nitrogen using HACH chemicals and Ion chromatography.
Q2: As you presented in your last figure, zeolite particles from your study showed much higher ammonium sorption capacity as compared to many other zeolite types. I was wondering if you had data on the pH of the zeolite samples and the ammonium solution?
A2: Operating temperature was 20’C and the operational pH was around 6.

To Klio Monokrousou, NTUA Greece – Presentation Title: Sewer mining at the Athens urban tree nursery
Q1: How do you deal with contaminants and possible access of public to the compost (with contaminants)?
A1: With regard to the contaminants and possible risk of public access to the produced compost, we are conducting risk analysis assessment in the framework of the project, in order to identify potential risks and if necessary, mitigate them.
Q2: Can you tell about quality control plans for onsite fertilizer since urban waste water may introduce persistent contaminants?
A2: Quality control plans are already implemented through the project risk assessment studies, where we are assessing also persistent or even unexpected contaminants.
Q3: What temperature range do you apply? RCB produces water. How do you treat this water?
A3: Indeed, the RCB is driven by a thermophilic process; the temperature ranges between 50°C and 70°C. Also, the water product (which is minimum as the excess sludge is thickened through filter bags to a dry matter content of approximately 5% before entering the RCB unit), returns to the sewage network.