The European Commission promotes the transition towards a more circular economy in the EU, and has recently published a report on the implementation of the circular economy action plan. Integration of water reuse in water planning and management is considered a valuable and cost-effective solution for problems related to water scarcity and water quality in Europe and worldwide. Circular economy concepts and practices will generate benefits for water suppliers and water users in terms of costs, sustainability and image.
Through the Horizon2020-funded SUBSOL project, Watershare members KWR and NTUA have recently contributed to this discussion in the European Commission, by sharing experiences from water reuse reference pilots which build on subsurface water solutions.
The water supply system in Dinteloord (the Netherlands) is an excellent example of water reuse. Effluent water from a sugar factory is reused as irrigation water for horticulture and as a water source for nearby industries, making use of ASR-Coastal to temporarily store treated effluent water in the subsurface.
In the Maneadero Valley (Mexico), reuse of municipal wastewater for irrigation and food production is promoted to secure production of high-value crops. The applicability of subsurface water solutions is considered an important step towards the implementation of safe water reuse on a large scale in the valley.
The Schinias pilot (Greece) aims at testing subsurface water solution configurations, coupled with novel pollution remediation techniques, to determine whether these technologies can address the problem of saltwater intrusion into the upper aquifer of a protected wetland and forest area.