HYDROUSA is a research and innovation project funded by HORIZON2020 which is the main funding scheme for research within the European Union. The project has a total budget of 12 Million Euro; it consists of 27 partners (Universities, research organizations, NGOs, companies, municipalities, water utilities) from different countries around Europe and the Mediterranean. The British partners include Brunel University London and the spin-off company Satistica Ltd. The project is coordinated by the National Technical University of Athens in Greece.
HYDROUSA is a very challenging project where innovative water cycles and value chains will be developed and demonstrated at a large scale. The project is targeted at coastal areas and islands experiencing scarce water resources. In such regions, the available fresh water is many times limited and comes at a high price. Within HYDROUSA we aim to recover high quality water from non-conventional resources, which are currently not being valorised and thus increase the availability of fresh water resources. Innovative, low cost, natured based solutions will be developed and applied to recover water from seawater, rainwater, wastewater, atmospheric vapour water and groundwater. HYDROUSA systems include anaerobic processes and constructed wetlands to treat sewage, biogas upgrade solutions to produce high purity methane as an energy reserve, aquifer recharge to combat saline intrusion, rainwater harvesting technologies, low-cost seawater desalination and vapour condensation. These solutions will produce water suitable for agricultural irrigation and for domestic use and in some cases even for drinking water. Fertigation water will be produced from domestic sewage, which is a liquid free of pathogens and pollutants and rich in nutrients to be used as a liquid organic fertilizer. Using this liquid, an agroforestry unit will be developed where local crops, high added value superfoods and herbs will be growth to generate an income to local farmers. So we will be using treated wastewater that is currently disposed to boost agricultural production.
HYDROUSA will combine traditional skilled workmanship with modern ICT integration in beautiful and smart automation systems. Effective online control and monitoring will ensure high water quality and net water savings. Detailed technical and financial deployment plans will be established for replication in additional 25 locations worldwide. HYDROUSA will revolutionise water value chains in Mediterranean areas and beyond, from water abstraction to sewage treatment and reuse. The proposed HYDROUSA solutions show massive potential to change the way humans interact with water, food and energy. The services provided lead to a win-win-win situation for the economy, environment and community within the water-energy-food-employment nexus.