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Development of innovative water cycles and value chains

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 cycle explained

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. 

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Evina Katsou
Dr Evina Katsou - Academic / Research Career Dr Evina Katsou is Professor in Water & Environmental Engineering and Course Director of the Water Engineering MSc at Brunel University. Evina leads the Water & Environmental Engineering group with 20 researchers. Her research is focused on: (1) Sustainable resource recovery from wastewater and safe reuse; (2) Data analytics, knowledge discovery and process modelling; and (3) Circularity & sustainability measurement and assessment. Authored 98 journal publications (h-index: 27), 12 book chapters with over 100 presentations, invited talks and patent on biopolymers recovery. Evina leads the Transformation Tools group of the Cost Action on Circular Cities, co-leads the Circular Water VLT of Water Europe and co-leads the SMART-WATER group of the ICT4Water Cluster-EC. She is a member of the drafting team of the new ISO standards on Circular Economy (Measuring and Assessing Circularity – ISO5902). She leads 11 national and international projects including activities on carbon footprint accounting and carbon neutrality Within projects RESILEX Horizon Europe, SYMBIOREM Horizon Europe (WP leader), BORECER HORIZON Europe (WP leader), HYDROUSA H2020, SmartPlant H2020, DEEP-Purple (DSS development and circularity assessment), WATER-MINING (H2020; WP leader), BL2F (H2020; WP Leader), INTCATCH (H2020), iWAYS (SPIRE H2020), Triple Carbon Reduction – OFWAT, she is responsible of the WPs related with the development and application of tools/solutions for the sustainability assessment including carbon footprint quantification and minimization. Evina has also conducts wide range of consulting activities with contracts awarded from leading UK water industry partners, including Affinity Water, Arup, Sever Trent, BuroHappold Engineering, Anglian Water. Industrial Activities UKWIR Tender - Quantifying and reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment processes; Jacobs, Brunel, Cobalt Water; 2021-22 OFWAT WATER INNOVATION Competitions; Triple Carbon Reduction; Anglian Water; 2022-24 UKWIR Tender - What does a circular economy water industry look like? Jacobs, Brunel, Allied Waters; 2020-21 UKWIR Tender - Where is the greatest sustainable economic benefit for resource recovery in the water cycle? Jacobs, Brunel, Allied Waters; 2020-21 Determination of the most effective & low-cost solution for tackling the problem of galvanized iron corrosion in specific parts of the Affinity Water piping network, which is caused by the surface water imported from Grafham reservoir; October 2018 for a duration of 16 months, Value: £90,000 Feasibility study Aqualogic AI inspired Leak Detection and Analysis, 2019-2020 Value: £100,000 Towards Carbon neutral and Cost-efficient Sewage Treatment (CO2ST); Severn Trent, 2019-2021, Value: £150,000 Circular Shop Window, Anglian Water, March 2019 for a duration of 14 months, Value: £100,000 MBR design and start-up, Astana, Nazarbayev University, June 2019 for a duration of 6 months, Value: £20,000 Technical support for the chemical-physical-respirometric control & preliminary evaluation of an EGSB reactor for the treatment of wastewater from textile industry, 40,000 Euros, SIMEM SpA, 2014              Technical support for the evaluation & optimization of the wastewater treatment plant (technical & economic data) of the pharmaceutical company Fidia Farmaceutici SpA, Abano Terme (PD), 25,000 Euros 2013-2014. Monitoring of the current treatment processes & capacity of the municipal wastewater treatment plant of Maser Municipality (TV, Italy); examination & evaluation of the potential co-treatment of wastewater from the Municipality of Asolo (TV, Italy); feasibility study & technical aspects, Alto Trevigiano Servizi Srl, InnovEn srl, 15,000 Euros 2013-2014.  

Related Research Group(s)


Flood, Coastal and Water Engineering - The Flood, Coastal and Water Engineering Group addresses the challenges of water scarcity, aging water infrastructures and flood management in the UK and worldwide. The group also concentrates on providing research solutions for recycling water and offering sustainable water resources for domestic and industrial uses.

machine digital (3)

Digital Manufacturing - Being at the forefront of solutions for building smart machines, we create an operational framework for the digital transformation to Industry 4.0.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 21/11/2023