Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SUBSOL Report Summary

Project ID: 642228
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SUBSOL (bringing coastal SUBsurface water SOLutions to the market)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Coastal areas are the most densely populated, productive, and economically dominant regions of the world, yet the associated high water demand leads to problems like water shortage, overexploitation of water resources, saltwater intrusion and disappearance of wetlands. Further economic growth, population increase, and climate change will intensify these problems, blocking the sustainable development of coastal areas.
Integrating the subsurface into our water resources management can help resolve these challenges. In recent years, a set of practical tools and concepts have been developed and implemented that actively use the subsurface for freshwater management. Subsurface Water Solutions (SWS) allow for maximum control over the groundwater resources, going far beyond the levels of control provided by standard water management techniques.
SUBSOL targets a market breakthrough of SWS as robust solutions to freshwater resources problems in coastal areas. SUBSOL demonstrates the SWS concepts in their first applications, and validate the long-term application and sustained use through continuation of these reference sites. SUBSOL demonstrates the robustness of SWS and their applicability under different environmental, market and societal conditions through market replication. These experiences provide input for the development of replication tools and business cases. SUBSOL also increases the market reach of SWS and promotes their adoption in European and global markets.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Reference applications
SUBSOL demonstrates the long-term viability and sustained use of subsurface water solutions, by continuation and expanding reference pilots:
1) Counteract salinization for sustained drinking water supply, Freshkeeper pilot at Noardburgum, the Netherlands;
2) Sustainable use of freshwater lenses for agricultural water supply, Freshmaker pilot at Ovezande, the Netherlands;
3) Freshwater storage in brackish aquifer, ASR Coastal pilots at Nootdorp and Westland, the Netherlands.
The Freshkeeper has now been in successful operation for 2.5 years, the Freshmaker for 4 years, and the ASR Coastal pilots for over 4 years. The Nootdorp and Westland ASR systems now have permanent permits for operation and are fully integrated in the daily water supply of greenhouses.

Market Replications
SUBSOL demonstrates the robustness of SWS and their applicability under different environmental, geological and societal conditions:
1) Controlling saltwater intrusion, flooding risk and nutrient loadings to coastal waters at Falster Island, Denmark;
2) Coastal ecosystem protection and agricultural water supply at Schinias, Greece;
3) Storage of treated wastewater for irrigation use at Dinteloord, the Netherlands;
4) Sustain irrigation water supply from a salinized aquifer at Maneadero Valley, Baja California, Mexico.
Two replication pilots are successfully implemented in Denmark and Greece. The reuse pilot in the Netherlands is upgraded to full demonstration. The feasibility study and pilot design for Maneadero Valley, Mexico are near completion. At each of the replication sites participatory Technology Assessments (pTAs) interviews with local stakeholder groups have been carried out.

Replication tools
SUBSOL lowers the barrier to the uptake of SUBSOL solutions in different technical and regulatory contexts and provides the tools required for assessment of suitable SWS solutions by developing a tool suite consisting of a Knowledge Base, a Toolkit and a Market Place.
The first version of the SWS Knowledge Base (KB) is up and running. The KB is now populated with reports, peer reviewed journals, best practice guidelines, datasets and audio-visual material to support SWS implementation.
A hydro-technical SWS decision support Toolkit has been developed that guides the choice and initial design of appropriate SWS solutions. The Toolkit will include open source/free monitoring and control tools as well as a number of new specifically developed and tested tools, such as a Data Monitoring System and a model to identify appropriate locations for implementing SWS. The Data Monitoring System is a versatile and portable web application that collects and displays meteorological, hydrogeological and environmental data. It stores data in a database and visualizes them in the form of a Dashboard.
The development of the online SWS platform and the market place has started. These will be compatible with the EIP-Water Market Place.

Dissemination and Route to Market
SUBSOL increases the market reach of SWS and promotes their uptake on European and global markets. The SUBSOL promotional film focuses on creating awareness for SWS among the general public. After finalising the market analysis, the consortium agreed on the step by step mission approach for paving the route to the markets in target regions. Assessment workshops were conducted at the reference sites to further clarify the mode of project implementation and SWS operation. The experiences at the reference sites provided a basis for the finalisation of the commercialisation and market penetration strategy which was followed by technology transfer workshops as part of missions to the replication sites. In the following mission series, awareness and framework condition assessment workshops were conducted in all target market. Information for policy briefs and the solution packages were collected during the missions to the sites.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The subsurface may provide far more interesting solutions to solve water challenges than aboveground solutions like reservoir storage and desalinisation. This is due to the sustainability, limited use of above ground space, protection from evaporation and contamination, as well as the immense storage capacity of the subsurface. SWS can successfully bridge periods of water shortages, counteract salinization, or help preventing pluvial flooding in cities.
SUBSOL is dedicated to wide and fast deployment of advanced resources management in coastal areas worldwide. By introducing SWS as practical concepts and new thinking, SUBSOL contributes to effectively solving water challenges faced worldwide. SWS help to sustain public water supply, stimulate water reuse, relief pressures on ecosystems, and increase water availability to agriculture and industry.
SWS have been uniquely developed within Europe by water innovators, and successfully demonstrated by first-movers. The most important impact SUBSOL will have is a break of the barriers for market uptake of SWS, specifically a lack of full-scale implementation and long-term validation, a lack of knowledge of the technologies, a lack validation in different geological settings, especially fractured and karstic aquifer systems, and a lack of holistic approach to water management and fragmented governance. SUBSOL has adopted a practical approach to overcome these barriers by demonstration, replication, tool and business case development, market analyses, and capacity building. The commercialization of SWS worldwide will be completed by public and private SUBSOL partners, together with regional authorities, agriculture, industry and water supply companies. The sustained development and application of SWS is assured through the international Watershare platform. Within Watershare knowledge and practical experiences are shared to develop a portfolio of world leading SWS references.

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