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SafeWaterAfrica Report Summary

Project ID: 689925
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SafeWaterAfrica (Self-Sustaining Cleaning Technology for Safe Water Supply and Management in Rural African Areas)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"In the 15 sub-Saharan African countries, 108 million people have limited or even no access to clean water. The SafeWaterAfrica project represents a consortium of European partners from Germany, Italy and Spain, providing European knowledge on new technologies for water purification. Academic and industrial partners from South Africa and from Mozambique complete the project consortium by adding knowledge on additional technologies and system integration to realize a solution adapted to local requirements.
The overall goal of the SafeWaterAfrica project is to research and develop an autonomous and decentralized ""Made in Africa"" water treatment system for rural and peri-urban areas which is highly efficient in the degradation of harmful pollutants, and which is accepted by the members of rural communities.
The new “Made in Africa” autonomous water purification system integrates a European low-energy water treatment technology with South African technologies for pre-treatment, water quality measurement and remote monitoring of system operation. The system will be designed to provide 300 people in rural areas with safe water.
An integral part of the solution is a new European water treatment technology based on the energy efficient production of strong oxidants, produced electrochemically from the water molecules in the water sources to be treated (WP2), called “CabECO”. CabECO excels, as it does not need additional chemicals for the effective degradation of persistent organic pollutants as well as for killing harmful microbiological contaminants.
The selection of field test sites considers a set of criteria including social, cultural and financial aspects of the communities. The selection (WP1) will result in target specifications for the design of a prototype treatment platform (WP3, WP4) and essentially the design of two demonstrator systems (WP5) for the field tests. The long-term field tests of the demonstrator systems including the monitoring of water quality and system operation imply information and communication technology (WP3). Business models (WP6) and measures for capacity building (WP7) such as skills training will support the sustainable exploitation."

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

Work package 1: Identification of test sites and stakeholders
Sites for the build and installation of the two SafeWaterAfrica demonstrator units were selected, one in South Africa (Klip River, Khayelitsha) and one in Mozambique (Ressano Garcia, Incomati River). The final sites were proven to meet the selection criteria, and demonstrator build will commence within 2018. A year-long seasonal water quality footprint for both rivers was designed and is in process. In addition, stakeholders were identified and hosted at a stakeholder engagement event held in Stellenbosch in September 2017.
Work package 2: Development of electrode system
The activities led to the design of the electrode modules equipped in the CabECO cells to be used in the prototype (WP4) and in the demonstrators (WP5). The operational conditions were developed to guarantee the removal of the bacteria occurring in South Africa water supply. In addition, this research highlighted the importance to add pre-treatments to the CabECO cells to guarantee a continuous operation and to reduce the risk of fast aging and fouling of the electrodes. The CabECO cells for the prototype and the two demonstrators have been built and delivered to CSIR for integration into the three systems.
Work package 3: Development of remote monitoring and quality control
The Remote Monitoring System was developed taking into account the legislation of both South Africa and Mozambique. The system displays all data received from the prototype in an easy to read manner, measures the water quality and assures the effective operation of the installations.
Work package 4: Development and testing of prototype treatment platform
The design of the prototype took into consideration typical water qualities from different sources on South Africa and Mozambique. The design incorporated both existing (chemical coagulation, flocculation and filtration) as well as a novel pretreatment technology (Electrocoagulation). The building of the prototype was completed and commissioned. The remote operation monitoring system of the prototype was installed. An investigation program is ongoing to operate the prototype in different process parameter constellations. The results of these extensive tests are used to specify details of the demonstrator installation and their operation concepts.
Work package 5: Development of demonstrator systems and application at test sites
First design proposals for the demonstrators have been discussed, and open questions collected. The concept design has integrated different process units, including a novel pre-treatment in a pre-disinfection column as well as disinfection with ozone produced with the CabECO technology. The CabECO cells have been tested and calibrated in tap water and reverse osmosis water, with the monitoring, control and operation philosophy.
Work package 6: Technology assessment and business development
The consortium is well on track to identify and engage all relevant Stakeholders and Funding Agencies to ensure SafeWaterAfrica can be rolled out at the conclusion of the project Dec 2019. The Plan for Exploitation and Dissemination (PEDR) was set-up and was published as public deliverable D6.1.
Work package 7: Capacity building
The integration of SafeWaterAfrica solutions into postgraduate projects, undergraduate courses, technical courses and project developments are progressing according to schedule.
Work package 8: Management
The coordinator took all measure to keep the project running well, concerning the progress as well as concerning all legal, financial and reporting aspects. Upcoming problems were tackled adequately, so that no major delay of the progress came up so far. All work packages were running smoothly. The communication and dissemination activities were adequate in relation to the first project phase.
Work package 9: Ethics requirements
The coordinator took care of all ethical issues of the project. To minimize the risks to research participants, s

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)

A complete prototype system for water purification using the CabECO technology was developed and successfully set-up. Such a transportable and remotely controllable water purification system is new compared to the state of the art. After setting-up at the test sites and successful testing, it will be an innovation on the market.
The system solutions based on SafeWaterAfrica are “Made in Africa”, meaning that they are developed with a strong involvement of African partners and that they will be produced, installed, operated and maintained by local people and communities thus creating jobs and business opportunities and improving social well-being.
The impact for the European industrial and academic partners will be based on the securing and creation of sustainable jobs in mainly the academic and technical field, and in the broadening of technological knowledge in the field of production and use of carbon-based coatings, intercultural business experience, as well as African-European scientific cooperation.

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