RichWater, technology for the treatment and regeneration of wastewater in agriculture

BIOAZUL RichWater technology is included in the “European Water Oriented Living Labs” Atlas

8 Ene de 2020

Water Europe, the European Water Technology Platform, published last July the first edition of the Atlas of Water-Oriented Laboratories in Europe, a key tool for the promotion of the most innovative solutions of water systems and implementation of the strategic vision of the platform in relation to “the value of water”.

This water platform was created by the European Commission in 2004 for Research and Technological Development within the water industry, becoming in 2007 a legally independent entity under Belgian law. Water Europe strives to promote research and development of collaborative, innovative and integrated technologies in Europe, ensuring European growth and competitiveness of the water sector and providing answers to global problems for the next generations and, finally, solving the Water-related challenges through integrated and sustainable management.

Last July Water Europe presented its first atlas where water-oriented laboratories in Europe are collected, a document prepared by the Water Europe leadership teams with the support of PNO Consultores and ENOLL between 2018 and the first half of 2019.

Under the name of “Water-Oriented Living Labs (WoLLs)”, these field laboratories are defined as platforms to increase the participation and commitment of multiple actors in the water sector with the objective of developing, testing and validating solutions and technologies based in the water, as well as the combination with new business models and policies.

The mapping work of this atlas has resulted in the identification of 105 water-oriented field laboratories, categorized by country and by the context in which this Living Lab is developed, that is, agricultural, urban, industrial or ecosystem; always following the guidelines and policy of Water Europe and its Strategic Agenda for Research and Innovation (SIRA).

BIOAZUL has achieved that RichWater, one of its innovation projects in wastewater reuse systems for use in agriculture, has been selected as one of the Living Labs of this atlas. The RichWater technology is composed of a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) system that is responsible for the treatment of wastewater and its regeneration, and that constitutes an efficient solution for the problems of water scarcity in agriculture.

The objective of Richwater is to serve as Living Lab, that is, to be an experimentation platform equipped with a modern water regeneration technology, with research modules for cultivation in artificial substrate and in soil, greenhouse, covered and outdoor plots, climate station, sensors for continuous recording of water in the substrate and plant, collection of drains, equipment for measuring photosynthesis and water potentials, etc. This initiative has been funded by the European Union within the framework of the «Fast Track to Innovation» program (Horizon 2020), whose main objective is to help companies of a technological nature to market their innovative solutions and achieve a successful market entry.

The RichWater demonstration plant is located in the Malaga town of Algarrobo within the Axarquía region. Since 2016, plantations of crops such as avocados, mangoes and tomatoes have been carried out, all of them irrigated with reclaimed waters. In order to monitor and monitor the quality of the nutrients of each of the crops, IHSM – La Mayora, the Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Fruit and Vegetable Horticulture, had a different agronomic study.

Thanks to RichWater, the Sustainable Axarquía operational group has also been created to promote the sustainable management of water resources in the Malaga region of Axarquía, together with territorial actors such as the Algarrobo City Council, the Commonwealth of municipalities of the Axarquía, the Irrigation Community from Algarrobo, IHSM-La Mayora and the Spanish Tropical Association. There have also been different days of open doors at the RichWater plant to publicize the advantages of using these technologies in the reuse of water in agriculture, which were attended by many interested in sustainable water management as authorities, Development Groups Rural, irrigation communities, cooperatives, associations and farmers.

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