Project budget7 007 864 €
ERDF amount3 394 737 €
The NEREUS project will tackle the common 2SEAS area challenges by boosting further the development of green economy and transforming wastewater into a valuable source of water, resources (eg cellulose, nutrients), and energy that could be reused.
More specifically, due to climate change, water scarcity is increasingly problematic resulting in a growing need to reuse wastewater. Finite nutrients such as phosphorus are crucial for agriculture and currently not recovered from wastewater. As a result, these resources cannot be reused in a meaningful manner (e.g. as fertilizer). Wastewater also contains energy / heat that could be used as a sustainable source of energy in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Although there is a growing conviction that future arrangements for the treatment of wastewater should be based on the principles of a circular economy, and although the technology is available, decision makers are still hesitant to make use of them due to the lack of practical evidence.
The overall objective of the NEREUS project is to increase the reuse of resources, water and energy from wastewater by boosting the adoption of technologies that recover resources, water and energy from wastewater in urban areas. A demonstration framework and an institutional framework will be developed to increase the adoption and acceptance of resource recovering technologies. The major change the project will make is to show and to convince cities, regions, waterboards and citizens the benefit of implementing resource recovering solutions to reuse wastewater. The urban context shows residents directly what these technologies can do. This can accelerate the adoption of these resource recovering techniques and can contribute to a 'circular economy'.
- 1 joint feasibility study (based on pilot specific/local feasibility studies) providing detailed and site specific information with respect to the installation of resource recovering technologies
- 9 decentralized wastewater plants to recover energy, resources (f.i nutrients) , and water in 5 different locations.
- 3 test/monitoring reports (resources, water, energy) to measure and optimise the performance of the installed resource recovering technologies
- A strategy to provide decision makers involved in the selection process of WWT information about opportunities to implement resource recovering technology
- A decision support tool (DST) providing policy recommendations and specific information on suitable technologies
- A strategy to create acceptance of the community.
Cross border approach
- Need for demonstration sites
Because decision makers are hesitant to invest in resource recovering technologies for the treatment of wastewater in all four MS, the number of demonstration sites is limited. In this project, five demonstration sites from all over the 2 Seas region become connected.
- Sharing expertise
To benefit from the expertise present in the four Member States (MS) in this project, the knowledge partners will together contribute to the optimization and monitoring of all five demonstration sites in all MS. Also Staff exchange between UK and NL knowledge partners is envisioned.
- Cross border community building on implementation
As a result of the cross-border demonstrations, a cross-border community of decision makers will be created. Compared to academic community on sanitation, local stakeholders that implement new wastewater technology are currently less involved in international networks to share experiences.
The first year of the Nereus project has been a productive one. The work by all partners, but also the modifications are useful and shall be defining to reach the project objectives and to reach the set project outputs.
The overall objective of the NEREUS project is to increase the reuse of resources, water and energy from wastewater by boosting the adoption of technologies that recover resources, water and energy from wastewater in urban areas. Through the dissemination done at the start conference in the own project communication, in partner media, by lecturing in universities and educational institutes, the feasibility and potential of resource recovery from wastewater in urban areas has been widely spread among private and public decision makers.
The construction and deployment of the democases in the involved cities and regions is getting up to speed and has already caught the attention of municipalities, local authorities, waterboards and citizens.
During its first year the Nereus Project has clearly shown the added value of cross border cooperation. The Start Conference brought 65 persons (among them also scientists and entrepreneurs) to Saint-Omer for a whole day of open expertise sharing about the plans in the democases experiences and the use of good practices from other projects. The exchange during technical meetings within the Nereus partnership undoubtedly inspired all individual partners and will help to have the most appropriate solution for resource recovery in the democases and beyond.
With respect to the outputs of the Nereus project, a first result has been booked. A test site for treatment of mixed sludge was realized in the Saint-Omer region by CAPSO.
For the decision support tool (DST) that Nereus will develop a thorough investigation and research effort has been done on the common decision processes and the used technical, environmental and sustainability criteria. After an internal process within the Nereus consortium, there was also a workshop organized with external specialists and potential users that defined the framework of the DST that will be developed.