“Splash! - transitions to a low carbon footprint for the water sector” | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


“Splash! - transitions to a low carbon footprint for the water sector”

You are here

Low-Carbon technologies


For European countries the energy required for water treatment and supply – including wastewater distribution and treatment – accounts for 1%-3% of national energy consumption and consequent carbon emissions. There is substantial scope to reduce the carbon footprint on the industry, by focusing on the following: • Energy efficiency – more efficient technologies and reducing energy demand of treatment and distribution processes • Energy recovery – utilizing embedded energy (gravity flow; heat; bio-solids; chemical?) Stronger drivers are needed to reduce energy use. A new reporting tool is proposed, and recommendations to national industry regulators such that carbon emissions are prioritised in asset management programmes. Other solutions are sought.

Creation date: 10/10/2018

Bloc onglets

Bloc 1

Overall objective

To demonstrate and rollout more energy efficient water treatment technologies and increase energy recovery (the two may have synergies) to reduce the carbon footprint of water supply and treatment across the 2Seas region. A summary of the energy efficiency opportunities reported (https://wwtonline.co.uk/features/e-is-for-energy) illustrate the potential scope of the project: • Conservation/water loss reduction: 5% - 10% reduction. The potential for reduction is greater where utilities are resource constrained • Existing pumps – 5-10% reduction • Pump technology improvements: 3-7% reduction • Clean water processes – up to 20% reduction, but low usage • Activated sludge process – up to 25% reduction • For wastewater services, the major energy demand is from aeration, which accounts for up to 60% or more of consumption • Building services – up to 15% reduction • Renewable energy: combined heat and power (CHP) engines from biogas can contribute significantly to the net energy demand of the water industry • Utilities that only abstract, treat and distribute drinking water have limited opportunities to generate renewable energy – hydro turbines • Heat recovery from wastewater. Demand management is also important but is not expected to be a focus of this project.

Bloc 2


1. Demonstrate and test more efficient technologies, process combinations, and management systems 2. Develop and test a common carbon emission reporting tool 3. Develop asset management guidance for transition to a low carbon water sector.

Bloc 3

Expected result

To lower the carbon emissions attributable to water supply and treatment (including both drinking water and wastewater).

Bloc 4

Cross-border added-value

• Develop a framework or principles to optimise carbon efficiency of water supply and treatment • Develop a common reporting tool for carbon emissions from the water sector, to drive down emissions (see review https://tinyurl.com/ycu6awq7) . Developing and testing strategies (risk management, business cases, innovation capacity, etc) to work toward a common set of best practices that can be transferred and replicated across utilities and geographic regions • Identify common R&D needs for a better innovation focus • Influence asset management programmes, especially where they are regulated by government to ensure investment to reduce carbon emissions is prioritised • Raise awareness of available technologies and so increase uptake of low carbon solutions • Other solutions are sought.