Alternative FRESH water resources for saline Coastal Areas | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Alternative FRESH water resources for saline Coastal Areas

Priority Axis

Resource Efficient Economy

Specific objective

Efficient Use of Resources and Materials

Lead partner






Project budget

5 621 915

ERDF amount

2 958 041

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    The FRESH4Cs project focusses on the second Europe 2020 priority of sustainable growth, by demonstrating the provision of alternative and sustainable fresh water resources for lowland coastal regions. Traditional water resources are under pressure in the 2 seas region, and this problem is even more prominent in lowland coastal regions due to salinization of (near) surface waters. These same coastal lowlands drain vast amounts of water towards the sea at moments of water surplus (seasonal). Where water consumption has often been reduced to economic feasible levels, a second step in efficient water resource management is providing alternative and more sustainable resources, which is the focus of this project. We will do this by the efficient use of the fresh water resources that are now drained to the sea.

    Main Achievements

    The different FRESH4Cs demonstration cases have started their design, planning and permitting phase. Design plans were exchanged and discussed during a cross-border partner workshop. Permitting proves to be a major challenge for all demos.

    The first modelling results of the underground water storage (MAR) demo at Felixstowe (UK) indicate a higher than expected potential for both storage and extraction. Together with the Felixstowe water transfer and (above ground) buffering demo, field works will start in 2020. The nature-based solution for wastewater treatment demo at Koksijde (BE) is also in the permit and design phase. A local dissemination event attracted 41 stakeholders to the site. Also, the water buffering demo at Kwetshage (BE) is in the design phase. The feasibility study for underground buffering at Braakman Zuid (NL) shows promising results, with the identification of potential sites for a pilot-scale demo. A local dissemination event attracted 38 stakeholders. Works at our last site (feasibility study at Kruiningen, NL) were not planned to start in 2019.

    In 2019 FRESH4Cs organized a cross-border start conference (87 people attended) in Bruges, Belgium, where technological and non-technological solutions and barriers for freshwater provision in coastal regions were discussed. Awareness was raised on the challenges to make our water system robust for the future, and ideas were exchanged between stakeholders of the member states. 

    The supporting technological work package (WP1) has set up a joint monitoring strategy, that will be used after the demonstration for technology evaluation. Likewise, a joint strategy for non-technological support (WP2) was set up. Researchers from HZ University, supported and accompanied by local partners, have started interviewing stakeholders to get insight into each member state’s specific opportunities and barriers.



    Suffolk County Council

    HZ University of Applied Sciences

    Intercommunale Waterleidingsmaatschappij

    Vlaamse Land Maatschappij

    Felixstowe HydroCycle Ltd

    University of East Anglia Name

    Dow Benelux bv

    Environment Agency

    Lamb Weston / Meijer vof