Project SummaryThis project adresses natural resources water and nutrients for biomass production and aims a better re-use of them in a circular way, benefitting from the economic value produced and in the same time reducing the actual environmental risks. According to the European Environment Agency (2017), water quality in surface water bodies remains poor. In addition, floods and droughts events keep having widespread impacts on population, environmental services, resources as well as economical and societal aspects. Based on this context, the present project aims for the assessment and implementation of plant-based purification systems called, Constructed Wetlands (CWs). CWs are man-made systems, which via the interaction of hydrology, biogeochemistry and vegetation, can treat non-point sources of pollution and create several ecosystem services. This project will focus on following purposes considering the adaptation of CWs through eco-engineered designs into the landscape: To hold the water and compensate water needs for crops and livestock during dry periods; To reuse resources and produce biomass as raw material for different puposes as well as purified water; To mitigate several environmental impacts by restricting the pollution of fresh and groundwater resources; To capture and store runoff, serve as artificial flood control structures thereby resulting in flood protection.
Integrated constructed wetlands are not widely used in most Member States as the collective benefits are not communicated sufficiently and different legal applications rule in each country. The project aims to change this scenario by assessing the feasibility of spatial, political and societal scenarios in each partner member. Developed protocol for these assessment will be tested on 60 potential sites to further build business models and demonstrate the cost benefit of this technology in each Member State. The aim also includes the creation of 6 publicly accessible ICW demonstration sites.