Greener Waterway Infrastructure (Green WIN) is an Interreg North West Europe (NWE) funded project, running from November 2018 to Dec 2022. It tackles the excess energy use and high carbon emissions Waterway Management Organisations (WMO’s) cause when pumping water around the region’s rivers and canals. The project partnership is made up of WMO’s, Universities, Public Service Organisations and Inland Waterways experts from across NWE and is committed to working together to find solutions to this problem.
Partners will carry out laboratory trials to check how well current pumping technologies, systems and processes are performing and to see if we can adapt these to optimise performance, use less energy and produce fewer emissions. We trial different configurations of equipment to see if they work more efficiently and if there are optimal ways to deploy these re-configurations in different hydrological and operational scenarios. We also examine how, or if, we can incorporate renewable energy solutions into existing pumping technologies.
This research stage is followed by live testing of the strongest solutions developed, at 11 pilot sites across the UK, Ireland and France to check how they work in real operational conditions.
Our aim is for the solutions progressed in Green WIN to be developed further, or adapted, by SME’s and pump manufacturers. Individuals or representatives from their trade organisations are being invited to support these activities, participating on an Advisory Board, giving technical advice at the installations of pumps / systems at the trials and in the initial testing at the University of Liège’s laboratories. Their commercial insights will give us a better understanding of the industry’s needs and help ensure we focus on the things that should increase the chances of our greener technologies, systems and processes getting to market.
Persuading others to adopt Green WIN’s solutions as good practice is vital if we are to achieve wider efficiencies and carbon reductions. We will be working hard to ensure our tested solutions are applied across more NWE waterways and want to encourage WMO’s outside the partnership to install equipment or adopt the improved systems and processes demonstrated. The investment, procurement and business plan we set out in a Green Practices Toolkit is intended to assist their pump replacement planning when existing equipment approaches ‘end of life’.
We will set up a Greener Waterways Network to promote and sustain the findings from Green WIN long in to the future, teaming up with other inland waterway organisations and environmental groups to champion this initiative and encourage more WMO’s across Europe to use them to help ‘make their waterways greener’.