According to the European Commission, the frequency and extent of droughts in Europe has increased dramatically. Water scarcity has already affected at least 11% of Europe’s population and about 17% of its territory. The Mediterranean area is particularly susceptible to global climate change causing droughts, which is putting in risk the water supply for the local population and economy. This is especially pronounced during the summer tourist season.
The project LIFE HIDAQUA comprehensively addresses the water management in EU industrialized areas, mainly focusing on the Mediterranean area, by addressing environmental problems i) the depletion of natural drinking water sources, ii) the low ecological and chemical status of natural water bodies due to the emissions of pollutants in industrial wastewater discharge, iii) burdening of the environment, especially natural water bodies, with the discharging of liquids and the landfilling of wastes from water treatment processes. The main objective of the LIFE HIDAQUA project is to demonstrate a sustainable water management approach in industry like Hidria factory, which is one of the leading European corporations in the production of automotive components.
Furthermore, the project will demonstrate a sustainable water treatment system for simultaneous recycling/reclamation of industrial wastewater and the exploitation of alternative water sources (brackish and storm water). Electrodialysis technologies, filtration with recycled reverse osmosis membranes and advanced Decision-Making Tool for the design and selection of the most optimal alternative water management solutions will be used. The system will establish recycling of all industrial wastewater at HIDRI’s Koper business unit (approximately 4000 m3/year) together with the exploitation of alternative water sources, the plant will cover more than 40% of drinking water needs. “Zero-Liquid-Discharge” and “Zero-Waste” technologies and approaches will be introduced to enable the recycling of all waste from the water treatment process. This will result in recycled products such as salts and building composites (0.5 tonnes of salt and 1 ton of ready-for-use construction products). One of the main goals of the LIFE HIDAQUA project is to promote and disseminate a sustainable water treatment concept in European industry through networking activities at local (municipalities, businesses and associations, utilities, etc) and at the pan-European level (European Automobile Manufacturers Associations, WssTP, NETWERC, GWP, etc.). In order to set up an active network of various stakeholders, an information tool called “Water Innovation Hub” will be established.
The objectives of the LIFE HIDAQUA project contribute the EU Commission’s objectives to increase the quantity of wastewater re-use and protect the natural water resources and water bodies, as laid down in several crucial documents: 7th Environmental Action proramme”, “Water Framework Directive”, “Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources”. By avoiding of emission of industrial wastewater discharge and the introduction of the “Zero-Liquid-Discharge” concept, the project directly addresses the “Marine Strategy Framework Directive” in the field of conservation of marine environments and its habitats.
Coordinating beneficiary: Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute
Associated beneficiaries: HIDRIA d.o.o., Inštitut Jožef Stefan, Geologija d.o.o., Fundacio Eurecat, Hidroquimia
Co-financer: Ministry for Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia
Total Project Budget: 2.502.647 €
EU commission: 1.332.102 €
Co-financer contribution: 173.309 €