Water re-use in semi-arid regions has been demonstrated as the most sustainable alternative to the use of desalinated seawater and imported water in terms of cost and environmental impact. Nevertheless, water re-use is only practised in a limited number of areas in the EU, with the main barriers identified as public perception, the cost of water re-use systems and a lack of reclaimed water tariffs to ensure cost recovery or incentivise water reuse. The European Commission created a regulatory framework (EU 2020/741) to set minimum requirements applicable to reclaimed water intended for agricultural irrigation.
Murcia is characterised to be one of the most water stressed regions of Spain and Europe. More than 80% of treated municipal wastewater volume after filtration and/or disinfection with chlorine, is used for agricultural in line with the Spanish Royal Decree 1620/2007 for water re-use. However, to meet higher quality requirements established in Directive EU 2020/741, water reclamation schemes need to be more robust, along with risk assessment methodologies, thus ensuring the removal of particulate organic matter and target microbiological indicators.
The project LIFE WARRIOR aims to demonstrate an innovative and cost-effective water reclamation train to guarantee safe reclaimed water for crops irrigation, in line with the European regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse (EU 2020/741).
The WARRIOR Reclamation Train is based on the application of reused Ultrafiltration (Re-UF) membranes and a low energy consumption and chemicals-free (UV lamps with light emitting diodes) disinfection process. The system will be coupled with a WARRIOR Digital Tool for risk management and process optimisation, which will estimate and length membranes’ lifespans. The project will also develop Re-UF Market Place Service as a digital platform to provide an instrument to connect used-membrane providers (water utilities or administrations operating DWTP) with end-users. This treatment train will be demonstrated in Murcia.
Demonstration of a cost-effective treatment train that will have societal, environmental and economic benefits.
Reclamation and reuse of 550 m3 of water/day (200,750 m3/year).
Reduction of 0.044 GWh/year.