WaterMan - study visit and talks with experts in Denmark

Our Association is actively involved in many initiatives related to the environment on many levels. The issue of water reuse appears to be one of the priority activities. We are active in this extremely important area by educating, promoting good practices, cooperating with cities and municipalities by activating and supporting their local activities in the above topics. We recently visited Denmark, implementing the next phase of the WaterMan project, the idea of which is to promote water reuse in the Baltic Sea region through capacity building at the local level.

The first day of the WaterMan project was devoted to a study visit to Kalundborg. The project partners visited the 'Kalundborg Symbiosis', which deals with the treatment of water used, among other things, in industry. It is a consortium of sixteen public and private companies, established back in the 1970s, which developed the world's first industrial symbiosis with a circular approach to production. The core principle of Kalundborg Symbiosis is to create partnerships locally to share and reuse resources, thus saving water. Symbiosis creates growth in the local community and supports green transformation.

At the site we visited, we were able to see the test system, made as part of the ULTIMATE project pilot. The treatment plant produces very good quality water, which is used to cool the machinery. We were given a tour of the Kalundborg Utility Team's facility, where experts were waiting for us, ready to provide any information related to the topic at hand.

The second day in Denmark was devoted to the work on the WaterMan project pilots. The project partners implementing these pilots presented the stage they are at and presented the next steps planned. The aim of the partner and expert review was to provide feedback to the WaterMan partners on their plans and considerations, i.e. prior to the implementation of investments related to the pilot activities. Experts from each country evaluated the selected solutions and advised on opportunities to improve the pilot.

It should be added that the activities of the WaterMan project, in addition to carrying out pilots, are also related to spreading the idea of promoting water reuse methods.

Workshop and study visit in Schweinfurt - WaterMan June 5-6, 2023

Climate change is a process that refers to long-term changes in the Earth's climate. These changes include an increase in atmospheric temperature, changes in precipitation, changes in the distribution of ice and snow, rising sea levels, and other related effects. The main reason for these changes is the increased emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by humanity, primarily as a result of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil. We are increasingly struggling with climate change such as droughts or floods, which means that the subject of water is a very important aspect. The WaterMan project promotes water reuse in the Baltic Sea region. It adds a new element to water management that can make water supply more climate resilient.

As part of the WaterMan project, on June 5-6, 2023, a meeting of project partners was held in Schweinfurt. Participants were greeted by the project leader, project manager and representative of the Berlin Center for Competence on Water, who was a host of the meeting.

On the first day there was a study visit to the site of the Nutzwasser project. It is part of the special funding program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the topic: "Water technology: reuse". The aim is to develop new, highly flexible and needs-based management strategies for water reuse for urban and agricultural irrigation in a practical way. During the study visit the participants saw interesting solutions for drinking water treatment, e.g. using ozonation or UV light. Chemical products are often used to purify water, which can have a negative effect on other factors.

There was also a workshop during which where discussed technologies, legal frameworks and how to work with recipients. A representative of the NutzWasser project spoke about problems related to the mentality of people and their approach to water. There is less and less drinking water in the world, so we should ask ourselves: do we have to use tap water for everything, e.g. watering lawns or washing cars? They already started awareness-raising talks with the residents. They have a lot of manufacturing companies in their region that use water to cool their machines. Jörg Drewes, the project leader, talked about his experience and transitions in the project.

In the second part of the workshop, the host of the event KWB (Competence Center Water Berlin) gave a presentation related to the use of water. Topics covered included:

The second day of the meeting was devoted to part of the workshop, during which the focus was on water treatment methods and tools. The host of the meeting gave a presentation on risk management and risk assessment in the context of water reuse (with examples from the work of the Berlin Water Competence Centre). The presentation also included an introduction to risk, risk assessment and management according to the WHO and EU Standards for water quality and risk assessment and management according to. methods of quantitative and qualitative risk assessment. An interesting element of the presentation was the chemical and microbiological risk assessment.

A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was presented as a decision support tool. It presents the options for choosing the best processing technology for a given purpose, including the benefits and burdens for the environment. A partner from the Berlin Competence Center presented examples of water and how they use the method and possibilities of LCA - Life Cycle Assessment.

Another presentation concerned the review of available tools for preparatory research and the introduction of free external tools to support decision-making in the context of water reuse (MultiReuse tool and Poseidon tool).

Partners from Poland (Gdańsk University of Technology) and Sweden (Kalmar Municipality) continued the discussion on tools supporting water reuse. The WaterMan project will use research tools such as:

The last part of the day was devoted to a summary of two days of workshop and a study visit. The project manager summarized the partners' talks and each participant had the opportunity to comment on the event.

The available tools and methods of preparatory research during the pilot activities were discussed. Partners discussed the issues that can be explored in surveys. An important aspect pointed out by all the participants was the level of awareness of residents and authorities regarding water resources, their quality and methods of treating and saving drinking water. This will be an important aspect in the project, so that local and regional authorities increase their level of knowledge and awareness of the above-mentioned topic.

Finally, internal issues and the next steps were discussed. The next meetings and study visits were planned in such a way that everyone had the opportunity to enrich their experience and knowledge in the subject of water. Issues related to the promotion and dissemination of knowledge about the project and the activities carried out were mentioned.

Presentation of the project at the Braniewo City Council

On the 5th of April 2023 representatives of the Gdańsk University of Technology took part in the 45th session of the City Council in Braniewo. It was an opportunity to present the WaterMan project and the activities planned to be implemented in the City of Braniewo. As part of the project cooperation, Gdańsk University of Technology will support the city in activities related to the planned pilot project regarding the reuse of water in the municipal swimming pool and the creation of a rain park in the swimming pool area. In addition, the City will work on a strategy for reusing municipal water.

WaterMan kick off - Kalmar and Västervik

The WaterMan project started in January this year and will run for three years with 16 full partners from 6 different countries (SE, DK, DE, PL, LT, LV, EE). The project itself aims to promote water reuse in the Baltic Sea region. It adds a new element to water management that can make the water supply more resilient to climate change. The key players in water reuse are local authorities and water companies, most of whom are still new to the topic.

One of the first activities of the WaterMan project was the kick-off conference in Kalmar and Västervik, which took place on March 14-16, 2023.

Participants of the project conference were welcomed by a representative of Kalmar County and GA-MA consulting. Except of discussing the basic issues related to the project, each of the partners presented themselves and their involvement in the project. 🇩🇰 🇱🇻 🇱🇹 🇵🇱 🇩🇪 🇸🇪

The second day of the conference was dedicated to pilot activities. Participants had the opportunity to participate in a study visit in Gamleby and Västervik, where they saw the pilot sites in Sweden and the current solutions regarding flooding and drought. In pilot locations, representatives of the cities told us about the place and the idea for action. A representative of Gamleby talked about the existing 1st generation dam, its concept, experience and the use of retained water. As part of the pilot of the WaterMan project, they want to recirculate retained water by extending the use of retained stormwater from multi-dam. In the second town of Västervik, the participants got to know the plans and challenge the city is facing. With the opportunity to test a pilot solution, they want to recirculate retained water by planning 2nd generation multi-dam(s) and preparing a local model water reuse strategy.

The meeting was attended by a large representation from Poland, i.e. the City Hall in Braniewo, the Gdańsk University of Technology and the Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic. The project includes both soft and pilot actions. One of such pilot sites will be in the City of Braniewo, which, with the cooperation and support of experts from the Gdańsk University of Technology, will implement the planned pilot project on the recirculation of retained water: in the form of an urban rain garden by a public swimming pool, reuse of water from a public swimming pool. In addition, a local model strategy will be prepared: Municipal water re-use strategy.

Additionally, pilot projects will be implemented in Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. All activities concern the subject of limiting the use of water in the Baltic Sea region. Example of pilot sites:

Except of pilot activities, the project will be based on soft activities such as:

The last day of the kick-off conference was devoted to the administrative and financial part of the project. The Leader Partner familiarized the partners with the procedures, rules and deadlines that are in the program. The leader and partners agreed on an action plan for this year, including another physical meeting and further online meetings. The last issue raised during the third day was the signing of the Partnership Agreement and the deadlines that partners must pay attention to when it comes to reporting substantive and financial activities.

Pre- kick-off of the WaterMan project, January 20, 2023, online

Leader of the Waterman project, Kalmar Region, launched the project on January 20, 2023. For the time being in online form due to the necessary discussion of important issues for the project. The project will last 3 years and its activities also include carrying out pilot activities at the various project locations. Whereas, an official ceremony will be held in Kalmar to launch the project with the participation of representatives from all project partners.

The project partners are from 6 countries in the Baltic Sea Region:

SWEDEN: Region Kalmar County (Lider); Kalmar Municipality; Kalmar Water; Vastervik Municipality

POLAND: Municipality of Braniewo; Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic; Gdansk University of Technology; Chamber of Commerce "Polish Waterworks"

DENMARK: Bornholms Water A/S; Bornholms Wastewater A/S

LITHUANIA: Association "Klaipeda Region"; Administration of Klaipėda; Klaipeda University; Kurzeme planning region; Saldus Municipality

DENMARK: Berlin Centre of Competence for gGmbH

ESTONIA: associated partner - Estonian Waterworks Association

The online meeting was attended by 32 representatives of the project partners.

Tobias Facchini, representative of the leader, spoke about important for partners issues, such as focus on legislative and administrative requirements, the BAMOS+ electronic billing system, reporting periods and necessary documentation, the launch of the project website, communication and information tools for visibility requirements for both the project and the program, as well as compliance with public procurement in cases of pilot activities and others.

The leader announced about the signing of the subsidy contract, which he will send out to all partners.

He also announced to reserve in the calendars the date of the official launch of the project, which will take place in Sweden, in the capital of the region, Kalmar, on March 14-16, 2023.

The main goal of the project is to reuse water - from the point of view of water management, this is a novel approach of a transnational nature.