IMPEL Wastewater in Natural Environment (WiNE) Project Team made their first site visit in Madeira, Portugal

04 Nov, 2022

The IMPEL Wastewater in Natural Environment (WiNE) aims to identify the best solutions in facilities, activities and final products to promote “reuse/circular markets” and improve a better water use efficiency, considering both quantity and quality. The project results are also intended to contribute to zero pollution solutions and, whenever possible, within the nexus water-food-energy-ecosystems. According with former outcomes (IMPEL project “Integrated Water Approach” 2018-2019), it was noticed that water reuse cannot be seen as single quantitative measure to reduce water abstraction, but instead quality must be linked with quantity to ensure safety and increasing of value through the chain of use, by the promotion of the natural values and activities directly connected with the emissions receiving environment. On a former phase of the project an indicator (the Water Circularity Index), and an excel tool for its assessment were developed. This indicator combines water quality and quantity aspects within installations and was applied to several examples. In this new phase, the project team intends to improve the indicator to be applied to final products, namely local/regional products with impact on local economies, food products irrigated/produced with reclaimed waters and products from large industrial installations.

Recently, an in-person event was promoted in Madeira Island to visit and understand the water use cycle in the sugarcane Rhum production, which is a regional and seasonal product with major impacts on wastewater discharges but with high importance for the island economy. Visits in two different distilleries, a hydroelectric power plant, and a meeting to discuss the application of the findings of the visits have been organised. During the site visits was possible to assess the relations between different activities (possibilities for water reuse) and explore the nexus water – food – energy.

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