6 sector-specific case studies Sea, Urban, and Industrial Water Mining

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Water access and its related energy, environmental and economic issues are one of the greatest challenges for society today.

According to the 2030 Water Resources Group of the World Bank global water demand by 2030 is expected to exceed sustainable water supply. The WATER-MINING project aims to face this challenge and help ensure access to clean water and sanitation by developing innovative solutions for the sustainable use of alternative water sources, including urban and industrial wastewater and seawater desalination.







case studies


year project


(16.9M € EU

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WATER-MINING is a research and innovation project that develops energy-efficient technologies for treating wastewater from urban and industrial areas and from desalination, whilst promoting the extraction of valuable products from the residues generated during the process.

The project is called WATER-MINING because as well as finding sustainable methods to treat wastewater and obtain alternatives sources of usable water, the project does so while recovering (MINING) valuable products from the residues generated during the process.

The project started on the 1st September 2020 and lasts for four, years until the 31st August 2024. With a total budget of 19.1 million euros the project is partially funded (16.9 million euros) by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project is coordinated by the Delft University of Technology from the Netherlands and brings together 38 public and private partners and four linked third parties from 12 countries across Europe.

Expectations for the project include the development of innovative technologies for: 1) a more energy-efficient and less polluting desalination process, 2) more sustainable techniques for extracting valuable products from urban wastewater residues such as phosphates and other bio-based valuables products, and 3) producing pollution-free industrial wastewater by using a Zero-Liquid-Discharge loop system.

In addition to these innovative methodologies the project expectations to increase public awareness about water management services, promote new circular economy business models within the wastewater cycle, attract public and private funding for the scaling-up of the methodologies developed, and develop adequate policy and regulatory documents for the implementation of the methodologies developed.

By finding new ways to access usable water, the project increases access to clean water and sanitation – a basic right that benefits every citizen. In addition, administrative bodies that are interested in improving the water management may also be interested in the outcomes of the project, positively impacting those who live in their regions. Finally, there is a business opportunity for SMEs and other companies with interest in the scaling-up of the methodologies and the market generated by these new sources of bio-based valuable products.

One of the main objectives of the project is to create new circular economy business models within the wastewater cycle. To do so, the project aims to improve the energy efficiency of water management processes and to enhance the recovery of valuable products from the residues; the project then find solutions for their reuse through the creation of a dedicated marketplace where potential producers and buyers of these valuable products can meet and interact.

If you are interested in project updates you can visit our website or follow us on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn). If you’d like to announce upcoming events or news related to WATER-MINING’s areas of interest you can share this with us via this form (link). Finally, if you’d like to contact the project’s management or communications team, please send an email to info@watermining.eu.

A WATER-MINING CoP is a group of diverse experts who share an interest in water issues. Participants in the CoPs interact regularly to exchange knowledge and develop ideas, contributing to innovative solutions for sustainable water management.

By joining a WATER-MINING CoP you connect with a network of stakeholders including end-users; technology providers; representative from the agriculture, energy and water sectors; regulators; local and regional authorities; and researchers. You will have the opportunity to build synergies and new professional relationships, and exchange knowledge with this diverse group. Furthermore, being involved in an EU project CoP can improve your
professional visibility in an international context.

WATER-MINING CoPs offer the chance to share your knowledge and ideas, and discuss the water issues and solutions addressed by the CoP during regular meetings. Furthermore, you can participate and contribute to knowledge exchange activities organised by the project as a key stakeholder.