Water access and its related energy, environmental and economic costs 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.
WATER-MINING project aims to face this challenge and help ensure access to clean water and sanitation by exploring alternative water sources and developing innovative solutions for sustainable water management, including tapping into urban and industrial wastewater and seawater desalination.

WATER-MINING in numbers






case studies


year project


EU contribution

Objective 1

Upscale the production of a valuable bio-based product from the residues of wastewater treatment

Demonstrate an innovative spin-off from granular sludge produced in wastewater treatment at a large scale, whilst producing market valued bio-based alginate-like polymers (Kaumera)

Objective 2

Develop a sustainable method of extracting phosphate from wastewater

Demonstrate cost-effective recovery of phosphate from wastewater treatment effluent or surface water to ultra-low effluent concentrations

Objective 3

Design new methods for ensuring energy-efficient nutrient recovery from wastewater

Demonstrate the effectiveness of anaerobic membrane bioreactors and partial nitrification/annamox treatment, coupled with nutrient recovery technologies to recover energy, water and other valuable materials from the main water stream in municipal wastewater treatment plants, while extracting high-quality water to be reused for industrial and/or agricultural purposes

Objective 4

Develop Zero-Liquid-Discharge loop systems for pollution-free industrial wastewater

Demonstrate the reutilisation of water and materials (chlorine, salts) through the Zero-Liquid-Discharge closed loop systems that prevent pollution and significantly reduce water, energy and resource consumption in the industrial environment

Objective 5

Promote innovative circular economy business models within the wastewater cycle

Create innovative circular economy business models (with a focus on the services economy), promoting new forms of collaboration between suppliers and material end-users

Objective 6

Attract public and private funding for follow-up investments and upscaling

Mobilise private funding through public-private partnerships, by building framework agreements between relevant stakeholders (including technology suppliers, industries and public actors) for follow-up investments to upscale implementation

Objective 7

Increase public awareness and encourage the involvement of key actors in water management services

Improve citizens? and stakeholders? understanding and trust through active involvement in the circular water economy and bring circular water systems to public attention, using advanced information and communication tools to prove the opportunities that come with closing the water use cycle

Objective 8

Develop new policy measures to implement WATER-MINING?s innovative methods

Design and test both national and European policy and regulatory measures to adopt WATER-MINING technologies while addressing market failure (business, financing, consumption) and policy failures (pricing, conflicts, assumptions, unintended consequences)

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