Water is a natural starting point for creating a more circular economy. Water is the single most important shared resource across all supply chains, and can be considered a natural resource, a consumable good, and a durable good. Each of these three forms involve different stakeholders, business models, infrastructure, services and policies, and are subject to different barriers and drivers.

To capture the full potential of the circular water economy, WATER-MINING proposes strategies for each of these three water forms, involving six sector-specific case studies (CS). The aim is to benchmark, refine and establish commercial implementation routes for the proposed approaches and technologies. The proposed strategies are carefully designed to reflect the different needs of water users, as follows:

Work Packages

Case Studies

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Water as a resource: water demands need to be met by the public administration, and the need for alternative water sources is increasingly recognised. Seawater desalination is expected to play a key role, especially in water-stressed regions.

Urban Mining

Water as a consumable: Over the course of the 20th century, the world population tripled, and together with the increased levels of consumption and living standards, water demand has substantially increased. Urban water consumption is just a small fraction of the total human water use, but it remains an important potential alternative water source.

Industrial Mining

Water as a durable: Durable goods are defined as goods used for final consumption repeatedly over a period of more than one year. The development of innovative technologies is seen as an opportunity for reducing water demand in industrial sectors.

Living Labs

WATER-MINING aims to actively involve and engage with stakeholders from across the water value chain, with a particular emphasis on the agricultural, urban and industrial sectors. The creation of two living labs in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Almeria (Spain) will offer an engaging environment around the different innovations demonstrated.

Rotterdam (the Netherlands)

Leader: Floating Farm

The Floating Farm is a small-scale innovative circular farm located in the port of Rotterdam, addressing animal welfare, sustainable food production, changing landscape conditions and wastewater management. The Floating Farm produces local food based on sustainable and circular principles, aiming for self-sufficiency in water and energy consumption.

The Floating Farm produces its required energy and products inside the city, and will experiment with low-energy water desalination from the river Meuse, as well as urine-water purification to produce reusable water and recover nutrients to be used as fertilizer. Floating Farm has a high public profile and attracts many citizens and local stakeholders to its activities, which engage in value exploration, behavioural reflection, and innovative solutions.

Almeria (Spain)

Leader: CIEMAT

The Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA) is located in southern Spain and has become a point of reference in the use of solar energy for desalination. PSA’s infrastructure is contributes to the development of top-quality cutting-edge research, as well as the communication, exchange, and preservation of knowledge, technology transfer, and the promotion of innovation. In particular, PSA focuses on the use of solar thermal energy, both for concentrated solar power production and desalination, and as a WATER-MINING living lab it will support the engagement of stakeholders involved in the water-energy-food nexus through specific events and their regular programme of visits.