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Celebrating the launch of the Sustainable Desalination Living Lab at the Plataforma Solar de Almer?a

Wednesday 9th of November 2022 is a day that will be remembered as a day of progress and action at the Plataforma Solar de Almer?a, where the WATER-MINING project celebrated the launch of the Sustainable Desalination Living Lab in the southern Spanish city. The project?s main focus is to promote the circular economy, the use of brine and to improve the connection between water, energy and food in arid regions by providing new sustainable sources of water for agriculture.

Image 1: Participants of the launch of the Sustainable Desalination Living Lab (source: PSA)

 

What is a Living Lab?

Living Labs are collaborative innovation ecosystems open to society. They represent a user-centred research methodology to design, evaluate prototypes, validate and implement complex solutions in multiple real and evolving contexts. The WATER-MINING project aims to demonstrate innovative technologies to improve water circularity and the sustainable use of alternative water sources. With this? objective the project plans to launch two different Living Labs: one located in Almer?a (Spain) and another one at the Floating Farm on the Port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) that will have its own opening day the 16th December 2022.

What was talked about?

Guillermo Zaragoza, head of the Living Lab, gave an inspiring presentation where he shared the roadmap to follow with the community of users, made up of a wide variety of actors including local authorities, researchers, users, representatives of irrigation communities, heads of desalination plants, amongst others. Many interesting points were raised, and the place was buzzing with ideas from the attendees. The day?s main takeaway message, which was also echoed by Evdokinos Konstantinidis (president of the European Living Labs network), was that more effort should be put into cross-sectoral collaboration and the involvement of social actors to ensure greater project sustainability.

What were the outcomes?

After an exciting tour of the solar desalination facilities at the Plataforma Solar de Almer?a, participants engaged in a brainstorming session to identify possible collaboration opportunities and new ideas for improving the project. Some of the things that participants agreed on were a collaboration between the desalination plants of Almeria and Carboneras to carry out brine recovery tests using thermal desalination technologies, and representatives of Almeria Science and Technology Park offering their facilities for irrigation tests using desalinated water. Other things that were proposed during the session include: studying water desalination technologies for the recovery of nitrates for use in agriculture; evaluating prototypes; researching processes for obtaining potassium from seawater, and to connect research with society through the educational system and dissemination activities.

Image 2: Participants in a tour of the solar desalination facilities at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria
(source: PSA)

 

More information on the Living Labs of the WATER-MINING project here