First SALutions project started

With pilots at six locations worldwide – including the US, Mexico and the Netherlands – Arcadis and KWR begin working on a Decision Support Tool for full-scale implementation of Subsurface Water Solutions.

Arcadis and KWR Watercycle Research Institute have launched the first Allied Waters project: ‘Bringing coastal Subsurface Water Solutions to the global market’. The project’s overall goal is to accelerate the market uptake of Subsurface Water Solutions as robust, effective, sustainable and cost-efficient answers to the freshwater challenges in coastal areas worldwide.

Coastal areas are the most densely populated, productive and economically dominant regions in the world. But the associated heightened demand for water puts tremendous pressure on freshwater resources and coastal ecosystems. This leads to problems like seasonal water shortages, overexploitation of groundwater resources, saltwater intrusion, land subsidence and the disappearance of wetlands.

Over the past six years, Dutch innovators (KWR, ARCADIS and partners) have developed a set of practical tools and concepts that offer solutions to a number of important freshwater resource problems in coastal areas. These Subsurface Water Solutions protect, enlarge and utilize fresh groundwater resources through advanced groundwater management, which goes far beyond the levels of control provided by standard water management techniques.

Aversion to the perceived investment risks involved has been one of the key barriers to the full-scale implementation of these innovative technologies. This issue is highlighted in ‘Barriers and Bottlenecks for Innovation in the Water Sector’, a report of the European Innovation Partnership on Water.

In response, this first SALutions project aims to accelerate the market uptake of Subsurface Water Solutions by developing a Decision Support Tool that guides the elaboration of strategies for the full-scale commercial implementation of the technologies worldwide. The tool will break down the risk aversion barrier by evaluating different business models, thus supporting end-users in making investment decisions to implement these technologies. Allied Waters in this way will provide a solid framework to spread the concept in the global market. The project will deliver strategies for the full-scale implementation at six locations, including Dinteloord (the Netherlands), Venice (Florida, US) and Maneadero Valley (Mexico). The three other locations will be decided on during the course of the project.

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