Improving water management and supply infrastructure via smart technologies, policies and tools
Water is essential for human life, nature and the economy. It is permanently renewed but it is also finite and cannot be made or replaced with other resources. Freshwater constitutes only about 2% of the water on the planet and competing demands may lead to an estimated 40% global water supply shortage by 2030″ while drinking water losses from ageing water distribution networks leakage within Member States vary from 7 % to 50% or more. (Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources). It is the aim of SAVE-WATER project to address these challenges to preserve our resource base for life, nature and the economy and protect human health. More specifically, the overall objective of the SAVE-WATER is to increase the capacity of cross border infrastructure in water management by means of technology transfer and enhancing management efficiency. The expected changes that SAVE-WATER will initiate are: 1. Elaborate transnational and join-up approaches to respond to common drinking water pressures, 2. Produce state of the art sustainable technological solutions for robust drinking water monitoring, 3. Elaborate the effectiveness of the local administrations for protection, conservation and sound use of water resources and 4. Improve operational reliability and safety of water supply systems especially in touristic areas. The main outputs can be summarized to: 1. A transnational network and a protocol for common monitoring of drinking water demand and quality, 2. An information system and a prototype of a smart sensor and smart sensor networks for effective drinking water monitoring and decision-making and their implementation in the pilot activities, 3. A Transnational Action Plan and a Policy paper for joint strategies towards prevention and mitigation of risks and water resource vulnerabilities from natural or/and man-made pressures. The main target groups of SAVE_WATER project are: 1. Local population served by improved drinking water supply, 2. regional administrations and local entities, achieving efficient & effective management of drinking water resources, and 3. tourists due to the sustainable use of water resources. The project’s approach focus in i) the enhancement of drinking water quality against natural and man-made pressures ii) the enhancement of partners’ capacity to water management and iii) the sustainable use of water resources. The transnational approach is essential for SAVE-WATER since main causes of negative impacts on water status such that climate change, industry, agriculture and tourism have a transnational character, 60% of the EU’s territory having trans-boundary river basins. The originality of SAVE-WATER steams to the introduction of low cost smart sensors and networks which, for the first time, will cover very large transnational areas leading to the development of a robust monitoring infrastructure and decision making tool producing valuable tools with significant added value.