The sweetness of brackish water
Sweet and salt don't mix. Especially when the two are separated by brackish groundwater. How much brackish water is in between differs, but the existence is quite common along the coast. Can you use this water to make tasty and reliable drinking water? Does extracting mean we gain more space to keep more fresh water in stock? Dunea, De Watergroep, IWVA, KWR and Allied Waters will investigate this between 1 July 2020 and the end of 2025. First in the dunes of The Hague, the Netherlands - protected under Natura 2000-law. And second in Avekapelle, Belgium, where the pilot will be replicated. This provides reliable data and experience to value brackish groundwater and future application opportunities.
How it works
Clean fresh water is valuable, and one must continue to protect it. Whenthere’s not enough, can brackish groundwater also be used as a sourceof drinking water? Does it create more storage for fresh water in the underground? This is topic of EU-LIFE subsidized research. How? Look at this video.
Climate Adaptation Summit
Dunea's multi-source strategy and The Freshman-project should keep drinking water available even as climate change and other impacts pile up. By working together and exchanging knowledge we want to learn and inspire others to help the world and our clients into a resilient future.
The importance of the pilot
We need to fight climate change as much as possible, but also adapt to it. Clean fresh water is important for public health, well-being and prosperity. If brackish groundwater proves to be a good source of drinking water, it can give drinking water companies along the coast an option to be less dependent on other sources and/or to continue to provide drinking water to the growing population in the region.
Having fresh water in stock helps to get through dry times. The more, the better. Removing brackish groundwater at the edge of the freshwater bubble can make the deep (freshwater) extractions in the dunes less susceptible to salinization (the Freshkeeper effect). It also increases the freshwater supply in case of calamities. The European Union considers this research so important to Europe that they have awarded a sustainability grant from the Life programme to help make the 'Freshman' project possible.
In addition to the research partners, stakeholders from the area are involved. Their advice and concerns also contribute to more and broader knowledge.
Province of Zuid Holland
Municipality of The Hague
Dune Conservation Foundation
Berkheide Coepelduynen Foundation