The European water research project DESSIN demonstrates and promotes innovative solutions for water scarcity and water quality related challenges & demonstrates a methodology for the valuation of ecosystem services (ESS).
DESSIN is centred around five demonstration sites with special focus on urban areas across Europe, where solutions are being tested and validated. All information and products resulting from the project will be introduced on this website.
DESSIN has just issued a video about one of its solutions to tackle water scarcity. At Athens, DESSIN demonstrates sewer mining technologies as a novel concept for distributed re-use within the urban environment, exploiting state-of-the-art information and communication technology solutions for distributed monitoring and management of multiple sites combined with small packaged plants.
The demo site is also being used as a test bed for testing reused water characteristics on the soil, irrigating onsite peri-urban green. The demo site examines a major component of ecosystem services (ESS) specifically relevant for arid regions: the mitigation of heat island effects due to irrigation of urban green.
The DESSIN Ecosystem Services (ESS) Framework helps decision-makers to make the best choice by evaluating the effects that innovative solutions have on freshwater ecosystems and their services. Now the brochure “Ecosystem Services Evaluation for Decision Making” (download here for free) is available.
DESSIN has developed a structured approach to measure changes in ecosystems services (the benefits humans obtain from ecosystems). With it, the project is bringing the concept of ecosystem services from theory to practice and using it to boost innovation in the water sector. The recently created “DESSIN ESS Evaluation Framework” supports decision-making and promotes the uptake of innovative solutions to water quality and water scarcity challenges in urban areas. It will also facilitate the integration of the ecosystem services concept into EU Water Framework Directive implementation.
At the end of January, around 30 DESSIN partners met up for a Project Steering Board meeting in Barecelona, Spain, hosted by project partner Cetaqua.
The conference started with an SME peer exchange workshop to reflect jointly on the expectations and results of DESSIN at the start of its final year from an SME perspective. Discussed were the SMEs’ understanding of ESS relevance and how it evolved during the project. Building on this exchange, there was a peer exchange on using ESS valuation and other DESSIN results effectively in the SME/business context. This included an analysis of needs per SME and strategy sketch of putting DESSIN results to use post-project. Lastly, relevant EU Programmes for SMEs and other opportunities to collaborate were discussed.
The Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) won a prestigious award for DESSIN increasing the value of the pilot as a high profile showcase. EYDAP participated in the European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE) and excelled at the National level. The Panhellenic Association of Environmental Protection Enterprises (PASEPPE) together with the EU Representation in Greece awarded EYDAP two prizes for the Athens sewer mining pilot, in two categories: “Products and Services” and “Business and Biodiversity”. The first category refers to the successful placing on the market of a new product or service that makes an outstanding contribution to sustainable development, while the second one refers to a successful business model, management scheme, product and service or international cooperation, which makes a significant contribution to halting biodiversity loss and supporting natural ecosystems.
Like in 2015, the Westland demosite for aquifer storage and recovery in combination with reverse osmosis (ASRO) still is a unique site to demonstrate, document, and evaluate this water innovation.
Plenty of scientists, policy makers and water users find their way to the site. For instance, a meeting was organised together with the Rabobank (financing most Dutch horticulturists) at September 16th. During this meeting interested agriculturists from the area visited the site for presentations on the technique, but also on interesting ways to finance this type of sustainable innovations. A delegation from Vietnam was welcomed on October 13th, while on October 24th delegates from the Gulf Cooperation Council visited the site to explore its potential for the Gulf States. Both regions suffer from saline groundwater and a lack of storage opportunities aboveground. These latter visits were arranged together with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RvO).
From June 20th to 24th, the researchers Jordi Martín and Koen Zuurbier attended the 9th International Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (ISMAR9) in Mexico City to present the results of the DESSIN project. Westland and Llobregat represented the two demo sites of the project focused on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR).
With twenty-three attendants from across Europe, the DESSIN Ecosystem Services Evaluation Framework webinar was a success. The framework and a practical example of its application were presented by Gerardo Anzaldua (Ecologic Institute), who led the working group developing the framework, and Nadine Gerner (Emschergenossenschaft), who led the application of the framework on three case study sites. The webinar includes an ample Q&A session with an extended group of members from the framework development team and lasted over an hour. Find the webinar and the Power Point presentation for download here!
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Ronjon Chakrabarti from adelphi presented a DESSIN poster titled “Perspectives from Europe: Ecosystem services valuation for innovation promotion” at the end of August at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The poster was presented within the third session: “Ecosystem degradation and livelihoods. Moving from vicious to virtuous cycles” by ICIMOD, SIWI, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, WRC and We Effect.
Around 60 people attended the session where Ronjon Chakrabarti was able to give a short presentation about the ESS Evaluation Framework, which was received with great interest by the participants.
My name is Gerardo and I am a Fellow at Ecologic Institute in Berlin. I am a mechanical engineer and business administrator by training, and a policy analyst and consultant by doing. My research focuses on the economic aspects of water policy and the practical application of the ecosystem services approach. I also do consultancy work on business development for organizations creating technological innovations to enable the efficient and sustainable use of water resources.
Currently I lead activities in three European research projects involving innovation in the water sector (DESSIN, SWITCH-ON and BRIGAID) and I am member of the European Topic Centre on Inland Coastal and Marine waters (ETC-ICM), which supports the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its research and assessment of European waters. Click to read more