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Welcome to the DESSIN website

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.


Open access publication: Making the ecosystem services approach operational: A case study application to the Aarhus River, Denmark

An article based on the research carried out in the DESSIN project was published open access by numerous DESSIN authors at the Science of the Total Environment journal at Elsevier.

Follow this link for the article.

From the abstract: The ecosystem services (ESS) approach seeks to identify and characterize links between ecosystems and human welfare. The DESSIN ESS evaluation framework is a novel methodology that has been developed to operationalize ecosystem service assessment, with a focus on urban freshwater settings. This paper describes an application of the framework to a retrospective case study in Aarhus, Denmark, which was used to test the framework and make suggestions for improvement. Click to read more

Open access publication: Large-scale river restoration pays off – A case study of ecosystem service valuation for the Emscher restoration generation project

An article based on the research carried out in the DESSIN project was published open access by numerous DESSIN authors at the Ecosystem Services Journal at Elsevier.

From the abstract: “Though the Ecosystem Service (ESS) approach is considered promising for integrated ecosystem management, its operationalisation is hampered by the lack of agreed evaluation instruments. To demonstrate the suitability of a structured ESS evaluation, we conducted a case study estimating the impact of the restoration of the Emscher River and its tributaries on the provision, use and benefit of ESS. The Emscher restoration is a large-scale project with immense temporal and financial efforts.

Click to read more

Ecosystem Services Journal publishes DESSIN article

The paper „Getting into the water with the Ecosystem Services Approach: The DESSIN ESS evaluation framework“ from various DESSIN authors has been published online at the Ecosystem Services Journal. The article gives a great overview of one of the main outcomes of the DESSIN project, the ESS Evaluation Framework.

From the abstract: “Driven by Europe’s pressing need to overcome its water quality and water scarcity challenges, the speed of innovation in the water sector is outpacing that of science. The methodologies available to assess the impact of innovative solutions to water-related challenges remain limited and highly theoretical, which sets boundaries on their application and usefulness to water practitioners.

Click to read more

Video about the Llobregat demo site

The Llobregat demo of the European project DESSIN has shown that injecting pre-potable water into aquifers is a feasible technique to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of groundwater recharge. This European project, in which 21 partners participate, has been successfully tested in the ETAP of Sant Joan Despí (Aigües de Barcelona) and has managed to improve both the quality and quantity of water in the Baix Llobregat aquifer. Click on read more to see the video. Click to read more

DESSIN final magazine available

The DESSIN project is coming to an end and it is a pleasure for us to present our last magazine to you. It gives an overview of our main results and the solutions tested and validated at the DESSIN demonstration sites in Norway, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Futhermore, the DESSIN Ecosystem Services Evaluation Tool is presented and there is timeline of the evolution of the project. To download or read the magazine, please click here.

Hoffselva showcase video

The Hoffselva River in Oslo, Norway, flows through an increasingly populated and urbanized area. As an important natural element in the urbanized environment of the lower catchment part, Hoffselva River provides recreational services, which are affected by the water quality. Along the river there are several combined sewer overflow facilities, shortly called CSO’s. During heavy rain events, they discharge untreated water with a high content in sewage garbage and particles as well as nitrogen and phosphorus into the river.

Therefore, the European research project DESSIN has demonstrated local treatment solutions for the overflow from CSOs, which are demonstrated in this video. Click to read more

DESSIN final conference

At the end of November the DESSIN project members met in Brussels, Belgium for their final conference. The event was embedded in a joint workshop with the WssTP working groups on Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure.

The scope of the workshop was to underline how Ecosystem Services (ESS), Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and Hybrid Grey-Green Infrastructure (HGGI) best practices, approach and methodologies can contribute to innovation in the water sector and help tackle water-related challenges, such as water quality and water scarcity. Three dedicated sessions highlighted experiences on implementation, success stories and success factors, as well as barriers to implementation and how they can be overcome. Also discussed were possible ways forwards for scaling up and market uptake, actions to be taken and implications for future European innovation activities in the field. Click to read more

Our final newsletter

The DESSIN project is coming to an end and it is a pleasure for us to present our last newsletter to you. It contains an article about our demo site in Norway, Hoffselva, and an interview with the Hoffselva project leader Herman Helness. Futhermore, you can read about DESSIN’s participation at the EIP Water Conference in Porto and the first Ecosystem Services (ESS) tool presentation. The ESS tool is explained in detail, especially focusing on the monitoring and evaluation system for market entry. Last, but not least, our final event, a joint workshop with WssTP on the 28th of November dealing with Ecosystem Services (ESS), Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and Hybrid Grey-Green Infrastructure (HGGI) is introduced. To download and read the newsletter, please click here. If you would like to register for our final event you can find more information here and register here.