EDA held a workshop in Athens recently to conclude the first phase of the Smart Blue Water Camps (SBWC) research project.
Water infrastructure is facing pressures due to climatic changes and sometimes a lack of investment. At the same time, military installations can be insufficiently acknowledged in both distributed water management and pollution control despite their ubiquitous presence.
Against this backdrop, EDA’s SBWC research project was launched in 2017 with the Hellenic MOD as lead nation to investigate how to improve water management in military camps from sustainability, hydro-informatics, and technological perspectives. During 2017 and 2018 at sites from each of the six participating Member States involved (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain), the National Technical University of Athens collated water supply, distribution and consumption data, and made technical assessments. Bespoke recommendations were made for each of the military sites from across these different European geographic and climatic regions based on:
- detailed modelling of water and wastewater cycle of each camp using an Urban Water Cycle Optioneering Tool (UWOT)
- assessments of alternative scenarios regarding interventions for each camp
- consideration of social, economic, environmental and technological context factors such as population, monitoring and automation of water transmission and storage systems, budget availability, regional water quantity and quality, climate change, and the feasibility of using information and communications technology (ICT)
- development of Key Performance Indicator protocols, including economic, operational and social impacts
- economic assessments of interventions for each camp based on modelling results.
Recommended interventions varied in scale and complexity and ranged from those of a more straightforward nature, such as the installation of grey water recycling and water harvesting systems, to more technologically sophisticated measures, such as the application of ground penetrating radar to support leak detection and control or the use of a grid of smart sensors to enable real-time monitoring and management of water supply systems.
It was found that leakage was responsible for considerable water losses with mitigation measures costing around 40% of the annual cost of water lost to leakage in one case, thereby providing a significant return on investment.
Rainwater harvesting in another case could provide nearly two thirds of the supply required for vehicle washing. Installation of smart water grid systems would integrate ICT into the management of the water distribution systems to optimize operation of the water supply network.
The conclusions of the final report were presented and the way ahead, such as implementation of nationally based recommendations as well as potential further steps, were discussed at the workshop chaired by Richard Brewin, EDA Project Officer Energy and Environment Systems.