Developing an innovative solution for water reuse through circular economy

The problem of water scarcity in Europe

Water scarcity is no longer limited to a few regions of Europe, but already a concern across the EU, with one third of the EU territory experiencing water stress. Water reuse has been evidenced as the most sustainable alternative to the use of freshwater sources in terms of cost and environmental impact. However, wastewater salinity is a challenge in wastewater treatment (WWTP) and reclamation plants (WRP) where collectors receive industrial brines, agricultural runoff waters and/or marine intrusion.

Developing an innovative solution for water reuse through circular economy

Conquer will develop an innovative wastewater reclamation plant (WRP) to enable water reuse by dividing nitrates and salinity and obtaining an effluent rich in nutrients to re-use it for irrigation instead of discharging them to the environment. Dissolved salts, already separated from the reclaimed water stream, will be concentrated and then transformed to sodium hypochlorite, promoting a cost-effective solution to transform concentrated saline effluents into valuable by-products.

Thanks to this solution, the total water footprint of Murcia city urban irrigation system will be reduced by 25%, and its total energy consumption will be reduced over 35%. Besides, the consumption of NaOCl in EMUASA facilities will also be reduced by up to 20%.

Developing an innovative solution for water reuse through circular economy

Current process

Water contamination by salts and nitrates

Contaminated groundwater infiltrated in residential areas has a high concentration of nitrates and salts due to the agricultural activity and marine water intrusion caused by overexploitation of aquifers.


Discharges with high potential for eutrophization

Such water is treated by conventional water reclamation plants, which do not fully remove nitrates and salts. Then, treated water does not meet irrigation water requirements due to the high salinity and is discharged into the environment, which can cause eutrophication due to its high content of nutrients.

LIFE Conquer

Irrigation of parks and gardensin Murcia

The effluent at the outlet of the reclamation plant is treated by a system of nanofiltration membranes, which allows to produce water rich in nitrates (nutrients) and with a low concentration of salts, which will be used to irrigate parks and gardens.


Transformation of brine in valuable products

The salts are concentrated in a brine that is treated by an electrochemical treatment to produce a disinfectant that can be used in water cycle facilities, avoiding the discharge of brines into the environment.