#7 | Fostering water reuse and digitalization

By Adriana Romero (Cetaqua)

Urban resilience and digital transformation are key challenges in the water cycle sector, aligned with SDOs (Sustainable Development Objectives) 6, Clean water and sanitation, and 13, Climate action.

In this sense, LIFE Conquer contributes to address both challenges with a sustainable and innovative solution to produce regenerated water suitable for agricultural irrigation within the Murcia Region, one of the most water stressed areas in Spain. This solution adds a tertiary treatment train to partially treat the Zarandona WWTP’s effluent, mixing both treated waters (secondary and tertiary effluents) to maximize high quality regenerated water production suitable for agricultural irrigation while minimizing operation costs.

The tertiary treatment consists of a nanofiltration membrane unit able to permeate water along with nitrates while rejecting the salts; this innovative technology allows to remove water salinity, harmful for soil and crops, while keeping nitrates in the water, which are uptaked by crops as nitrogen source during irrigation. This separation of nitrates from salts present in the water obeys to a sensitive equilibrium strongly dependent on water composition, membrane characteristics and operational conditions.

In order to ensure quality water production, a digital tool will be developed to monitor all these parameters and control the process based on a predictive algorithm for permeated and rejected water profiles. In a second loop, the digital tool will take into account the mixing of waters to maximize regeneration water production while minimizing costs in nanofiltration step through the optimization of membrane operational parameters and cleaning episodes.

Innovation and digitalization, keys for the future of Murcia Region

Cetaqua has experience in membrane processes for water reuse as well as in digital solutions development for water treatment facilities (WWTPs, WRPs). Technical and digital expertise come together in LIFE Conquer project to provide a sustainable, cost-effective solution for water reuse in Murcia Region that relies on innovative and digitalized processes for regenerated water production.