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Innovative solutions for sustainable drinking water treatment at small to medium scales

Within the EU 20/20 program and national strategic objectives, there is recognition for a need to transition to a resource efficient and regenerative circular economy. Within this, water is seen as a significant enabling factor. While major urban managed water systems have seen much improvement to performance, small to medium supplies still require optimisation. The challenges require a balancing of investment, chemical usage, and energy demand that meets expectations of improved water quality and availability. The identification of suitable innovations that deliver value over a range of operating conditions when applied to medium/small managed private drinking water systems will help achieve this ambition. This project aims to survey the technology landscape (national and international) and develop a rational for assessing the technology across a range of operational scenarios predominantly in managed private drinking water systems.

Project Objectives

  1. Conduct a literature review of water innovation and the use of Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) to determine technology relevance/effectiveness.
  2. Compile a list of technologies that could improve and enhance drinking water treatment (at a range of treatment stages for targeted regulatory parameters), and assess their sustainability for rural communities.
  3. Develop and populate a set of criteria that judge the effectiveness of these innovations  for a range of designed criteria on drinking water quality and human health protection but also environmental and other externalities and potential dis-benefits (capex, opex, GHG, energy, raw material inputs etc.).
  4. Deliver a comprehensive model that includes uncertainty.
  5. Consider a range of typologies of usage that define situations of usage for which these criteria (from 2, 3) are to be scored (e.g. water quality types or landscape risk factors, size of supply, nature of business supplied, availability of skilled operatives for servicing etc. that may set bounds of usage across different Scottish regions).
  6. Determine with Scottish Water/DWQR/industry thresholds of acceptable operating parameters for drinking water treatment (across selected stages of treatment) in relation to attaining regulatory compliance.
  7. Using the pooled knowledge from 2-5, develop an MCA/LCA framework for the assessment of technology across a range of operational conditions (treatment type and scale).
  8. Using the framework, rank/score the technologies. Recommend innovations on the basis of best value.