Although wastewater treatment plant operators have not been obliged to reuse water so far, a large part of the companies surveyed believe that there will be a need for the reuse of treated wastewater in the future – or even today. This is in line with the trend that the European Commission has laid down in its Regulation 2020/741.
Increasing future demand for treated wastewater
According to survey participants, about half of whom are operators of size 5, 4a and 4b wastewater treatment plants, the demand for water reuse will increase in the future, both for agricultural irrigation and for irrigation of urban green spaces and industrial purposes. A quarter of survey participants have already been approached by a potential customer about reusing their treated water. The DWA wrote to a total of 481 plant operators to conduct the survey, 74 of whom completed the online questionnaire. The results have been published in the journal KA Korrespondenz Abwasser Abfall 2/2022.
Implementation of water reuse schemes in the "Flexitility" project
A business model for water reuse in agricultural, forestry and urban green space irrigation is currently being developed in the "Flexitility" (www.flexitility.de) research project. During an implementation phase starting in autumn of 2022, water reuse schemes will be implemented and tested together with the city of Herzberg and the Herzberg Water and Wastewater Association in the Elbe-Elster district.
Invitation to an expert panel
In this context, inter 3 and DWA are currently planning an expert panel with relevant stakeholders from the food industry to identify potentials and needs in the respective sectors.