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The AquaNES project will catalyse innovations in water and wastewater treatment processes and management through improved combinations of natural and engineered components. Among the demonstrated solutions are natural treatment processes such as bank filtration (BF), managed aquifer recharge (MAR) and constructed wetlands (CW) plus engineered pre- and post-treatment options.
The project focuses on 13 demonstration sites in Europe, India and Israel covering a repre-sentative range of regional, climatic, and hydrogeological conditions in which different combined natural-engineered treatment systems (cNES) will be demonstrated through active collaboration of knowledge and technology providers, water utilities and end-users. Our specific objectives are

• to demonstrate the benefits of post-treatment options such as membranes, activated carbon and ozonation after bank filtration for the production of safe drinking water
• to validate the treatment and storage capacity of soil-aquifer systems in combination with oxidative pre-treatments
• to demonstrate the combination of constructed wetlands with different technical post- or pre-treatment options (ozone or bioreactor systems) as a wastewater treatment option
• to evidence reductions in operating costs and energy consumption
• to test a robust risk assessment framework for cNES
• to deliver design guidance for cNES informed by industrial or near-industrial scale expe-riences
• to identify and profile new market opportunities in Europe and overseas for cNES

The AquaNES project will demonstrate combined natural-engineered treatment systems as sus-tainable adaptations to issues such as water scarcity, excess water in cities and micro-pollutants in the water cycle. It will thus have impact across the EIP Water’s thematic priorities and cross-cutting issues, particularly on ‘Water reuse & recycling’, ‘Water and wastewater treatment’, ‘Water-energy nexus’, ‘Ecosystem services’, ‘Water governance’, and ‘DSS & monitoring’.

The Role of FHNW


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Prof. Dr. Thomas Wintgens
Prof. Dr. Thomas Wintgens

Lecturer in environmental and water technologies

Telephone +41 61 228 55 31 (direct)


Rita Hochstrat
Rita Hochstrat

Research Associate

Telephone +41 61 228 56 87 (direct)