Steve Coupe (PhD). Coventry University, UK.
Over 2.5 million people die per year due to lack of access to adequate clean water with the vast majority, from developing countries. By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by recurring water shortag-es. ProWater-CV is a pilot project that will demonstrate innovative solutions by developing the water services of the future and closing the water cycle, ena-bling the transition towards a circular economy in Cape Verde (CV) thanks to the integration of three interrelated pathways: water, energy and materials. This project brings together 10 partners, including 3 large public enterprises (LE) 5 Institutions of Higher Education (HEI), and one NGO. These organisa-tions are operating in water industries, and the scientific team is working on advances in water, energy and materials. The project will develop a pilot in Cape Verde with replication potential in the EU and worldwide.
The archipelago of CV where the pilot will be based faces extreme water short-ages. With less than 150 mm rainfall a year and around 20% lost directly into the sea, 13% infiltrating into the soil, 67% evaporating, the lack of wa-ter caused more than 200,000 deaths in the 20th century. The country is forced to import almost 82 % of its food due to lack of water. Much of the rain falls during August-September, sometimes October; runoff is high (between 20 and 53%) due to the steep terrain and rainfall intensity. Where it falls onto imper-meable surfaces in cities, it causes flooding; potentially useful water is lost. Since there are few permanent watercourses in the islands, Cape Verde de-pends on groundwater, particularly for agriculture. Springs and wells are the main sources.
The aim of the ProWater-CV project is to develop and demonstrate innovative solutions for future Water Services, to close the Water Cycle, transitioning to a Circular Economy in Water for semi-arid regions. This will be done through related pathways, Water, Energy and Materials. ProWater-CV will identify best practices, technology, education and new business models to improve water use, reduce carbon-based energy, providing agricultural materials. The project will develop demonstrators in Cape Verde with high replication potential for Europe. Technologies to be assessed will be desalination, reverse osmosis, for-ward osmosis, membrane filtration, algal treatment and bio-solid fertilizer. For energy, wave, solar, wind, AD, electrolyzers, and fuel cells will be tested.