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Water – the new black

By Project Manager Trine Balskilde Stoltenborg
Category Fossil Free Island

Water is a finite resource, and on an island it is extra costly if it runs out. We must therefore think in new constellations when it comes to water use and water flows. This is exactly the purpose of a recently completed Water Symbiosis project.

vand Without water, no life – even if the island of Samsoe is surrounded by water. Fresh water is necessary to maintain a household, agricultural production etc.

The Water Symbiosis project is conceived in circular economy loops, and that means rethinking and recycling. On Samsoe waste water is discharged directly into the sea, while at the same time there is a lack of water for irrigation of crops because ground water is a scarce resource on the island.

In the coming years, investment in new waste water solutions has to happen, not least because there are plans to increase both the volume and value of crop production on the island.

Likewise, there are plans to establish a biogas plant which will also use crops for fuel. These challenges could to be solved by using treated waste water for irrigation. The Water Symbiosis project has identified and explained the potential for irrigation of energy crops for biogas production with treated waste water on the island. One of the problems related to the use of treated waste water for irrigation is the uncertainty regarding the risk of pollution.

Moreover, the current legislation does not support such innovations due to the fact that the legislation takes for granted that in Denmark only ground water is used for irrigation, thus disregarding the fact that water is a finite resource which should be recycled. Thus, the problem is not addressed directly in the legislation.

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