Rainwater collected in lakes and reservoirs has been the main source for water supply in Norway. However, rainwater in cities, also called stormwater, was treated as "waste" in past engineering practices, was thus drained away from urban areas as quickly as possible. Climate change has caused more frequent extreme rainfall events, increasing consequences of flood damages and pollution caused by combined sewer overflow discharges (CSOs) from the sewer systems, but also drought and water shortage. To minimize the negative impacts, it is essential to treat the stormwater locally through a range of Blue Green solutions and harvesting the rainwater or greywater for different exploitations.
The H2020 project Waste2Fresh - Smart innovative system for recycling wastewater and creating closed loops in textile manufacturing industrial processes - addresses freshwater resource scarcity and water pollution challenges exacerbated by energy-intensive industries. The project proposes to combat the challenges and industry needs by developing and demonstrating a closed loop recycling system for industrial wastewater management, including using rainwater a resource in the integrated system processes.
The project ENRICH - Enhance Rainwater Harvesting and Innovative wastewater management in Norway - was developed to tackle the challenges and enhance the impacts of the H2020 project in Norway.
The objectives of the project ENRICH are:
. Disseminate the innovative concept and approach of the H2020 project Waste2Fresh in Norway
. Increase the interest and know-how in use of rainwater resource and reuse of industrial wastewater (grey water) for multipurpose
. Enhance the social and environmental benefits as well as the economic value of rainwater and grey water
. Create possibilities and long-term impacts, such as adaptation to climate change, development of green technologies, increase job opportunity, etc.
The project is carrying out the following activities:
. Contribute to the national conferences Climate Adaptation Days in 2021 and 2022, highlight rainwater and grey water important resources in Norway.
. Organise an international webinar on Rainwater harvesting (RWH) and stormwater management (SWM) and learn from international experience.
. Write scientific publications.
. Participate in international conferences and workshops to communicate with relevant actors and disseminate the project findings.
. Disseminate the knowledge of RWH-SWM to the education sector through collaboration with universities.
. Planning demonstration projects through collaboration with research institutes, public and industrial sectors, and private users.
There have been several water problems globally, such as flooding, drought, water shortage, water pollution, and groundwater depletion. All these issues are related to rainwater: flooding occurs because of excessive rainwater; drought and water shortage are results of a reduced rainfall; non-point source pollution occurs during rainfall or runoff transportation; and groundwater depletion is caused by reduced rainwater infiltration because of increasing of impermeable surfaces and over-exploitation of groundwater. Traditionally, rainwater is treated as a “waste” in many cities, thus is drained away. Few engineers and citizens recognize the importance of rainwater, its social and environmental benefits and economic value. Therefore, proper rainwater management (RWM) is required to mitigate most of these global water challenges, ensuring sustainability and enhancing the resilience of the existing urban water infrastructure systems.
The fundamental questions regarding exploitation of rainwater and reusing grey water in Norway are:
• Can the Rainwater resources be collected and used safely for different purposes?
• How to transfer from the Rainwater problems to resources in urban catchments?
• How to increase the reuse potentials of grey water and recycling wastewater resources?
Based on the concept and approach from H2020 project Waste2Fresh and the recent research and innovation progress on rainwater harvesting and stormwater management in Norway, the project ENRICH introduces a new paradigm of rainwater and wastewater management to the targeting groups in Norway, including water and wastewater agencies in municipalities, innovation water companies, research institutes and universities to treat rainwater and wastewater as resources for recycling and reuse. The objectives of the project are to be achieved through tight collaboration of the project partners in collaboration with vannklyngen- Smart Water Norway and full-support from the H2020 project team members.