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DESSIN: How can we make sustainable use of the ecosystem to solve water problems?

The ecosystem can offer solutions to many of the ‘water’ problems that confront us, such as water scarcity and poor water quality. The challenge is to make sustainable use of the ecosystem and, if possible, to actually improve it instead of harming it. But evaluating the options is difficult. The EU-financed DESSIN research project therefore proposes to develop an evaluation framework to help the companies and authorities concerned with the use ‘ecosystem services’ to choose the right, sustainable measures – for example, to purify polluted water, or to make up for water shortages in agriculture or in urban areas through the provision of extra freshwater.

Developing an evaluation framework

On 16 and 17 March, the DESSIN project partners from Germany, Spain, Greece, Norway and the Netherlands met at KWR to share their experiences in the development and application of innovations in the watercycle. This marked an important step towards the development of a generic evaluation framework, an internationally applicable tool for the assessment of the impact of measures on the ecosystem.

Photo: Visit by the DESSIN project group to the Prominent showcase, where freshwater is temporarily stored in the subsurface for use in greenhouse horticulture in drought periods.

Photo: Visit by the DESSIN project group to the Prominent showcase, where freshwater is temporarily stored in the subsurface for use in greenhouse horticulture in drought periods.