Ecosystem services are currently a focus of intense interest. An ecosystem service is a ‘service’ that the ecosystem provides to humans. The groundwater resources we use for our drinking water supply would be one example. In today’s decision-making process interventions in the water system are often considered and assessed on a sector basis. Within the European DESSIN project, we are developing an integrated assessment method to gain insight into the impact of interventions in the water system on the ecosystem. Last week the project partners met in Barcelona.
During the DESSIN meeting in Barcelona we discussed the integrated method developed, and examined how this system can be incorporated into decision-making. With this method one can determine how the ecosystem can contribute sustainably, for example, to water treatment or to the supply of freshwater for agriculture and horticulture.
Barcelona and Westland pilots
Cetaqua is working in DESSIN on a pilot in which slightly contaminated surface water from the Llobregat river is collected and infiltrated in an aquifer. This helps counter the salinisation of the groundwater and provides for a better use of freshwater resources. KWR and Bruine de Bruin are working in DESSIN on the further development of the Westland case: the combination of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR), the Freshkeeper and reverse osmosis. Together with other case studies, these demonstrate that ecosystem services benefit from the development and implementation of water sector innovations.