Coastal areas are the most productive and economically dominant regions of the world. The high water demand in these regions, however, puts tremendous pressure on their freshwater resources and ecosystems. This leads to problems like seasonal water shortages, salinisation and the disappearance of wetlands.

Over the past few years a number of innovative, practical concepts have been developed for the protection, extension and utilisation of freshwater resources in coastal areas. These subsurface water solutions (SWS) combine innovations in water well design and configuration, allowing for advanced groundwater management and maximum control over freshwater resources.

Subsurface Water Solutions

SUBSOL targets a market breakthrough of SWS as robust answers to freshwater resource challenges in coastal areas. Within SUBSOL, at a number of locations in Europe and elsewhere (Mexico), demonstration projects are being conducted in which SWS are being tailored to field conditions. We also carry out market scans and develop business cases for promising regions in Europe (Mediterranean, north-west Europe) and worldwide (US, Brazil, China, Vietnam).

The SUBSOL consortium combines knowledge institutes, technology SMEs, internationally active consultants and end-users.


Video – 04:18

Innovative, practical concepts for advanced freshwater management

SWS offer innovative, practical concepts for freshwater management in coastal areas. They have been tested under field conditions at pilot sites and are ready for market uptake. SUBSOL has demonstrated that SWS are capable of contributing to the sustainable supply of freshwater in coastal areas, energy savings, food production and cost savings.

We distinguish the following SWS applications:

  • Freshkeeper: addressing salinisation of freshwater resources.
  • Freshmaker: expanding, protecting and utilising freshwater lenses with Horizontal Directional Drilled Wells (HDDW).
  • ASR-Coastal (Aquifer Storage and Recovery): temporary storage of freshwater in brackish groundwater.

Our ambition with SUBSOL is to remove obstacles to innovation and to open up the market to technologies in the area of subsurface water storage in coastal areas worldwide. To support the further development and application of Subsurface Water Solutions worldwide, within SUBSOL we develop a web based knowledge environment (knowledge base / toolbox / market place) for SWS.

Interview met Bjorn Jensen (Vice-directeur van GEUS)

SUBSOL has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642228.