The overall objective of the project is conservation of water and energy. More specifically, the project aims at: a) conservation of potable water, through its substitution with row ground water of quality that is suitable for secondary uses (toilet flushing, cleaning, irrigation), and reduction of need for chlorination, which has adverse environmental effects when fed back in rivers (lightly treated waste water). b) Substitution of fossil fuels by shallow geothermal energy (open loop ground water heat pumps), installed in areas of high water table.
The innovative aspect of the project is the combination of the 2 aforementioned targets the additional and equally important one of building basement protection from flooding. Ground water pumping will be minimized, firstly because excessive pumping can also have negative effects in structural stability, and secondly since the water pumped, will first be used for energy extraction, and then for toilet flushing and gardening.
The project fits exactly to the programme’s thematic objective 2.6, namely: “Preserving And Protecting The Environment And Promoting Resource Efficiency”. In particular, it fits investment priority 6f, namely: “Promoting innovative technologies to improve environmental protection and resource efficiency in the waste sector, water sector, soil protection or to reduce air pollution.”, for the following reasons:
a) It leads to conservation of high value, treated, potable water, that it is actually wasted, when used for purposes requiring water of much inferior quality.
b) It leads to air pollution reduction, since it substitutes fossil fuels by heat pumps exploiting shallow aquifers.
c) It promotes use of local water resources, which either remain useless or constitute a hazard to nearby buildings. Implicitly, pressure on water resources feeding the urban water supply network is reduced, too (since smaller water quantities will be diverted).