What the sustainable water revolution will be like

Scenarios, projects and opportunities related to the technological innovation of "blue gold" from a research and circular economy perspective

Industry players have spoken about this in a debate organized on May 16th at the CAP Group Research Center

Purificated water that becomes a source of substances such as phosphorus and nitrogen, or raw material to produce biomethane in a circular economy perspective. Water that becomes the key to the sustainable development of our smart cities, capable for example of absorbing and storing it and then reusing it when needed. Water synonymous with innovation, which becomes a subject of study in the field of scientific research to remove emerging micropollutants (drugs and personal care products) or to apply new technologies applied to agriculture and the renewable energy sector.
These are the fascinating challenges that see the blue gold as the protagonist, told during the conference "The Water Revolution" organized on May 16th by CAP Group, manager of the public urban water of the Metropolitan City of Milan, which involved entrepreneurs, researchers, administrators, representatives of international organizations in the debate to understand how technological innovation can guarantee a sustainable future for water resources.
CAP Group, which brings 220 million cubic meters of water to 2.5 million Milanese hinterland citizens every year, to present its long-term strategy with its first sustainability plan, which aims the goal on 2033: a time frame to imagine the evolution of future scenarios and anticipate the impact of the main social, environmental and economic trends on the lives of citizens. Gruppo CAP, che porta ogni anno 220 milioni di metri cubi di acqua a 2,5 milioni di cittadini dell’hinterland milanese,
"To have quality water, you need upstream management that is not only efficient, but sensitive, resilient and projected towards innovation. This is why when we talk about water resources, we think of long-term industrial governance. A new way of thinking about water in our daily lives focused on environmental sustainability will require research, innovation, work and important investments", declared Alessandro Russo, president and CEO of CAP Group, while inaugurating the event.

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In the spotlight of the round table one of the projects presented by Gruppo CAP, outstanding and supported by Regione Lombardia for its high level of innovation, considered unique in Italy, PerFORM WATER 2030, acronym standing for Platform for Integrated Operation Research and Management of Public Water towards 2030, aims to form a widespread platform for research, development and implementation of technologies and decision-making tools aimed at ensuring an increasingly effective management of the public urban water.
The project intervention activities are of strategic importance for the whole sector of the urban water management, ranging from the constant supply of high quality water to the reduction of sludge production, from the recovery of resources to savings and energy production, from to the reduction of atmospheric emissions, to the monitoring of emerging pollutants, also not neglecting the analysis of costs and pricing.
"The task of us urban water managers is to stimulate scientific research through our infrastructures and to network among the various skills, commented Michele Falcone, CAP Group's director. In this sense, CAP is a pioneer, having created one of the most important projects funded by the European Union which represents the first research and experimentation platform in Italy born to face the challenges of the public urban water system: PerFORM WATER 2030".
In fact, PerFORM WATER 2030 represents a new paradigm on key issues such as sustainability, material and energy recovery, resource circularity in the water sector, just as the testimony of Francesca Malpei, Full Professor at Politecnico di Milano and scientific coordinator of the project, which told about the state of the art of the project and its objectives.
"With PerFORM WATER 2030 we set up a real "living lab" before the same definition became a European paradigm. We are talking about a structured platform in which the main innovation stakeholders share skills and know-how to accelerate research on micropollutants or sludge potential".

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