Partners for Water has granted subsidies to 10 Dutch entrepreneurs and research institutions. This is the result of the first round of subsidies under the Partners for Water 5 (2022-2027) programme.

On January 25, the parties met in The Hague and presented the projects for which they received subsidies. In close cooperation with local partners, they will use their innovation power to make a positive contribution to water security in different countries in the coming years. For these feasibility studies and pilot projects, the organisations will work in Eswatini, Ghana (2), Nepal, Suriname, Ecuador, Malawi, Colombia, Kenya, and Mexico. Both returning and new organisations have applied for funding.

The 10 projects

Below you can read about the 10 participating organisations and their innovative pilot projects and feasibility studies on water safety and water security.

Water availability forecaster (Eswatini)
The consortium HydroLogic (the Netherlands), Emanti Management (South Africa), and FutureWater (the Netherlands) will launch a pilot project for the GLOW water availability forecaster. This service will provide water managers with information, warnings, and advice on current and expected water availability and demand. This will support water managers in Eswatini, Mozambique, and South Africa in taking mitigating actions on water availability.

Climate-smart irrigation system (Ghana)
The Technical University of Delft aims to further develop its innovative climate-smart irrigation system through a pilot project. This system provides farmers in Ghana with smart irrigation techniques that are provided with information from local weather stations. Farmers who have used the system so far experience 25% less usage and 15% more harvest.

Precision irrigation systems (Suriname)
Tijms B.V. and Attro Trading Africa aim to provide sustainable solutions for the problems that arise with unhealthy soil conditions. By improving the soil, they want to reduce flooding, drought, and salinization problems, increase crop yields and make the farmland more resilient. To achieve this, they will install solar-powered drip irrigation systems, use integrated farming practices, and transfer knowledge.

Powerful water pump (Nepal)
Together with Himalaya Agro-ecology Research and Development and Agro-Eco Advisors, aQysta B.V. is starting a study on the use of an energy-efficient and powerful water pump to irrigate higher-altitude lands and improve soil quality of Nepalese farmland. Combined with increasing the organic materials on the farmlands, it is expected that participating farmers will use 25% less water and increase their income by 200% within two years.

Flood prediction service (Malawi)
In Malawi, HaskoningDHV is launching a feasibility study on the use of their flood prediction service. This service is designed to be used by governments, aid agencies, and individuals. It allows users to monitor and predict floods in real-time and to receive warnings up to 12 hours in advance. This information will give people more time to evacuate in the event of a flood.

The use of natural groundwater buffers (Colombia)
The Colombian agricultural region Bananera experiences a severe water shortage during the dry season. To improve water security, the option to use underground water wells for storage is being studied by Deltares. During the rainy season, excess fresh water is infiltrated and stored through the wells to be used when a water shortage occurs. The research aims to assess the conditions and risks for storing and recovering fresh water in the subsurface, and to pre-design an Aquifer Storage and Recovery system for one of the local banana farms.

Affordable recirculating aquaculture systems (Kenya)
In Kenya, a consortium of the Wageningen Research, AquaFarmingConsult, EKAS Technologies, FOSPA-Africa, Laikipia University, KMFRI and Nyeri Fish Farmers Cooperative S. (LTD) will conduct a feasibility study for the use of affordable, solar-powered recirculating aquaculture systems (A-RAS) for small-scale fish farmers. This is aimed at reducing the water usage of the fish farmers by up to 90% and increasing their production capacity by 40 times. Not only will this improve the business model of the fish farmers, but it will also improve the food security of the community.

Circular water systems in cities (Mexico)
In Oaxaca de Juarez, the architecture firm Beccan Davila is partnering with Field Factors and the Mexican research institute Centro to conduct a feasibility study for the implementation of BlueBlogs in the city. Combining this innovation with proper urban planning, makes it possible to create a circular water system and add green spaces in the city. Excess rainwater can be stored and filtered in green spaces and used during times of drought.

Monitoring and combating algae (Ecuador)
In Ecuador, LG Sonic B.V. has started a pilot project to tackle the growth of algae in shrimp ponds. To counteract the algae bloom, the water quality will be constantly monitored. The resulting data will be used to predict the algae bloom and to combat the growth of the algae with specific ultrasonic sound waves.

Smart reuse of wastewater (Ghana)
Bureau M2 B.V. is conducting a feasibility study to explore the conversion of wastewater into irrigation water. The wastewater will be filtered through either sand or carbon, and the plant ‘Helofyt’. The resulting organic material will be converted into compost, while the remaining filtered water will be used for irrigation.

Do you want to participate in the next funding round?

There are still two subsidy rounds. Pleaes visit the subsidy scheme webpage for more information.

Subsidy scheme

Partners for Water has granted subsidies to eight consortia aiming to enhance water security abroad with innovative solutions. This is the result of the fourth round of subsidies under the Partners for Water 2022-2027 programme. The scheme provides an opportunity for companies, knowledge institutions, and NGOs in the water sector to research and test their approaches to sustainable water management. The organisations that have been granted a subsidy will work in Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Kenya, Taiwan, the United States of America and Zambia.

The 8 subsidised projects

Discover the 8 participating organisations and their innovative pilot projects and feasibility studies on water security below.

PROCAS (Vietnam)

PROCAS aims to enhance water quality, reduce pollution, and establish a sustainable business model by treating wastewater and converting waste streams from cassava processing into valuable resources in Vietnam. The consortium will design and construct a pilot plant to process cassava fruit juice and recover its proteins. This initiative seeks to reduce nitrogen emissions, improve water quality, and promote a circular economy. During the pilot phase, comprehensive on-site tests will be conducted to optimise processes, and an economic analysis will assess the project’s feasibility.

Consortium: Colubris Cleantech, Yenbinh, STAMEX, Meijer Consult

Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring with Io(U)T (India)

This project aims to tackle severe water pollution and its monitoring in the Ganga River and key water bodies in Tamil Nadu and Goa, India. It will enable comprehensive water quality monitoring while minimising theft and vandalism risks through a submerged setup. This solution involves Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring (RTWQM) using Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) technology, creating a wireless sensor network for real-time data transmission to a cloud dashboard. Expected outcomes of the project include a robust real-time water quality monitoring network for one year at five key locations, aiming support data-driven environmental management and effective environmental regulations and policies.

Consortium: Planys Technologies and Variya Tech

Tackling fluoride contamination (Kenya)

In Kenya’s Rift Valley, fluoride concentrations in water sources often exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended guidelines by 2 to 6 times. These elevated fluoride levels cause widespread skeletal and dental fluorosis among the local population. This project aims to provide affordable, safe, and clean drinking water at the household level by enhancing the existing Nazava Water Filter, which removes bacteria, with an add-on to effectively remove fluoride. By doing so, the project addresses both bacterial and fluoride contamination simultaneously.

Consortium: Resilience BV, Nazava Water Filters Ltd., Delft University of Technology and Harbauer Ltd. Kenya.

GREENCHEM in Asian Water Treatment (Taiwan)

The GREENCHEM project aims to address challenges in algae-impaired water (AIW) treatment by introducing an innovative green chemical developed by FerrTech, named Fersol©. This sustainable alternative to traditional pre-chlorination enhanced coagulation offers improved water quality, lower treatment costs, reduced environmental impact, and simpler engineering. The project, conducted in Taiwan, will assess the feasibility of Fersol© for algae and algal toxin mitigation in local AIW for drinking purposes. During this feasibility study, the consortium will identify local treatment challenges, estimate improvements, evaluate the project’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop a pilot-scale implementation roadmap.

Consortium: IHE Delft, FERR-Tech, and others.

Restoration of Coastal Ecosystems with BESE-elements (United States of America)

This project addresses the challenges of restoring degraded ecosystems along the United States’ coastal zones by utilising BESE-elements developed by BESE. Their solution consists of a temporary structure crafted from biodegradable biopolymers, designed to provide a kickstart agent for restoring organisms crucial to the health of coastal ecosystems. Over time, these structures gradually degrade, creating space for the renewed ecosystem to flourish. During the pilot phase, the consortium will conduct field trials to determine the solution’s efficacy in restoring oyster reefs and salt marshes. This aims to assess the performance of their innovation and validate it before large-scale application can commence.

Consortium: RB Biobased Institute B.V., Bato Plastics B.V., Stichting NIOZ (Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek der Zee), the University of Florida, and the University of Central Florida

Real Life Water Budgets for Sustainable Water management (India)

In Bagalkot District, India, 70% of the population depends on agriculture. This district increasingly relies on groundwater extraction for irrigation, leading to rapidly declining groundwater tables. The consortium aims to address this issue by providing volumetric water budgets through real-time, sensor-based, time-series modelling. Watermappers’ level and flow sensors will be installed to monitor critical water resources in real time, with data shared on a real-time dashboard accessible to all participant farmers and the public online. The time-series model will calculate water budget projections, leading to actionable insights for the farmers.

Consortium: Whysor, Kiaar (K.J. Somaiya institute of applied agricultural research), Artesia, Solar Magic, Watermappers

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment (Philippines)

The Cleanblock pilot project addresses the critical challenge of wastewater management in Metro Manila, Philippines. Currently, only 30% of the wastewater is treated, posing severe environmental and health risks. The consortium aims to significantly improve water quality and public health by implementing the Cleanblock trickling filter technology to treat a substantial portion of the untreated wastewater. A former feasibility study has demonstrated promising results, with strong support from local partners eager to test the Cleanblock filters. By fostering ongoing collaborations and knowledge transfer, the project aims to expand the use of this technology across the Philippines, ensuring sustainable water management and environmental protection for the future.

Consortium:  Maynilad, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)

Portable Solar Pumps for Small-Scale Farmers (Zambia)

Zambia, like many Sub-Saharan countries, experiences long, dry seasons and increasingly unreliable rain patterns, leading to crop losses and food insecurity. Many small-scale farmers have fields near streams or shallow groundwater, and could double their production with efficient water distribution.

New technology offers a solution: a locally assembled, portable solar pump, light enough for daily storage and affordable within one harvest. Jacana will redesign this pump for mass production and develop a sustainable supply chain involving small retailers, large importers, distributors, and NGOs to support small-scale farmers.

Consortium: MetaMeta, Jacana

Would you like to participate in the next subsidy round?

The subsidy scheme aims to support innovative projects from entrepreneurs, knowledge institutions and NGOs in the Dutch water sector that improve water security abroad. A new subsidy round opened in June and will be closed in September 2024. To be eligible, you can apply now for the mandatory intake interview.

Apply or read more about it here

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