Groundwater REsource managemENt for non-Potable water pUrposes, baseMent protection, and heating - Pilot application


Priority axis Sustainability-Climate adaptability
Call Restricted Call for Strategic Project Proposal under Priority Axis 3
Lead Beneficiary Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Partners South-West University "Neofit Rilski"
Technological Educational Institute of Central Macedonia
Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology
Municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis
Municipality of Petrich
Efficient water, as well as energy, management in the cross border area is a common challenge. This means that meeting domestic water and energy demand is a top priority which require water/energy transport to urban centers from rather long distances.
The EU Directive 2000/60 (Water Framework Directive - WFD) foresees full cost recovery of water that is provided to the consumers, as a means to curb unnecessary demand. But water is a social good, too, and an increase of its price beyond a certain limit would be socially unacceptable, especially in times of financial crisis.
A significant part of domestic water is consumed for secondary uses, which do not require potable water quality. It would serve the spirit of WFD, to meet this demand with local water resources of inferior to potable, but still suitable, quality. Especially since treatment of raw water to potable water quality requires high energy input and addition of chemicals that add to the environmental impact.
Additionally, in areas of high groundwater table, pumping of excess water might be necessary, in order to protect basements of buildings from flooding.
Groundwater is a source of thermal energy, too which can be used for space heating purposes, by means of heat pumps. In most of the cross border areas urban regions, ground water temperature remains close to 15oC both in winter and summer, even at depths as small as 5 meters.
The cross border collaboration will serve to show that the implementation of such an installation, which has not yet been applied at large scale, can be beneficial in different types of groundwater tables, as well as deployable in both countries.
Our proposal aims to optimize the exploitation of shallow aquifers, found in urban areas, first for secondary water uses, such as toilets and gardening, and then for heating purposes, while at the same time protecting basements of public buildings from flooding. 
GREEN PUMP aspires to show a novel method that can be used to reduce unnecessary public works due to high network load, decrease the environmental impact of water/energy use in public buildings and, on the long run, save money.
Our approach consists of the following: 1. Elaboration of criteria for site selection (groundwater quality, aquifer depth, vicinity to prospective users, flooding risk, etc.).
2. Study of technical implementation details to existing and new buildings and cost estimation.
3. Complete study of installations of several such systems in many areas of Greece.
4. Construction of one complete pilot installation in Thessaloniki, Greece, and secondary water use ones in Blagoevgrad and Petrich, Bulgaria, and Pylaia, Greece.
5. Elaboration of monitoring program for such systems and monitoring of the pilot systems.
6. Evaluation of the environmental and social benefits. Optimization of the design per user needs.
7. Policy document on the simplification of legal procedures.

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