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Local farmers in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen ready for fresh water storage

On Tuesday 10th March 2020, the FRESH4Cs project consortium organized a co-creation and inspiration session at Dow Benelux for local farmers. This workshop was targeted at answering questions on how we can cooperate on regional fresh water solutions and investigate if local farmers were willing to get involved in the project.

For an audience of about 30 people the progress of the FRESH4Cs demo at Braakman Zuid was presented, and we discussed how other stakeholders can cooperate with the project to ensure sustainable fresh water provision. Different questions were raised, such as: How much water is needed by Dow and local farmers? Where does this water come from? Where does the waste water go to? Who is going to use the water and when? In which ways can water be reused? 

Vlakwa, a devision of VITO who is a research institute from the Flemish region and part of the FRESH4Cs project consortium, gave an inspiration session about the ARDO-case; a part of the Interreg F2AGRI project.In this project 50 farmers formed a cooperation, within which they have built a buffer basin, a pump house and have created a piping network for irrigation water. Purified industrial effluent water from ARDO is going to be reused in this way in the agricultural sector; this is a good example of how cooperation between agriculture and industry regarding water reuse can work. A pricing mechanism has been set up to ensure water rights and a fair water price. The research institute Deltares were in attendance and they presented the attendees with maps of the surrounding areas and possible technical solutions for fresh water storage. At the same time, researchers and students of the HZ University of Applied Sciences spoke with the attendees to inventorize their specific needs and note their concerns. The HZ University of Applied Sciences will follow up via individual conversations with each of the interested attendees to investigate what criteria are important and what would make such a cooperation within this project interesting for them.

The next step is for Deltares, HZ University of Applied Sciences and Dow Benelux to choose the 5 best suitable locations for possible pilot demonstrations, which should take place around May of this year. These locations will be further investigated with the goal of selecting a final 3 locations. These locations will be analysed on technical, socio-economic and financial aspects and from this analysis, the most suitable location will be chosen as the  pilot demonstration location in the beginning of 2021. This pilot demonstration will be functioning for at least one year. Did you not attend this co-creation/ inspiration session but would wish to think along in this project? We would love to talk to you! You can get in contact with Mariska Polderman from HZ University of Applied Sciences via mariska.polderman@hz.nl