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Alternative fresh water resources for coastal areas


Traditional water resources are under pressure in the 2 Seas region. This is especially true in lowland coastal regions, where salinization of (near) surface waters makes the problem more prominent. And yet, at times of a seasonal water surplus – mostly in wintertime – these same coastal lowlands drain vast amounts of water towards the sea.

To enhance efficient water resource management in these areas and provide year-long sustainable fresh water supply for the different water users (also in dry summer months), the Interreg 2 Seas project FRESH4Cs will demonstrate alternative and more sustainable resources for fresh water in coastal areas.

Five demonstration cases

The alternative water resources considered focus on storing and using surplus fresh water that is now drained to the sea during periods of water abundance, as well as the use of treated (domestic) waste water that is also drained towards the sea. FRESH4Cs will demonstrate these on five different sites in Belgium, The Netherlands and The United Kingdom. More specifically, these demos will include technologies based on:

  • shallow aquifer storage, including creek ridge infiltration and managed aquifer recharge (BE, NL, UK)
  • innovative water management including storage and redistribution (UK)
  • the use of waste water through a nature based solution upgrade of an existing treatment plant (BE).


To support the implementation of the demonstrated technologies, the project also includes several other aspects:

  • at a replication site in The Netherlands, FRESH4Cs will conduct a feasibility study based on monitoring data and stakeholder management; and
  • the project will deliver a roadmap for widespread implementation, focusing on both technological and non-technological barriers and opportunities.

More information

FRESH4Cs has received funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract No. 2S06-28.

Vlakwa/VITO serves as project manager. Other Flemish partners include the Vlaamse Landmaatschappij (VLM) and local water company IWVA.

Project website:
Vlakwa Contact: Bastiaan Notebaert

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