The Swedish island of Gotland has experienced a severe water crisis in recent years, negatively affecting tourism and local businesses. To address this problem, innovative circular water solutions are being tested and evaluated in the area of Storsudret in southern Gotland.
Gotland has been selected as one of the demonstration cases for the EU NextGen project, which aims to boost sustainability and provide new water market dynamics in 10 high-profile demonstration cases across Europe. The project will assess, design and demonstrate a wide range of integrated system solutions. The challenge in Gotland is to collect and store water to ensure an adequate supply during the summer months. An important aspect of this is exploring means and ways for water retention at Storsudret. A critical part of the project is communication and engagement activities with local stakeholders such as farmers and citizens.
The testbed installation has received national funding of around EUR 3.5 million from the Swedish Innovation Agency. In addition to lead partners IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and the Municipality of Gotland, the initiative involves the Baltic Sea Forum, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Uppsala University, SGU Geological Survey of Sweden, In Situ Instrument, the ENWA Group and Monsson Energy.
Key innovations & actions
– Rainwater harvesting using automatic floodgates to replenish aquifers, and monitoring of aquifer levels
– Decentralised membrane treatment of raw wastewater for reuse to reduce volumes treated at the central WWTP (wastewater treatment plant)
– Climate-neutral desalination powered by solar energy to offset the carbon footprint.