Who we are and what is our goal?
Dwr Uisce stands for 'Distributing our Water Resources: Utilising Integrated, Smart and low-Carbon Energy'. We are a research team made up of academic and research staff from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and Bangor University in Wales. The team has extensive experience in energy technology, environmental impact assessments, climate change and business collaboration. The project runs until Sept '21, and is supported through the Ireland-Wales Co-operation Programme 2014-2020.
Improving the efficiency of water distribution in Ireland and Wales is at the core of the project ethos. This wil lbe achieved by developing new low carbon, energy-saving technologies and services. We will trial energy recovery technologies at several demonstration sites in both countries before being launched on the market. We will build a capacity for innovation in the water industry through our cluster of organisations interested in sustainability in the water-energy nexus.
The Dwr Uisce project was preceded by the Hydro-BPT, another collaborative project between Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University. This project solely focused on quantifying the potential of energy recovery using micro-hydropower in water infrastructure, therefore Dwr Uisce is a natural progression in delivering and demonstrating the potentail identified in the Hydro-BPT project. More information about the Hydro-BPT project can be found here.
The capacity to innovate in the water sector
To understand where energy efficiency opportunities exist, we will undertake cross-border and cross-sectoral auditing and benchmarking assessments to support a market assessment in the performance of the water sector. By undertaking environmental and economic assessments of the regional potential, it will deliver best practice and identify cost effective systems, balanced with low-carbon and resource-efficient design. An eco-design toolkit will be produced specifically for the water sector to support the growing remit of the circular economy.
Technology and services to meet the challenge
New smart and low-carbon technologies are required to achieve energy recovery in the water sector, and this will be delivered at four demonstration sites in Ireland and Wales. Furthermore, the potential impact of the technology platforms (micro-hydropower, drainwater heat recovery and smart network controls) for energy saving in the water sector will be quantified.
Stimulating collaboration through a smart specialisation cluster
The importance of sharing information between organisations is recognised as a key factor in the success of this project. Therefore, the Ireland-Wales Water-Energy network will facilitate knowledge transfer through a range of dissemination events and material, as well as promote an action learning network to stimulate new innovative supply relationships in the region. We will support existing and emerging technology, policies, regulations and other measures which can contribute to greater sustainability in the sector.
Looking forward, addressing climate change impacts
Climate change can impact our most valuable resource and will affect the future availability of water in Ireland and Wales. The implications will be examined and quantified, considering the knock-on effects on water availability, energy consumption and the economy in both regions. An improved understanding of how climate change will directly and indirectly impact on the demand for water needs to be better understood. It will help deliver recommendations for the water industry to address future uncertainties to prevent regional water stress.