The reuse and protection of water resources are one of the crucial aspects of the CAP strategy which, in light of the risks deriving from climate change, is committed daily to safeguarding blue gold. Following the principles of the circular economy, the Group promotes the use of non-drinking water for non-domestic uses, such as the irrigation of crops and green areas, washing streets in urban centres and supplying heating systems. or industrial cooling.
In more detail
The reuse of purified water is one of the main vectors for the development of the circular economy in the water sector.
It allows the use of drinking water to be reduced by promoting virtuous circular dynamics and, consequently, the protection of the resource.
Among the most important projects in this area are the purifiers of Assago and Basiglio, whose purified water is used for civil and agricultural uses.
In particular, in Assago it is used for street cleaning and for irrigation of greenery; In Basiglio, on the other hand, two points for the collection of purified water were created, one to power the motor sweepers that wash the streets, the other that supplies an irrigation system which irrigates a wooded land of over 2,000 square metres.
At the Peschiera plant, included in the Digital Water City project, waste water is reused in agriculture. Lastly, the virtuous model of the Rozzano purifier stands out, whose water is used for irrigation of the fields.
The purified water in Bresso-Niguarda plant is used to irrigate part of the North Park.
CAP Group uses water from groundwater wells (up to 40-50 metres deep) to irrigate sports fields and green areas, but also for industrial uses (machinery cooling).
In addition to groundwater wells, which allow significant savings in drinking water, there are distribution points from which non-drinking water is distributed. They prevent the water from hydrants from being used to clean the streets.
The water from the distribution points is also used for flushing the sewer networks, for flushing drains and also for the irrigation of plants in some municipalities such as that of Buscate.
CAP Group is a partner of the European Digital Water City project which aims to strengthen collaboration between operators and farmers through the use of digital and technological solutions to minimize the risk in the irrigation reuse of treated waste water.
The DWC is part of the Master Plan, a technological innovation plan comprising several projects under the European Horizon 2020 initiative.
Coordinated by the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water (KWB), it brings together 24 partners from 10 European countries, including the CAP Group together with the Polytechnic University of Marche, the State University of Milan and the National Health Institute, to develop experimental activities in 5 European metropolitan cities: Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan and Sofia.
In the context of Milan, the epicentre of the research is the headquarters of the Peschiera Borromeo purification plant, where digital and technological solutions are being studied and validated in the field to assess and minimize the risk in the irrigation reuse of treated waste water, in a Sanitation safety plan perspective.
The project’s 4.0 solutions allow continuous monitoring and constant control of the quality of the treated water, as well as the possibility of evaluating in real time and acting to promote the energy and environmental sustainability of the purification plants in a circular economy perspective.
In particular, DWC's activities concern the implementation of a complete network of multi-parametric sensors to monitor and minimize the risk of contamination in the reuse of water; the use of a drone connected to a network of sensors to monitor the effects of water stress on the soil and the atmosphere and, finally, the analysis of the water-energy-food-climate connection in relation to treatment systems and the reuse of waste water.