For years, the European Union has encouraged its member countries to improve their track record on water reuse. A new industry group plans to give the effort some momentum.
Water recycling is about to find its flow in Europe.
A commercial and public-service trade group, Water Reuse Europe, launched last month with the support of the European Union. The group aims to boost resources for managing wastewater sustainably across Europe.
WRE was formally introduced by its chairman, Paul Jeffrey, at the EurEau Congress meeting in Copenhagen on September 19.
“Water reuse is going to be an important part of the mix of techniques which delivers sustainable and resilient water services,” Jeffrey, a professor at Cranfield University’s Water Science Institute, said in a statement. “Europe now has an industry-focused association dedicated to ensuring that the European water reuse sector is able to deliver innovative and safe water reuse solutions.”
The organization expects the reuse of water to grow by 20 percent annually in Europe. According to its mission statement, WRE hopes to “create a collective identity for the water reuse sector across Europe.”
The group says it will be a one-stop resource on agricultural, commercial, governmental, and industrial tools in reusing water. Members are expected to include commercial companies, public bodies, universities, research divisions, and trade and professional associations. WRE will share developments and provide educational events for members to take on water-reuse projects.
WRE’s trump card may be support from the European Union, which has reported that EU countries could potentially reuse as much as 6 billion cubic meters of treated wastewater annually—about triple the current volume. (That’s despite the challenges that surround public acceptance of some uses of recycled wastewater.)
Philippe Bréant, a WRE board member, said the group is well positioned to help meet that goal.
“Water Reuse Europe provides the support, ambition, and coordination needed to rapidly grow the European water reuse industry and create a truly global player in this increasingly important sector over the coming years,” Bréant, research and innovation projects director of Veolia, a resource management company, said in a statement.