Project: Supporting tools for the integrated management of drinking water reservoirs contaminated by Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins

Acronym BLOOWATER (Reference Number: WaterJPI-JC-2018_02)
Project Topic Cyanobacteria, known as blue-green algae, are photosynthetic bacteria common members of the plankton in both marine and freshwater habitats. Under favourable environmental conditions, they can quickly multiply and form blooms in water releasing toxic secondary metabolites during their senescence and death. These compounds are dermatotoxic, hepatotoxic, tumor promoters and recently they have been related to neurodegenerative diseases. Occurrences of cyanobacterial blooms are increasingly detected in lakes and reservoirs throughout the world, due to anthropogenic eutrophication and climate change. In some countries toxic Cyanobacteria represent an increasing and serious environmental hazard for livestock and wild animals while human hazard could result from chronic exposure via contaminated water supplies. The presence of toxins from Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in drinking water reservoirs may represent serious health risks for the human population. It is necessary to plan effective strategies of risk assessment and management considering all the possible routes of exposure for the human populations. PROJECT PROPOSAL BLOOWATER project proposes innovative technological solutions aim to develop a methodological approach based on the integration of monitoring techniques and treatment of water affected by toxic blooms. The strategic objective of BLOOWATER is integrating innovative methodologies into a multisensory platform to improve water quality through the development of effective low-cost and functional measures into intervention procedures for efficient and sustainable management of the water resource. Water has a basic function in maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystem and is a primary resource for drinking, energy, irrigation and industrial use. However, it is subject to alterations mainly determined by the numerous anthropic activities. Toxic eutrophication occurrences are reported periodically in both inland and coastal waters, with health implications that affect not only bathing, but also above all the irrigation and drinking water of large basins. In this context, the project intends to develop and implement methods to treat freshwater with more efficient processes and defining diagnostics protocols through the integration of innovative techniques for water monitoring, aimed to creating forecasting models and systems of surveillance and early warning of toxic blooms. The improvement of specific algorithms will allow advanced processing of the different spectral and toxicity data and produce predictive and early warning models of toxic blooms. PRINCIPAL ACTIONS: 1- Collection of historical series with environmental data of pilot areas; 2- Design and implementation of a multisensory platform (sensors and drones for acquisition of multi-parameter data in real time); 3- Construction of a Digital Database; 4- Development of ICT platform for data management, trend assessment of cyanotoxic bloom dynamics, implementation of forecasting models; 5- Testing of the warning system and forecast of the bloom; 6- Definition of specific technological treatment solutions functional to the different scenarios; 7- Testing of some innovative treatment technologies; 8- Development of a decision support system (DSS) for the analysis of water resource management processes in the context of spatial planning (River Basin Management Plan); 9- Implementation of a manual for specific planning tools and regional, national and european funds. BLOOWATER addresses: SDG 6 through contribution to understanding and reducing pollution related to toxins from algal blooms and increased safe drinking water (6.1) and through implementation of integrated water resources management (6.5); SDG 13 by developing early warning systems towards better adaptation and impact reduction of climate changes (13.3) and by developing effective treatment solutions to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards (13.1).
Network WaterWorks2017
Call Water JPI 2018 Joint Call Closing the Water Cycle Gap

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development Coordinator Italy
4 Uppsala University Partner Sweden