Supplies of fresh clean drinking water and safe water sanitation are at risk from a number of different factors. An EU initiative transformed urban water services and their management, enabling utilities to design and introduce innovative and sustainable solutions.
Sustainable solutions to challenges such as climate change and
population growth must take into account rising energy prices and the
pressing need to reduce emissions, as well as consider long-term
investment scenarios. Developing innovative and sustainable solutions
requires a detailed understanding of how the current water services
operate and how their sustainability can be determined.
With this in mind, the EU-funded TRUST
(Transitions to the urban water services of tomorrow) project explored how Europe's water utilities function.
Project partners designed tools to provide an overview and more in-depth analysis of the current state of play and future status of urban water services sustainability. They produced a roadmap methodology and guideline for integrating more sustainable solutions into strategic planning and analysed public awareness and types of governance.
To assess the impact of interventions on overall performance and sustainability and improvements of urban water systems, the TRUST team developed innovative modelling tools. It also evaluated the capability of emerging technologies to support sustainable urban water services, and then tested the most promising ones.
Enhanced tools and guidance for infrastructure asset management were created. In addition, integrated tools and guidelines were developed that offer assistance to policymakers, management and technical water sector personnel on planning and starting the transition process.
A free e-learning course on infrastructure asset management was designed, and the curriculum for a one-year post-graduate course on sustainable management of urban water cycle services was prepared.
Lastly, key project outcomes were presented in a series of best practice manuals to support urban water services planning.
TRUST provided participating cities with a clear roadmap towards more sustainable and effective urban water systems. It also offered a supporting portfolio of demonstrated technology and management interventions and tools.