RICHWATER: Reclaimed water for agricultural purposes

Proyecto Richwater
First application and market introduction of combined wastewater treatment and reuse technology for agricultural purposes

RichWater entails an innovative water solution focusing on bridging the gap from the prototype stage to a commercial version. The RichWater approach is a highly promising method to save freshwater and fertilizers in agriculture by treating municipal wastewater, reusing it for irrigation purposes whilst keeping valuable nutrients in the effluent. Simultaneously, RichWater offers the possibility for WWTPOs to offer a new product (nutrient-rich/pathogen-free irrigation water) to potential customers. Farmers will have access to a guaranteed amount of irrigation water, which is a huge benefit in arid regions.

Avocado Plantation in IHSM, La Mayora.

RichWater project aims to bring together 4 European SMEs and one research centre to enable the first application and market introduction of combined wastewater treatment and reuse technology for agricultural purposes.

RichWater technology, composed of a wastewater treatment and reuse system, is an efficient solution for water scarcity problems in agriculture, a growing concern nowadays in the EU, which has significant impacts in Spain, where the agriculture consumes around 75% of the water resources.

RichWater is built on the outcomes of three successful finished European research projects (PURATREAT, WACOSYS and TREAT&USE) on wastewater treatment, reuse technologies and fertigation and monitoring systems. The here developed concept is addressing a fast growing market with a pre-commercial prototype for market demonstration.

The RichWater project is an initiative funded by the European Union in the framework of the Fast Track To Innovation Programme (Horizon 2020). The main goal of this programme is to help technology companies to commercialize their innovation solutions and have a successful market entry.


  • Up-scaling and long term demonstration of a modular ready to market wastewater reuse system producing a pathogen-free and nutrient-rich effluent (presence of N,P,K according to crop needs).
  • Strengthen the economic competitiveness of the participating SMEs and the targeted wastewater treatment plant operators and farmers (increased turnover by 15-25 % and cost savings of 20 %).
  • Rich Water’s market introduction in the wastewater treatment sector in combination with the farming sector in Spain, Italy and Greece and later worldwide.
  • Recovery and recycling of pathogen-free water (Nearly 100% recovery rate) and nutrients (i.e. 80 % recovery rate of nitrogen and 68 % of phosphorus in the effluent) from wastewater resources in agricultural production.
  • Reducing the costs of operation and maintenance with a special focus on reaching low energy costs for water treatment (max. 1 kwh/m3) .
  • Reduction of freshwater and fertilizer consumption in water scarce areas of the Mediterranean, as well as the environmental impacts of untreated wastewater.
  • Assessment of potential benefits and risks of the near-market prototype for the environment and human health.
  • Supporting SMEs to develop green economy products and boost economic growth and job creation in EU.


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Project Data

  • Website:
  • Status: Ongoing
  • Funding programme: FTIH2020
  • Contract No.: 691402
  • Duration: 1 February 2016 – 31 January 2018 (24 months)
  • Budget: €2,203,756.25 (EC funding: €1,658,703.13)
  • Consortium:

BIOAZUL (Spain) IHSM (Spain) SMS (UK)
TTZ (Germany) ISITEC (Germany) PESSL (Austria)


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