Nature-based solutions to reduce antibiotics, pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in aquatic ecosystems

aquaticpollutants funded projects

Project coordinator: Dr Victor MATAMOROS
Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (CSIC) - Spain

Communication contact:  Ana SOTRES - comunicacion.idaea(at)

Dr Pedro Carvalho AARHUS University (AU) Denmark
Dr Marisa Almeida Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR) Portugal
Dr Sidy Ba École Nationale d’Ingénieurs – Abderhamane BabaTouré (ENI-ABT) Mali
Dr Jochen Mueller Helmholtz Centre for Environmental
Research (UFZ)
Mr Rene' Kilian Kilian Water Ltd (Kilian Water) Denmark


The NATURE project will assess nature-based solutions (NBS) as management option for water treatment on the catchment scale. An array of NBS including conventional and high-end constructed wetlands, river re-naturalization, and restoration of wetlands will cover the continuum from urban sources to coastal biota in estuaries. We propose a comprehensive quantification of the fate of ABs, pathogens, and AMR in these systems together with ecotoxicological and human health assessments.

NBS performance will be analysed using multivariate modelling techniques to identify parameters with the greatest empirical influence on the attenuation of targeted pollutants.

The NATURE project will encompass three interconnected phases:

  • An experimental phase in which the reduction of aquatic pollutants will be
    evaluated in NBS and compared with reference sites.
  • In a data modelling phase, diagnostic indicators (indicative parameters from the
    first phase) will be identified for cost-effective future monitoring.
  • In a risk assessment phase, the effect of aquatic pollutants on the environment and
    human health will be evaluated, estimating its reduction due to NBS implementation.

The unique combination of advanced approaches from analytical chemistry, molecular
microbiology, modelling and ecotoxicology will be of paramount importance for an accurate
evaluation of NBS treatment performance. NATURE’s key objective is to promote
the sustainable and green attenuation of aquatic pollutants.

WP structure

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Expected research results

  • Optimization and evaluation of secondary and tertiary wastewater treatment NBS for reducing selected aquatic pollutants.
  • Assessment of different water management NBS in river basins for reducing aquatic pollutants.
  • Monitoring transformation by-products of selected pollutants, scarcely studied so far in NBS.
  • Development and application of modelling tools that integrate and evaluate data generated from the assessment of NBS with the aim to obtain diagnostic indicators.
  • Estimating the reduction of the impact of selected pollutants on the environment and human health due to NBS implementation.

For more details on the work plan and expected impact of the project consult the AquaticPollutants booklet.

Keywords: Nature-based solutions: pollutants; reduction; indicators; risk assessment

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published on 2021/10/15 10:29:00 GMT+1 last modified 2022-07-08T11:20:02+01:00