AquaticPollutants NATURE Project

The NATURE project started in September 2021 with the aim of assessing nature-based solutions as management option for water treatment on the catchment scale. Nature-based solutions are “living solutions” inspired by nature to address various societal challenges in a resource-efficient and adaptable manner. According to the EU Research & Innovation agenda, they are key components to greening the economy and achieving sustainable development.

Coordinated by the IDAEA-CSIC in Spain with the collaboration of 5 institutes and companies from European and African countries (Aarhus university, CIIMAR, KIT, Kilian Water company, and ENI-ABT), the project implements an array of nature-based solutions including conventional and high-end constructed wetlands, river re-naturalization, and restoration of wetlands. These will cover the continuum from urban sources to coastal biota in estuaries. The analyses include the quantification of the fate of antibiotics, pathogens, and antimicrobial resistance in these systems together with ecotoxicological and human health assessments.

The application of these sustainable solutions will become essential in the coming years due to the economic costs of conventional water treatment and the need to re-naturalize ecosystems. NATURE will increase the knowledge of nature-based solutions’ effectiveness in reducing risks associated with antibiotics, pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. The project will also enhance the capacity of local stakeholders in the implementation of these solutions and will establish a sustainable network of scientists among the EU countries.