The Flexitility research project entered its implementation phase in October 2022. Until 2024, network partners from practice and research will test possibilities of water reuse for agricultural irrigation and decentralised intermediate storage of drinking water. The overall aim is to find out how these concepts can be used to increase the flexibility and resilience of municipal and regional services of general interest.
In the joint project Flexitility, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the "Implementation of the Future City Initiative" funding measure, partners from practice and research are testing concepts for decentralised intermediate storage of drinking water and water reuse for agricultural irrigation in the supply area of the Herzberger Wasser- und Abwasser-Zweckverband (HWAZ) in southern Brandenburg.
For water reuse, treated water from the Uebigau wastewater treatment plant is disinfected in accordance with EU Regulation 2020/741 and used for irrigation of feed and energy crops. For comparison, an agricultural area of 12 ha is partly fully irrigated, partly deficit irrigated and partly not irrigated at all. An important prerequisite for irrigation is a risk management plan developed in close cooperation with the relevant stakeholders.
Decentralised drinking water storage aims to reduce peak loads in the drinking water network. Specifically, selected customers are equipped with intermediate storage tanks for drinking water. The daily fluctuating demand for drinking water in the connected buildings is covered by the storage tanks, which are only filled with a small but continuous volume flow. Operational requirements, costs and benefits will be determined in a series of tests. The hygienic and technical safety of the storage operation is guaranteed by intensive monitoring. In addition, the effectiveness of the reservoirs in the context of extreme weather conditions will be scaled up and modelled for the operation of the entire drinking water network. The effectiveness of the reservoirs in the context of extreme weather consequences is scaled up and modelled for the operation of the entire drinking water network. The hygienic and technical safety of the reservoirs will be ensured through intensive monitoring.
In addition, an indicator-based "Climate Resilience Assessment Tool" already developed in the project will be further developed and extensively tested in practice. It will be used to assess the resilience of municipal supply infrastructures in the face of extreme weather events.
The focus of the work of the TZW together with the BTU Cottbus is on the design, implementation and exploitation of the results of the decentralised drinking water reservoirs.