In the context of NATMed project, the concept of Full Water-Cycle – NbS (FWC-NbS) is developed. FWC-NbS are based on the integration and combination of several NbS and innovative technologies based on the challenges identified for each Case Study and are implemented in existing infrastructures, both natural and grey, covering distribution and storage systems, to include the whole summer/winter water cycle. This concept is based on the potential of stablishing relations among NbS to work jointly in existing infrastructures, with the aim of increasing the impact related to NbS in the water cycle and water balance.
FWC-NbS foster a new approach to support an integrated water management and the improvement of the water storage and distribution infrastructures through ES provision. The aim is to impact in the entire hydrological process, following circular economy perspectives. FWC-NbS will be co-designed and validated following the IUCN Global Standard to increase their impact, sustainability and replicability.
FWC-NbS are classified in three types depending on the existing water infrastructure in which they are going to be implemented:
– Type A – Superficial storage systems
– Type B – Groundwater storage systems
– Type C – Distribution systems.
FWC-NbS combine specific groups of NbS to be applied on existing water facilities and impact on the entire water cycle, multiplying the co-benefits of NbS implementation. These NbS provide several water-related ES, in particular regarding water quantity and quality, and water-dependant ES related to environmental, social and economic benefits.
In NATMed, five FWC-NbS will be analysed, developed, adapted, tested and validated for upscaling on 5 demonstration areas (Case Studies), located in Carrión de los Céspedes – Spain, Chimaditida – Greece, Arborea – Italy, Bozcaada – Turkey and Oued Righ – Algeria.
1) FWC-NbS 1: Wastewater treatment and storage (Type A + B), to enhance the capacity of grey infrastructures to store treated wastewater while maintaining adequate quality levels, with the aim of reusing it for agriculture irrigation.
2) FWC-NbS 2: Natural wetland complex (Type A+C), strengthen the capability of natural wetlands to store and treat water through natural management and pollution discharge control. It includes the distribution networks of the wetland complex and its use in agriculture.
3) FWC-NbS 3: Aquifer (Type B), to upgrade existing nature-based practices to mitigate groundwater nitrate contamination in an agricultural context.
4) FWC-NbS 4: Aquifer complex (Τype B+C), covering several phases of the water cycle in an island context, from the improvement in distribution networks, groundwater recharge and quality, to soil conservation and irrigation techniques in agriculture.
5) FWC-NbS 5: Surface artificial channels (Type C), aims to improve water quality and quantity in grey distribution infrastructures, promoting restoration practices and pollution discharge protection, and water reuse systems for irrigation to preserve water resources.
If the distribution systems are obsolete, they imply very high losses of water. Modernising, upgrading and/or monitoring the systems is a way to improve their efficiency and reduce water consumption. An integrated management of water resources involves the coordination of water resources at all levels.
Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is a comprehensive and integrated data-based control and monitoring system. With this system, all controls; continuous monitoring of the existing water distribution system, checking the water balance, inlets, and outlets, monitoring leaks and taking immediate action for repairs, and instant reporting of the results can be provided.