The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) introduces the new strategic programme HYDROSTRATEG to its portfolio – this is another competition initiative aimed at solving the problems of biodiversity, environmental protection and the implementation of the priorities of the European Green Deal.
The HYDROSTRATEG programme aims at the development of environmentally friendly system solutions for water management based on the harmonisation of drinking water supply. Poland is a country with a low water resources. It also faces other challenges: water quality is insufficient in many areas of the country, and cyclical excess water causes local inundation and flooding. These problems prompted the Centre to launch an initiative aimed at providing effective and systemic solutions to these issues.
For the HYDROSTRATEG programme, three key areas of water management have been identified: water in the environment (biodiversity or bioproductivity), urban water and inland navigation.
In the area of water in the environment, NCBR has identified key research topics aimed at increasing water retention and improving water quality using the principles of sustainable development and sustainable water and wastewater management. These goals should be achieved through the development of innovative solutions aiming at reducing water pollution in agricultural production and in rural areas, reducing the inflow of microplastics and oil-derived substances from urban areas and reducing pollution from the economic use of rivers. The results of projects should be the development of automated systems for measuring biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems based on electronic sensors, as well as the development of universal indicators that allow the transport of biodiversity values to water quality.
Another part of the HYDROSTRATEG programme is water in the city, which focuses on increasing the efficiency of retention in combined sewer systems, as well as on increasing the efficiency of retention, infiltration of rainwater and meltwater in rainwater sewage systems. It will also support reducing the variability of the load on water supply networks and reducing the energy consumption of water supply to the ends of the network. These goals should be achieved through the development of digital tools for the design of rainwater sewage systems, the development and implementation of new technologies for the treatment of rainwater and meltwater, construction of combined systems for intelligent control of the drainage from the rainwater sewage system, as well as the use of hybrid solutions integrating ecohydrological solutions close to nature and hydroengineering.
The third area of the competition is inland navigation – an area where the need to develop a modern measurement system covering all waterways and designing modern tools (digital, design and engineering) for controlling and maintaining navigation parameters on waterways has been identified. It should be achieved by creating appropriate demonstrators that have practical application in the field of inland navigation and also serves as a link between inland navigation and water management.
The HYDROSTRATEG programme as a new NCBR initiative complements last year's NCBR programmes in the Green Deal area based on innovative pre-commercial procurement (PCP) formulas. The first competition under this programme will be announced at the end of the second quarter of 2022. The budget of the entire programme is PLN 800 million.